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African American DNA Research Forum

Re: Which DNA test should I use?
In Response To: Which DNA test should I use? ()

There are basically three types of tests being done and I have no recommendation as to which you should to do first. I am no expert, but here is some information to help you decide:

1. Testing your father - you can have two tests done, both his Y-chromosome and his mtDNA or mitochondrial DNA. This would give you his paternal and maternal lineages.

2. Testing your mother or yourself would get the same results, your maternal mtDNA lineage. To get your mother's paternal lineage, you would need to test your mother's brother or his son.

Keep in mind that for these two tests, Y-chromosome or mtDNA, you are getting the DNA results that reflect only ONE person per generation. For the Y-chromosome test, it is reflecting the DNA of ONE male in each generation of your direct ancestors, NONE of the females. For the mtDNA test, it is reflecting the DNA of ONE female in each generation of your direct ancestors, NONE of the males.

These two tests can tell you what ethnic group of people living today have the same or very similar DNA. They may or may not be living where they were when your ancestor lived.

3. The third type of test uses the DNA from throughout your genome and provides information on a greater number of your ancestors. The results are given as percentages of four major groups: 1) European, 2) sub-Saharan African, 3) Native American, 4) East Asian. You would get different results for you, your father, and your mother and the results do not specify any geographical location or ethnic group.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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