How To Get Started With Genetic Genealogy and DNA Research
5/20/2013
Want to make genetic genealogy part of your research, but don't know where to begin? Follow our first-timer's study guide that will take you through what you need to know.
Plenty of us genealogists have thought about trying genetic genealogy testing in hopes of finally breaking through a persistent research brick wall. But then we freeze like a kid with test anxiety: Would it really help? What kind of test would I need? And where do I even begin?
 
I had those questions, too—and more—before my dad and I entered the world of genetic genealogy testing last fall (I needed Dad for his Y-DNA). When I was in college, I wanted to be a genetic counselor. Fast forward a decade and I found myself, now a stay-at-home mom, leaning on that background in biology and genetics. I had to brush up and re-read information from any source I could lay my hands on, all so I could wrap my head around all the advancements in the ever-broadening field of genetic genealogy.
 
There’s no need to agonize over DNA testing decisions. Let my homework benefit you: Use the tips, suggestions and explanations I’ve picked up as your own genetic genealogy cheat sheet.