First DNA test results - what next?

We choose to take genetic genealogy tests for varied reasons - perhaps to investigate a particular family relationship, to search for relatives to help us with brick walls, or for insight into our deep ethnicity. If you're taking a first DNA test hoping to connect to unknown cousins, then results day can be both over and under-whelming. There's a large amount of data and new terminology, and it's quite likely this won't lead to any immediate lightbulbs - learning how to make use of this resource takes time if you want to avoid 'DNA disappointment'.

This week I was asked for help with getting to grips with autosomal DNA test results. Each of the major DNA testing companies produces useful support materials on their websites, but you also have great materials available online from well-known genetic genealogy experts. The next steps after your first test are well-described in in Maurice Gleeson's 'Who do you think you are?' 2015 conference talk, Autosomal DNA: how to use it in practice. Blaine Bettinger, interviewed here by Amy Johnson Crow talks first steps after an autosomal test, and in her blog DNAeXplained, Roberta Estes takes a detailed look at 'What next?!'.

If you're looking for more then the 2017 videos from the International Genetic Genealogy Conference chaired by CeCe Moore could be it (note there is a charge for these videos), and you can now browse for DNA topics from recorded sessions at this year's RootsTech2018. And of course the wonderful ISOGG Wiki (from the International Society of Genetic Genealogy) is your go to place for technical explanation.

Bookmark these pages and they'll get you started and keep you updated on new tools and approaches for genetic genealogy.

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