Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Introduction to DNA

In October 2006, I was interviewed by a local television reporter on the topic of family history which would be included in a two-part story on DNA. I had heard of DNA, but did not fully understand it. The airing of the story, Out of Africa - African-Americans now have resources to trace their ancestry-WAVY TV 10 on November 8, 2006 and the information provided on using DNA for genealogical purposes was an eye opener for me.

The reporter and two other persons had taken DNA tests previous weeks before the segment aired. Their results were revealed on TV. I was fascinated and could not get this out of mind. After about two weeks, I ordered my first DNA test. Prior to ordering a test, I read everything I could find on the subject and consulted with others who had taken a DNA test. One of my questions was about which company I should select. The Afrigeneas DNA Forum—Which Test if Which? broke it down in laymen’s terms.

Through my readings, I learned that there are three tests for genealogical purposes. Since 2006, I have had all three tests done on either myself or members of my various family branches. My family results of these tests will be discussed in upcoming articles.

• mtDNA – Mitochondrial (maternal line)
• Y chromosome (paternal line)
• Autosomal (Admixture—ethnic percentages)

The video Exploring Our Molecular Selves is a great introduction to DNA. The video also includes a transcript: Transcript: Exploring Our Molecular Selves


Janice said...


Thank you for posting the various articles on DNA. It is still a topic that confounds me from time to time.


Steve said...

You, my dear Dru, were the inspiration for me to take a DNA test myself and to have some of my cousins tested.

I've been fascinated by the results of both your tests and mine.

I've had my Y-DNA and mtDNA tested and now I'm thinking about an admixture test.