Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Where do I go for accurate information on DNA testing?

I received the following question in a reader's comment:
Is there some reference you could give that will allow us to find accurate information on DNA testing that can show us how this testing can be of help to genealogist? I am especially interested it the mtDNA testing.
There is a flood of information online about both DNA testing as such and its use in genealogical research. I also did a search in my local Provo City Library and found over 1200 books on the subject of DNA. I would certainly suggest a visit to the library. My personal method of answering this type of question for myself, is to read all the books I can find on the subject. Usually, that gives me a good idea about both the details and the perspective of what is and is not accurate information. By the way, I also did a search on and found 400 books on "dna genealogy." It looks like I would be spending a lot of time to investigate DNA Genealogy in depth.

There are 327 classes listed for the upcoming Conference combined with the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference (FGS). There are 14 classes that mention DNA as a topic.

There are three very large DNA companies that specialize in DNA testing for genealogists. They are:

 Each of these websites have lists of resources for understanding DNA testing. Of course, they are each commercial enterprises and would like to have you use their services, but they are all three well respected in the genealogical community.

I am afraid that anyone investigating this area will be overwhelmed with the amount of information available. But I would suggest just making a start and dive into the subject. has a recommended reading list that might help sort out where to start.


  1. I am new to this myself, but I just found this web page that I think explains very well about autosomal DNA testing and what the different DNA testing websites provide (Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, AncestryDNA):

  2. Your readers will find the most up-to-date information in the ISOGG Wiki where there are also comparison charts for the different DNA tests:

    ISOGG is a volunteer-run organisation which is independent of all the different testing companies.

    This is a very fast moving field and any published sources go out of date very rapidly.

    1. Thanks, that is very helpful. I will have to do a blog post on that website. As my readers can probably guess, I like wikis.