DNA and Genealogy
Every human on Earth is descended from a few related individuals who left
Africa some 60,000 years ago.
DNA is a useful adjunct to traditional "paper" genealogy, especially where
the paper trail runs out.
A DNA test can help:
break down brick walls
find related individuals
link you to others of same or similar surnames
suggest a geographical origin
indicate deeper ethnic ancestry
The four major types of DNA tests conducted in genealogical research are:
Y-STR - Short Tandem Repeats in the DNA between
genes on the Y-chromosome (males only) which give the tsted individual a
haplotype which can be matched to others who have been tested (we recommend
at least a 37 or 48 marker test) and is most useful in recent ancestry
resaerch within genealogical time - say, 1,000 years.
Y-SNP - Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, a change in a single nucleotide in
the DNA, which occurs infrequently, but can typically define a whole
chromosome and become its signature, can assign an indivudial to a
haplogroup and indicate deeper ancestral ethnic background and migration in
the time-frame 6000 BCE – 1500 CE
mtDNA - for males and females, but it tracks the matrilineal ancestry
(mother, mother's mother etc.) back through time
Autosomal DNA Testing (Family Finder and Relative Finder) for close ancestry
testing - this traces all ancestral lines to identify relationships for five
generations, back to 16 great-great-grandparents
DNA tests can also help indicate inherited deseases and conditions.
StrathclydeGenealogy has a link with FamilyTreeDNA (www.familytreedna.com)
and can arrange tests, help you understand the results and match you to
Dr Bruce Durie and Alasdair Macdonald MSc co-manage the Scottish DNA Project