Finding and Applying the Right Genealogy Research Tools: A Few Helpful Hints

If genealogy research has been on your mind recently you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world are curious about their families’ genetic pasts and many have started journeys of discoveries to satisfy their curiosities. Today we’ll discuss how you can find and use the right genealogy research tools to produce the most accurate results.

Preserved Historic Records in Archives

If you live in a modernized first world country like the US or the UK you have a very powerful resource for tracking your ancestry, the national archives.   Many of these states have digitized these archives making access easy for people who want to carry out genealogy research. If you don’t live in a first world country don’t be dismayed. Most non-first world countries also have national archives or similar resources that can help you get to the root of your biological origins.

There is a margin for error with archives as the human element must be involved.  To begin with, the documents were created by human beings which means that errors could have been made at the time of recording. Additionally, these records can be challenging to interpret due to variations in penmanship and damage throughout the years which may render some sections illegible.

Regardless of the archive type, you plan to consult, you’ll need some information to begin with.  Names, dates of birth and addresses of the ancestors you’re trying to trace will be very helpful. If you also have details pertaining to marriages, deaths and burials etc., that will make your search even easier.

You can also tap into the oral history that has been passed down from generation to generation, especially within your family.  You should be aware though that oral histories are often altered throughout the years, which means that you’ll have to combine this method with others. You can consult archives or use genealogy DNA to confirm the oral stories.

Genealogy DNA Tests

DNA tests have revolutionized the way people approach genealogy research. Because genealogy DNA is more accurate, the results are more reliable than those retrieved through other methods. To get the results you need, you’ll need to select the appropriate type of genealogy DNA test.  If you are seeking information on your paternal relatives you’ll need a YDNA test. This test looks specifically for genetic traits passed down from father to son. Unfortunately, this means if you’re a female you won’t be able to use your DNA for this test. You’ll need a sample from a male descendant of your father or your father himself.

The mtDNA test will help you identify members of your relations on your maternal side. The autosomal test looks for biological connections stemming from both your parents. It is also the test that focuses on the greater portion of your genetic material since it analyzes 22 of the 23 pairs of chromosomes in your cell. Of the three tests, the autosomal test is most suited for people who are on a quest to unearth details about their ethnic heritage.

A Competent Genealogy DNA Company

The capacity of the genealogy DNA company you use is also a crucial element in determining the quality of your results. Genealogy DNA services rely on their databases to provide them with accurate results. The sample you submit is matched against those that are in the database. This means therefore that the nature of the database will determine the quality of results you get.  A database with a high volume of samples from a wide range of geographical locations will capture more of your potential biological links than a limited database.

Essentially though, your ideal genealogy research approach should include a combination of the tools that focus on your specific targets.