How do I know which DNA test is right for me?

Knowing which DNA test is right for you, depends on your gender and what you want to know. There are different tests for different purposes. The three most common DNA tests are the Y-DNA, mtDNA, and autosomal DNA test. The Y-DNA test is a for males only, and is used to confirm or reveal a man's direct paternal line and/or surname. The mtDNA test is available to men and women and is used to reveal one's maternal line, or deep ancestry. The autosomal DNA test is available to men and women and is used to reveal one's ethnic heritage and can be used to identify recent generations. One can combine tests to gain a greater DNA profile. Pricing for tests is often determined by the type of test and the number of "markers" compared.

You will want to become as informed as possible in selecting the DNA test that is right for you. The GenWeekly articles listed below provide useful, detailed information on the types of tests and their uses in genealogy. Before making the final decision, you will want to select a highly reputable DNA testing company such With so many DNA testing companies available, look for recommendations from people or sources you trust, and carefully compare each company's background and offerings.

Related Reading

Beyond the Paper Trail: Discovering Family History with Different DNA Tests ($)

SNPs and Snails: What is your deep ancestry? ($)

Getting Past the Native Ancestry Block: Can DNA Testing Break Through the Wall? ($)

DNA Research Expanding ($)

Using DNA to Find Your Surname ($)

<< FAQ Section


Help us improve this frequently asked questions area. Please send us feedback or additional questions.

click to view original photo