GENETIC GENEALOGY

Our website is now in the Beta stage of development. Content is still being collated and updated. We would love your input and assistance.

Do you know more about genetic genealogy? Can you explain it in layman's terms? We'd love to expand the information on this page to be more accessible to  non scientists so we can all gain a fuller understanding of the results of our genetic genealogy. 

If you have comments or feedback you would like to share please do so:  webmaster@ajgs.org.au .

YOUR GENETIC JOURNEY

Genetic testing can be used to confirm a relationship between two specific individuals, such as in paternity testing, or it can be used to infer the ethnic makeup of an individual through testing for certain markers prevalent in particular populations.

Several organisations exist to facilitate this testing including Family Tree DNA, AncestryDNA and 23 and me. There are a wide range of tests you can purchase and the process is very simple. On purchasing a test you are sent a testing kit - usually two vials with sterile scrapers inside. You simply scrape some cells from inside your cheek, seal them in the sterile vials and post them back to the lab. In a few weeks you will receive a report outlining your genetic heritage (as far as can be gleaned). Many of the sites maintain a database of other contributors and you have the option to consent to matching. Matches are generally tenuous, particularly if you elect for the cheaper testing regimes, and further research is usually required to ascertain the nature and distance of the relationships.

National Geographic is running an epic project, the Genographic Project,  to map human genetic roots in order to understand the passage of human evolution and migration over tens of thousands of years. You, as an individual, can participate in this project by contributing your DNA. In return you receive a report outlining which haplogroup (distinct genetic grouping) you belong to and the migration path your ancestors took out of Africa.

Genetic genealogy is still in its infancy. Ethical considerations also exist around privacy and future use of the information. It's important to read the fine print for any testing regime.