DNA Can it help me find my ancestors?

In 2013 I did an autosomal test with 23&ME and uploaded that to Family Tree DNA.  Then I took a mtDNA test and those results are in at FTDNA.

mtDNA goes up your mother’s line to her mother’s mother etc.  The chart below shows the yDNA up the left side which is the son to father line. This usually follows the surname of that line and is easier to trace.  mtDNA follows daughter to mother to mother etc.

DNA should also be supported by actual genealogical research in vital records and more.

The cute TV ad by Ancestry DNA with the man who thinks he is German but finds out he is Scottish using DNA is a little simplified.  Beside Ancestry has only an autosomal DNA test which is all the stuff in between the yDNA and the mtDNA.

In December 2014, I decided to take the Ancestry DNA test.  My understanding is that it has the largest database for DNA so it will be interesting to see what happens.

Ancestry’s test does give you matches and percentages of your ethnicity.  I am 64% Great Britain, 22 percent Ireland and 7% Europe West.

DNA Chart yDNA and mtDNA

DNA Chart yDNA and mtDNA

I have research as far as Emma Ward Brown whose mother maybe Sarah Paine Ward in the records for Middlesex County, Ontario. The time period is 1818 to 26 May, 1857.

This means I have my mtDNA from me to my mother, Marjorie Boardman MacDonald. Marjorie to her mother Ethel Brown. Ethel’s mother Sarah Paine.  This would make Sarah my 2nd great-grandmother.

A sibling agreed to take the Family Finder test (autosomal) and a yDNA test.  The Family Finder is what we will use to compare the two of us.  We are close.  This is with Family Tree DNA.

Meanwhile I have been reading through Kelly Wheaton’s online course “Beginners Guide to Genetic Genealogy.”  It is very good and free.


Recently, I started to read the book: The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy, by Blaine T. Bettinger. It is very good. It also costs $29.95 but maybe you can get a good deal online.

Here is the link to 23&Me.  They have my Ancestry composition as 99.6 European. 74.6% British and Irish, 8.5% French & German, .09% Scandinavian, .1% Finish. With .3% Iberian etc. They have placed me in the H Haplogroup.


23&ME only does autosomal and they used to do medical but the FDA shut them down. I got in before that happened.  Recently they have settled things with the FDA and now have a new interface that has taken a little to get use to.

Here is the link to Family TreeDNA.  My mtDNA Haplogroup is H3k1a. I did their full mtDNA sequence in March 2014.  I keep getting emails that I have new matches.  I also did their Family Finder (autosomal) in November of 2013.  They give my Ancestry as 73% British Isles, 17% Western and Central Europe and 10% South Europe.

Family Tree DNA has all types of DNA tests and they also have DNA projects like the Brown DNA project and more. https://www.familytreedna.com/public/BrownDNAStudy/default.aspx?section=yresults

Males only have yDNA, they also have mtDNA from their mothers but they cannot pass the mtDNA on.


Ancestry DNA and they do only autosomal testing.


There are other companies that provide DNA testing and you can study them as well.  There are also 3rd party websites like Gedmatch and YSearch that let you upload to them for further matching options.  I am still learning and will let you know.

Updated November 26, 2016


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