By combining DNA and traditional methods of genealogy research you will get a much more accurate picture of your family tree. DNA testing can usually fill in those gaps in information that you have been fruitlessly looking for. But don’t be shocked if that same DNA test creates another gap. Advances in technology are quickly leading us to understand that the majority family trees have many more branches than was originally thought. Combining DNA research together with your genealogy research that you’ve done by more traditional methods can open up an entire new world.
You never want to depend upon just DNA testing alone for your genealogy research. By using ancestry DNA testing you will be able to find individuals from around the world with whom you share DNA markers. However those will only be the individuals who have also submitted a DNA sample for comparison. Y-Line DNA tests and Mitochondrial DNA tests can be used to tell you if you are related to another person however only if that other person has also submitted a DNA sample for comparison.
Therefore your first steps in your family tree research will most likely have to start with your own family. Research records of marriage, births and deaths. Check attics and basements for old family Bibles, service records, medical records and insurance records. As your search progresses don’t forget that over the years somebody might have modified the spelling of their surname, too. As you begin filling in those branches on your family tree you will know when it is time to turn to DNA to help further your research.
You may come to a point where you’ve found somebody with the right surname you’ve been looking for however you are not certain you are related. That’s when DNA will help you in your genealogy research. Now that you have someone you can compare results with, both of you can take a DNA test to find out if you share the same lineage. And if you do, then it’s back to the traditional research methods on that person’s branch of the tree until you run up against the same problem. So you see, you can use DNA testing to prove your research findings however you’ve still got to do the research first.
But that is the fun part anyway. The research. Hearing all those old family tales and tracking down the comings and goings of everyone. And then finding another person you are related to! Well, how exciting is that? In this day and age when everyone moves around all the time and we never know our neighbors anymore, anytime you can make a family connection with someone you never even knew existed is wonderful. But you already knew that didn’t you? That is why you’re doing all this research in the first place. To make that connection.
It’s easier now than ever before to trace your family tree. Not only is the world a much smaller place now but we have all of this technology like DNA testing and the Internet to help us out. Use DNA to back up your genealogy research and keep that family tree growing.