« Legacy Tip for Beginners: Colors | Main | Legacy's Relationship Calculator Results Might Surprise You »

June 18, 2007


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

this dna thing is great but my understanding is that it has to be a male
line what if i want to research a female line
just wondering

Is Ancestry going to market the DNA tests? If so when will it start, what will be the cost and how will we be able to get the test kits?

Hi Melissa,
The usual DNA analyses use what is called 'genomic' DNA (from the cell's nucleus), which contain equal contributions from both male and female parents (and the parent's contain equal male and female contributions from their parents etc, etc). There are more specialised techniques that can analyse 'DNA markers' on the Y chromosome which is passed down almost unaltered through the male lines. Hence if you go back just through the male lines you can find where a man's Y chromosome originally came from (and hence any characters on it). Equally there are methods for checking the DNA profile of mitochondrial DNA (outside the nucleus) which is passed down almost unaltered through the female lines). Hence you can trace where anyone's (male or female) mito DNA (may determine characters of respiration and muscles, incl the heart) came from by going back through only the female line. Hope this helps.

There are at least two different genealogically related DNA tests that I am aware of. Y-DNA (the Y-DNA passed down from father to son only) and MtDNA (Mitochondria)which is passed from mother to daughter. While a mother passes MtDNA to her sons. ales do NOT pass the MtDNA onto their children, only the male DNA.Without plugging any testing company, I suggest you search for DNA testing on the WEB.Some companies have free in-depth lessons explaining it all!

See the details at Relative Genetics. Male line is required for accurate testing back many generations. Female may be useful for a few generations.

To answer melissa's question, the Y chromosome test compares males, as the Y chromesome is passed down through the male lineage, but there is also a test that looks at mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). A mother passes her mtDNA to both male and female offspring. The female offspring will then pass it down to all her offspring, and so on. Therefore the female line can be traced.

You would research mitochondrial DNA for a female line.

Great article but what is the cost?

Melissa, you can trace your female mtdna, down thru your female line, ie: mother, grandmother, great-grandmother etc.


Will ancestry.com use the results from other DNA researchers such as Family Tree DNA to enhance the DNA database they are planning? There are many group projects out there which were done through other companies that should be included with a complete DNA database. What are the plans for those companies and those many thousands of results?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Legacy 8.0


Receive news by email

Search this site

  • legacynews.typepad.com
Share |

Top 25 Genealogy Blog