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Best DNA Test for Genealogy

So many choices!

Are you interested in using DNA to research your family history but don't have a clue where to start?

This post will give you some information to answer the question "what's the best DNA test for genealogy." I was going to also include "what happens after I test" but that is a subject for another post.
best DNA test for genealogy

What Is the Best DNA Test for Genealogy?

First, there are actually three types of tests you can take. If you know nothing about using DNA for genealogy (referred to as "genetic genealogy"), you are probably thinking about autosomal DNA. That is the type of test you see advertised on T.V.

If you're just getting started, here are my recommendations.

Three Genealogy Shortcuts That Aren't Cheats

There really aren't any shortcuts in genealogy.

Most of the "shortcuts" come in organizing, filing, and using technology--rather than record usage.

It's really about being efficient.

However, I've got three fantastic shortcuts that really can help you. Here are three suggestions to save time while still doing great genealogy.
map and vintage photo with text overlay three genealogy shortcuts that aren't cheats


If you haven't been doing some of the things mentioned (like creating a research plan and keeping a research log) because you're trying to save time, you're not taking a shortcut, you're cheating.

It'll come back to bite you in the end.

Genealogy FAN Club: What Is It? Plus What It Is Not.

image with text overlay do you know what cluster research is
If you got here because you Googled “genealogy FAN club,” you probably are embarking on a really fun stage of your genealogy research. At least I hope you are.
image of vintage fan with text overlay What is a Genealogy FAN Club?


A genealogy FAN club is not a “fan club” for people who are FANatical about genealogy. Although if you’re ready to learn about FAN clubs, you probably are a genealogy fanatic.

Can a Genealogy Checklist Help You?


Do you like the idea of a genealogy checklist? A handy little list you just follow and mark items off so you know where you are?
image of a clipboard and notepad with checklist, text overlay Can a Genealogy Checklist Help You?


I like that idea, too. It sounds much less intimidating than a research plan or doing analysis.

I still often yearn for a nice little checklist to walk me through my research.

But there's a problem. Using genealogy checklists are fraught with perils!

Yes, perils!!!

Finding Her Maiden Name: Develop the Skills to Bust a Brick Wall

free course of genealogy problem solving, brick wall busting

Sometimes I feel like the topic of finding a maiden name has been covered from one end to the other. As far as information being available, out there... somewhere in the world, it has been.

But every day, more people start their family tree for the very first time. They don't know where all that knowledge is. In fact, I think writing about finding a maiden name is probably more valid, simply because there are so many "new" genealogists out there.

So today, I'm launching the very first Occasional Genealogist mini-course. Specifically, it's about finding maiden names, but it's also designed to show you a methodology that can be adapted to any problem you label "impossible" (also called a "brick wall" in genealogy).

Resource Library Links

I'm updating the Resource Library. If a link you click to sign-up does not work, try this link instead.