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Why triangulate if I already know I match someone's DNA?

Posted by Ian Lamont on

Why triangulate if I already know I match someone's DNA?

All major genetic genealogy services show long lists of people who match part of your DNA. The problem is they don't show how you match. Is the match with your mother's or father's side of the family? Could it be from the Smith branch, or the Jones, or some other surname further back in your tree?  The only clue provided by the DNA testing company may be a "predicted relationship" based on the length of shared DNA. The shorter the segment, the more distant the relationship.  Let's say you have a DNA match with a predicted fourth cousin, Jennifer. The...

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What are DNA, chromosomes, and genes?

Posted by Ian Lamont on

What are DNA, chromosomes, and genes?

DNA is like a recipe book for you. Inside every cell in your body is a copy of this recipe book that contains instructions for everything from eye color to how your body processes food.  What does the recipe book look like? The instructions are coded in long, twisting strings of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) called chromosomes. Every human has 23 pairs of chromosomes. Under a microscope, chromosomes look like the letter X (except for men, whose 23rd chromosome pair looks like an X along with the letter Y).  Each chromosome contains countless genes (tiny segments of DNA) corresponding to specific...

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So you've taken a genetic genealogy test. Now what?

Posted by Ian Lamont on

So you've taken a genetic genealogy test. Now what?

One popular use of DNA genealogy test results is triangulation, a process that can help genealogists identify specific ancestors and relatives.  Triangulation involves matching segments of one person's DNA to segments belonging to at least two other people who aren't closely related, such as aunts, uncles, or cousins. Then, using traditional genealogy research, it's possible to identify the common ancestor shared by all three people. Triangulation can help genealogists unearth new surnames, determine how previously unknown cousins are related, and confirm family lines.   Unfortunately, few DNA testing services include triangulation tools. Genealogists who want to perform triangulation with DNA test...

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