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If you're ready to order a DNA test but aren't sure of which one to order, the most common recommendation is to order the atDNA test (referred to as the "Family Finder" test at Family Tree DNA) that is available to both males and females. Most importantly, if you are a male that genetically descends from a KENT father, the yDNA test (a minimum of 37 markers) is highly recommended. Both are available at the project's DNA ordering page, here. For further information about these testing options, please continue to read on. 

I'm interested in taking a DNA test, which test is right for me?

This depends on your objective! There are three types of DNA tests that target different parts of one's DNA, an overview of each will follow, then the most common of scenarios will be addressed for you to make an educated decision. 

yDNA (Y Chromosome DNA) is considered the most valuable when researching one's strictly patrilineal heritage since it targets a male's Y chromosome (females do not inherit a Y chromosome) and it's results will reveal the "deep ancestry" that a male received solely from his biological father (yDNA mutates very slowly between generations and is inherited almost identically, from a father to son to grandson, indefinately). Often, if a woman is the one interested in her patrilineal heritage, she will have her father, brother, paternal uncle, cousin, etc., take a yDNA test to represent this ancestry. The Kent Family & DNA Project relies heavily on the results of qualifying males* that have taken a yDNA test since it will reveal the "deep ancestry" of their KENT ancestor (ancestry origins from thousands of years ago, indicated as an assigned haplogroup). Family Tree DNA's automated software will provide a list of any family matches between yDNA participants and encourages collaboration (most participants have provided direct email addresses to further promote contact).

*A "Qualifying Kent Male" is a living male who's father genetically descends from a strictly patrilineal KENT ancestry (his father, paternal grandfather, etc., were all KENT descendants) in order to isolate the DNA results from their Y chromosome. 

atDNA (Autosomal DNA) testing is highly recomended to both males and females as a powerful genealogical tool and one's involvement after taking an atDNA test (referred to as the "Family Finder" test at our preferred testing company, Family Tree DNA) largely depends on one's genealogical goal (if any). The results of this test will reveal one's predicted deep ethnic makeup and provide a robust database of personal genetic connections from each of one's four biological grandparent's family branches. Most participants have provided direct email addresses to further promote collaboration.

mtDNA (Mitocondrial DNA) is not often used for genealogy purposes but will provide the "ancient origin" results of the mitocondrial DNA that is received from one's biological mother. Both males and females inherit mtDNA, but only daughters pass on mtDNA throughout the generations. This type of DNA mutates so slowly over hundreds and/or thousands of years so it can be challenging to utulize the results along with traditional paper-trail genealogy due to women often adopting their husband's surname (although there are scattered reports of success in this respect). Beyond exploring one's ancient origins, testing specific individuals to determine whether they have a matrilineal connection can be useful. Mitocondrial DNA should not be confused with the "X" chromosome that every child inherits from their biological mother.


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