New to Genetic Genealogy?

If you are new to genetic genealogy, the complexity can seem overwhelming at first.  The good news: getting started is fairly easy and inexpensive.  And we are ready to offer you plenty of help.


Two Basic Tests:   

You have a choice of two basic tests in the genetic genealogy field: yDNA for the male (paternal) line and mtDNA for the female (maternal line). 

  • Only males can take the yDNA (surname) test, which traces their father's father's ... father's paternal line.
  • Both males and females can take the mtDNA test, which traces their mother's mother's ... mother's maternal line.  
  • You can also order a combination test for a man, which analyzes his yDNA and mtDNA.

Here are the simple rules:

  • a man you are testing with yDNA must be directly descended from the (male) ancestor you are interested in researching - with no females between them (yDNA cannot pass through a female ancestor)
  • a person testing with mtDNA must be directly descended from the (female) ancestor you are interested in researching - with no males between the test taker and ancestor being researched (mtDNA cannot pass through a male ancestor)
  • Test through a project because the cost is $50 to $80 less than testing as an individual, and you will be able to work with people involved in your surname research.   

When you are ready to get involved, here are the steps to becoming part of the cutting edge in genealogy:

  1. Find a project. 
  2. Order a test.  
  3. Take the test.
  4. Return the kit.
  5. Get your "Personal Page" at FTDNA.
  6. Receive a Welcome Message from the Project Administrator. 
  7. Post your pedigree on the Project Pedigree Forum.
  8. Receive your results from FTDNA.
  9. Choose your options on your Personal Page. 
  10. Compare your results.  
  11. Analyze the results to understand their significance.
  12. Contact the people you match.
  13. Upgrade your test results if needed.
  14. Join forces with those you match to unearth your history.