Wither you are adopted or not DNA testing can effect yours and others lives in many ways. Don’t take testing lightly. Think about it. Talk to people. Educate and research.
Some questions to ask your self before testing are (this is not a full list):
- DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW?
- ARE YOU PREPARED FOR GOOD NEWS? BAD NEWS? UNEXPECTED NEWS?
- WITH THE INFORMATION YOU FIND ARE YOU OK ROCKING OTHER PEOPLE’S WORLDS?
- CAN YOU KEEP SECRETES YOU FIND?
- IF ADOPTED ARE YOU PREPARED TO BE REJECTED? OR ACCEPTED?
- IF YOU DON’T FIND THE ANSWERS ARE YOU OK?
- HOW DO I EDUCATE MY SELF SO I KNOW WHAT MY RESULTS ARE TELLING ME?
To be truthful I didn’t ask my self any of these questions before I decided to test. Didn’t even know I should. Hindsight is 50 – 50.
Like most things I just jumped in the deep end and hoped I could swim. Actually I can swim. I learned how to swim when I was a very little kid and started swimming competitively in the summers when I was 7. However my brother John was the best swimmer. He was an All American in College.
So first what is the difference between DNA, Genealogy and Family History?
DNA comes from you. You spit into a tube or they take blood or you use a cue tip and wipe the inside of your mouth or most recently they are getting it from envelopes that someone licked a long time ago.
DNA is passed from generation to generation. It can give you ethnicity hints and can be used to help prove relationships, such as whether your father is actually your biological father, or whether two people are descended from the same family line. However, DNA cannot provide names, dates, and location. That requires genealogy.
Genealogy is based on research. It is your ancestry (pedigree trees, and also possibly other data about the lives of your ancestors). It doesn’t require DNA tests and until the last few years DNA was not a readily available tool on such a large scale.
Genealogy (tree building) and DNA testing go hand in hand. If you want to find family members that are biologically related to you (going back to 5th to 7th cousin – DNA is only passed down so far) DNA is a great tool. The farther you go back the more you rely on basic Genealogy Research. The closer you are looking the more DNA helps.
Family History is just that the history of your family. For example part of my family history is that Urbain TESSIER dit LAVIGNE , born Touraine, Indre-et Loire, Centre, France in 1624 and died in 1669 in Montreal, Ile De Montreal , Quebec, Canada was my 7th Great Grand Father and was one of the founding settlers of Montreal.
First if you don’t like researching and spending hours on your computer, in libraries, grave yards and other places and figuring out things doing Genealogy is not for you.
If you find joy in, after hours, days and perhaps even years finally finding a nugget of information that may lead you to answer a question – then Genealogy is for you.
Very few things are quick and instant in this endeavor.
My search started in June 2015 when I tested and ended (this means I found my maternal family and then my paternal family and met them not that I am done researching my extensive bio family history) in November of 2018.
This was very quick. I had some good close DNA matches, 1st and 2nd cousins helped me with tree building and I spend countless hours/days/months researching and building trees over these three years. Still am!
I started my research, as an adoptive person I of course googled Adoption and found DNAAdoption.org. It is a great site and has very helpful information. They have online classes that explain DNA, and all sorts of things. They are a great support for adopted people.
Even if you are not adopted they are a great resource.
In addition you have Webinars through genealogy societies such as the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, New England Historic Genealogy Society, Family Search, You Tube and many more just Google.
There are many books that you can find on Amazon. I recommend books by Blaine Bettinger. They are an easy read for a non-scientific person.
Podcast such as CutOffGenes – one of my favorites.
There are Facebook pages for all sorts of DNA Groups that will assist you with questions you may have. Some that I am part of are : Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques, DNA Central, DNA Detectives and many more.
Look below in the footer of the blog for lists of resources. This is not all of them.
With the current popularity of DNA testing there is a plethora of resources out there to start your journey.
Next blog post will be about the testing companies. Have already started writing it.