Genetic Genealogy

Marc McDermott
May 19, 2022

Genetic genealogy is the use of DNA testing, combined with traditional genealogy, to help identify ancestors and family members. By analyzing a person’s DNA, we can learn about their ethnic heritage, examine genetic markers for disease risk, and even find long-lost relatives. The field of genetic genealogy has exploded in recent years as DNA testing has become more affordable and accessible. If you’re interested in tracing your family tree, or just want to learn more about your ancestry, then genetic genealogy may be the perfect solution for you.

Genealogical DNA tests

Genealogical DNA tests are used in genetic genealogy to help determine your ancestry and genealogical origins. These tests compare the results of a DNA test with those already tested by others in order to determine genetic similarities and provide information about how closely people are related. Tests are conducted using DNA samples, typically from a cheek swab or saliva. Direct-to-consumer DNA testing companies such as 23andMe and AncestryDNA have popularized genealogical DNA tests for genetic genealogy, sparking an online revolution in the field.

Population Genetics

Population Genetics is a branch of genetic genealogy that studies the different frequencies in which DNA occurs in a population. This is usually done by sampling different genomes in the population, such as blood samples or cheek swabs. Biogeographical origin (ethnicity) can be predicted using computer algorithms and proprietary calculations to estimate what percentage of an individual’s DNA comes from particular ancestral groups. This can be a really interesting way to learn more about your family history and where you come from.

Investigative Genetic Genealogy

Investigative Genetic Genealogy is a method of using genetic genealogy to discover unknown identities. It is named for the investigative branch of law enforcement, but is not a form of forensic science, nor does it have anything to do with crime scene investigation or criminal prosecution. The main difference between IGG and forensics is that IGG relies on public information from databases and genealogical research, while forensics uses material from crime scenes that has been analyzed in a lab. IGG can help law enforcement solve violent crimes and cold cases, as was the case with the Golden State Killer.

Human Migration

Human Migration can be studied in genetic genealogy with the use of haplogroups. A haplogroup is a genetic population that shares a common ancestor. When different populations migrate, they often take their haplogroups with them. Therefore, the distribution of haplogroups tends to show the spread of human migrations through time and space. Most recent scientific studies on genetics have indicated that humans originated in Africa, about 300 thousand years ago.

Whole Genome Sequencing

Whole genome sequencing used to be a costly and time-consuming process. However, thanks to advances in technology, whole genome sequencing is now more affordable and accessible than ever before. This technology can provide invaluable insights into an individual’s health, ancestry, and risk of developing certain diseases. Whole-genome sequencing is an important tool for researchers who are working to improve our understanding of human health and disease. As more people have their genomes sequenced, we will gain new insight into the complexities of the human genome and how it affects our health.


How does genetic genealogy work?

Genetic genealogy uses autosomal DNA single nucleotide polymorphisms to discover recent common ancestors between two or more people. This is done by examining the SNPs on your chromosomes and comparing them to other people’s chromosomes. If two people share a long stretch of DNA, it is likely they share a common ancestor.

What type of DNA is needed for genetic genealogy?

Autosomal DNA is the most common type of DNA used in genetic genealogy. Autosomal DNA is found in the 22 pairs of chromosomes that don’t contribute to sex and gender and can be used to find biological relationships (of all kinds) through DNA.

What is the purpose of genetic genealogy?

The purpose of genetic genealogy is to use DNA testing to discover ancestry and relatives. It can be used to explore your family tree and learn about your genetic heritage. It can also be used to find biological parents, siblings, and other close relatives.

How can I learn genetic genealogy?

There are many ways to learn genetic genealogy. One of the best ways to learn is to find a good online course. There are many courses available, and most of them are very affordable. Another great way to learn is to join a local genealogy society. They often offer workshops and classes on genetic genealogy. You can also find many helpful articles and videos online, especially on this website!

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