DNA Testing

You will spit in the tube and mail the kit back to Ancestry
March of 2018 marks five years since I got my initial results from my first genetic genealogy test at Family Tree DNA. It's been quite an education maneuvering within the genetic genealogy community.  I've met some very helpful cousins and search angels who are eager to help put the puzzle pieces together.

Ancestry DNA has 7 million DNA samples in its database, 20 billion records and 90 million family trees.   DNA testing has become a game changer for those of us born and adopted in states that have sealed records and have lived their whole lives without any medical history. Now is the time to take a DNA test if you reside in a closed record state or, like me, have an unknown father.  

Example of a first cousin match to my maternal side
All it takes to solve the mystery is a second cousin match to your birth family to determine who your biological parent is.  (Contrary to what many believe, your parent's DNA sample does NOT have to be in the database to confirm a biological connection).

Through genetic genealogy, I have confirmed a biological connection to my maternal birth family and am currently in the process of doing the same for my paternal side.

Paper can lie, but DNA does not lie!

If you are contemplating genetic genealogy testing, the DNA experts recommend taking the tests in this order:

1.  Test at Ancestry.com for $99.00
2.  Upload your results to Gedmatch.com for free
3.  Transfer your autosomal results to Family Tree DNA for free (if you are male, you will also want to take the Y-DNA test at Family Tree)
4.  Upload to My Heritage for free.
5.  Take the 23 and Me test if you do not get a close match at the other databases.

Ancestry gives you an ethnicity estimate
"Fishing in more ponds" will get you many diverse cousin matches and will propel you toward your research goal.  If you know one of your biological parents but not the other one, begin building your tree at Ancestry.com for the known parent.  You will use this pedigree to determine which of your DNA matches are related to your mother and which ones are related to your father.

The Adoptee Survival Guide, has a complete overview for beginners in genetic genealogy.  It is written by genetic genealogy expert and DNA search angel, Gaye Sherman Tannenbaum.

I made a 3-part video series specifically geared toward those people who are seeking their unknown father.  You can watch them here:

Part 1:

Part 2:


RESOURCES: There are many excellent Facebook groups for support and questions during the genetic genealogy journey.  Here are my favorite groups:

Search Squad

DNA Detectives

Autosomal DNA-Gedmatch-FTDNA-23andME-Ancestry.com

If you would like to read about one adoptee's journey in seeking her father via DNA, go to Papa was a Rolling Stone.

If you have any specific questions about which DNA tests are best for you (this advice changes whether you are male or female), go to Richard Hill's DNA Testing Advisor below.

 Family Tree DNA

 23 and me



My Heritage

Richard Hill's DNA Testing Advisor (Author of Finding Family)

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