One of the most exciting benefits of having your DNA tested is the ability to discover new family connections. Many testing companies provide the ability to compare your DNA results against the results of others that have taken a DNA test with them. In addition, there are a growing number of independent companies that provide the ability to upload your raw DNA results and compare them against the results of other participants that may have had their DNA tested by a different company. These services provide the ability to contact the other participants so you can join forces in trying to find your shared family.
DNA testing has become a very effective and popular tool for adoptees looking for their birth parents. The approach has been successful for thousands of people. Some are lucky enough to get a direct parental or sibling match, while others may only get a 3rd or 4th cousin match. The more distant the match, the more important it is to work with a genealogist who can use several tools to help narrow the search for birth parents/siblings.
In addition, your genealogist will use databases and several services to widen your search and increase the chances of reaching your goal. The combination of DNA testing and traditional genealogy is your best chance of success.
Shortly after my first DNA test results were posted on Ancestry.com, I was contacted by a second cousin who also lived in Connecticut. We compared family trees and found our common connection. To my surprise she had pictures of my 3x great grandparents, which were the first ones I had ever seen. I was able to add another branch to my tree, meet new ancestors and we continue to stay in touch and share new discoveries.
Above is an example of a 4th-6th cousin match on Ancestry.com
I also had my mother’s DNA tested. I use another service that allows me to compare my matches to common matches between my mother and I. Since I do not have any DNA samples from my father’s family, I can use this method to identify which of my matches are from my mother’s side of the family and which are from my fathers.
I’ve connected with dozens of family members and although I’ve only been able to find the common connections with about half of them, I continue to work with the others to eventually make those connections.
Having your DNA tested is a great way to quickly discover other branches of your family tree and connect with new family members. The DNA test is just a tool though and although there are services available online; working with a genealogist will greatly increase your chances of success.
For assistance with your DNA project contact firstname.lastname@example.org.