Q:

How do you determine your heritage?

A:

Quick Answer

Find your heritage by submitting a DNA test to a laboratory for analysis by geneticists specializing in genealogy. Many DNA analysis services are available for use by private parties seeking answers about their background.

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Full Answer

  1. Research DNA testing options

    You have many options available when it comes to DNA testing. Research these options, and make the choice that is right for you. Females can choose mitochondrial DNA testing, which traces the matrilineal genetic heritage. Males can choose Y-chromosome analysis, which deconstructs and analyzes patrilineal heritage. Both sexes can opt for admixture analysis, as it does not depend on sex chromosomes to determine heritage.

  2. Choose a test

    After researching your options, choose a test to use. Most test kits can be purchased through specialized online retailers partnered with genetic testing labs.

  3. Take the test and mail out the sample

    Most genetic tests are straightforward and easy to use. Follow the instructions included with the test you purchased. Most involve swabbing the cheek for a cellular sample and sealing the swab in an airtight plastic bag before sending the sample to the lab for analysis.

  4. Wait and learn

    Wait for the DNA analysis to be completed at the lab and for results to be sent back to you. The results can tell you about your family's distant history, tracing back thousands of years. Some companies offer a service that connects people with similar DNA readings via online forums. Many people enjoy comparing and contrasting their DNA analysis results with information recorded in family trees or kinship charts.

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