DNA & Genetic Genealogy— 4 Tips To Help You Make The Most Of Your DNA Test

A puzzle with a DNA double helix structure

DNA testing has become incredibly common in the past decade, with several companies offering different types of DNA tests. Some people are interested in DNA testing for ancestry and ethnicity; others wish to explore their genetic makeup and its strengths and weaknesses.

But with such targeted research questions on their mind, people often fail to make the most of their DNA test results. Most DNA test results reveal a whole wealth of information about you—here are a few ways you can make the most of DNA testing.


Learn About The Different Types of Tests Available

Before you even take a test, it’s important to learn about the various test types that are available. The three main types widely available with different testing companies are Y-DNA testing, mitochondrial DNA testing, and autosomal DNA testing.


While Y-DNA test results will reveal information about your paternal line, it is useful only for males, as females do not have a Y chromosome.  The mtDNA test focuses on the direct maternal line, and although males and females all have a mitochondrial haplogroup, MtDNA only traces the direct maternal line. The autosomal DNA test will give you the most comprehensive insight into your ancestry. Most genetic genealogists recommend taking the autosomal DNA test for family research purposes.

Use DNA Matches To Breakdown Brick Walls

When you get your DNA test results, you will find your DNA match lists. These can be very helpful in researching family history and finding connections.


DNA matches are especially useful when you hit dead ends—they can help generate alternative leads. Suppose you’re researching a branch of your family tree but hit a brick wall. A DNA match list may help you connect with genetic cousins who share the same ancestor you’re researching, and they may have access to the information you need.

Use The DNA Results To Confirm Branches Of Your Family Tree

glasses lying on top of an open notebook near a laptop


Our DNA is inherited from many ancestors, so if you’re related to someone, you will share some amount of DNA with them. The closer your relationship is to a person, the more DNA you’ll share. For instance, the DNA you share with your mom’s brother will be a lot greater than what you share with a third cousin.


This link between your DNA and the closeness of your relations can serve as supporting evidence for the research you’ve already conducted for your family tree. By comparing the DNA results with specific branches of the family tree, you can confirm your previous findings and even find out what part of your DNA comes from which branch of the tree.

Let Experts Help You Make Sense of The Results

DNA test results can be very puzzling, especially if you’re new to genetic genealogy in general. Many people may even dismiss these tests entirely simply because they’re unable to make sense of them.


However, you don’t have to figure it all out alone.


You can get an online DNA analyst on board—like the ones we have at Davis DNA And Family Research.


With expert DNA research assistance, you’ll be able to make the most of your DNA test results. In fact, with our coaching and mentoring services, we can also guide you toward the correct type of test for your family research.


Give us a call to learn more.