Genealogy – DNA Testing

Did you know that you could find out more about you and your family history with DNA Testing?  You may also be able to find out possible health risks within your family background.

In my interviews with Adel Firth-Mason, we have covered Genealogy – Growing Your Family Tree, Genealogy –  and in this third and final interview of the series Adel talks about DNA Testing.


I asked Adel:

You have mentioned to me about DNA testing, what is involved with the process?

I have tested with the two companies FamilyTreeDNA, and Ancestry. Initially, I had my father tested through FamilyTreeDNA as he is an only child and the last direct male of my Firth family line, and the only one I could test easily for his mother’s ancestry. This company offers tests for those two lines (being the mitrochondrial and Y-chromsome DNA), as well as for autosomal (Family Finder).

The information it provided included an ethnicity mapping and report in percentages of where his ancestors originated, as well as people globally who share DNA and are therefore kin. I tested for myself there also to gain my biological mother’s DNA inherited by me, which opened up further lines of my ancestry.

I also tested with Ancestry, which tests only the autosomal, but provides an ethnicity mapping as well, and finds common shared ancestry. Autosomal is the collective DNA from all your family lines.

What is involved?

  • It’s a painless experience, and involves only your saliva collected in a phial for Ancestry; or a swab from inside your mouth taken with what resembles a cotton bud with a tiny comb on the end, and placed into small phial (FamilyTreeDNA). In both cases, you will need to not have eaten or drunk anything for a couple of hours, so first thing in the morning is the best time.
  • The kits are then posted back in the addressed envelope provided, and you wait. For most, patience does not go with the wait but a sense of curiosity, uncertainty, excitement, and impatience.
  • An email is sent when the kit is received by the company, and throughout the process.
  • You will be given a batch number and you will need to log into the company site used in order to see your results. The company will let you know who matches you etc. for follow-up, and continues to do so.
  • One further step which is very useful is to upload the final result (referred to as Raw Data) to GEDmatch, which is a free site. This site is a collective database of results from thousands of people who have used a number of different companies, and who have then uploaded their results to it. The term “Raw Data” is easily found with your results on your own page (or in Settings); but that can be done later once you have become familiarised with everything.

Through DNA, I have been able to affirm a particular line of mine from Scotland to NSW, and discover the nephew of my own ancestress went to the USA and became co-founder of the University of Chicago. It helps fill in many blanks and links you to many new cousins globally.

With DNA, and this is for the brave, one can also upload the genetic DNA site called Promethease. It provides the individual with all the “possible” health genetics they carry. 

If you would like more information on DNA Testing with Promethease, CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW WHICH :

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22 thoughts on “Genealogy – DNA Testing

  1. Michelle Schurman

    I think genetic /DNA testing is so important, especially if you have serious health concerns in your family. For some people these tests really can be the difference between life and death. Great post Sue!

    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Thanks Michelle. I think it is so fascinating and the results and information you receive from your DNA test is remarkable. The different % of ethnicity is very interesting. Thanks for stopping by and hope you visit again.

  2. Rowena

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I am just waiting to get my funds together to do the Ancestry test. I hadn’t heard of Ged-Match. I’ve been wanting my Dad to do the test for some time but he became paranoid about security concerns thanks to my brother.
    It will be interesting to see where my genes originated. I identify as an Australian with German and Irish ancestry with a bit of Scottish and English thrown in but who knows?
    xx Rowena

    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      It is a little exciting to see what ‘mix’ we might be Rowena. I haven’t done a DNA test but after speaking with Adel I’m seriously thinking about it. Good luck with yours. xx

    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      I haven’t done it either but I think it would be fascinating to find out what ‘mix’ I have come from.

  3. Lee Gaitan

    i was just about to send off for the 23andme kit! I just think it’s fascinating how much info we can gain into personal histories. I’m kind of chicken to know the possible health risks I have though!

    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Yes DNA testing can sound scary but the results are fascinating and regarding health issues I suppose it is better to know. Let me know your results!

  4. Molly Stevens

    I am so shallow, Sue, that the thought of boring into my DNA terrifies me on all levels. I’m already pretty certain I had some rogue ancestors from Ireland and I don’t want to know what diseases I am predisposed to. I do think it is fascinating for those who have more depth than me. LOL.

    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Oh yes it can be scary Molly a little like ‘big brother’ however many people swear by the process and have found some fascinating information about their past.

  5. Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle

    Apart from the very interesting part of finding out about the ancestry we carry in our DNA, it is the future of medical practice. It can help with diagnosing and prescribing medicines that are the right fit. Of course knowing if we are inclined toward a disease gives us the opportunity to change our lifestyle to counteract the disease.

    I guess some of us would be concerned about who had access to such intricate information about us.

    Very interesting, our daughter has had hers done for medical reasons.


    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Yes it has arguments for both sides doesn’t Kathleen but I like the fact you can see what diseases you may be inclined toward as you say.

  6. Silly Mummy

    How interesting. I have no experience of this in a genealogy context, but used to work in criminal law & there must be links with how familial testing works in that context and that is really fascinating!

    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Oh criminal law must have been fascinating and of course you would know about DNA testing. I hadn’t heard of it before in the Genealogy context either.


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