What Is DNA Matching?
Have you ever wondered who else you might be related to? Some adoptees search for many years for their biological family members, while others simply want to connect with distant relatives and get more information about their family tree.
Whatever your goals are, DNA matching can be a fruitful experience.
So, what exactly is DNA matching? How does it work?
This type of matching is carried out by a DNA testing company that takes a sample of your DNA and compares it to others within its database.
When it finds a match, the company then estimates your relationship to that person, ranging all the way from parent to distant cousin.
Why It's Useful
DNA matching is useful for a variety of reasons. Our DNA is like a code, and within that code are numerous insights regarding ethnicity, heritage, and even more importantly - health information.
Finding people you are related to has never been easier, and the benefits are profound.
How It works
Thanks to advances in modern technology, many DNA testing kits are available for purchase over the internet. The process is simple:
- Order your test
- Submit your DNA, typically by a cheek swab
- Send the test back
- Await your results
You should get your DNA test results shortly after that via email or regular post.
If you have burning questions or a specific goal in mind, DNA matching can be incredibly useful to help you find the answers to your questions.
What You Can Do With DNA Matching
DNA matching can yield many wonderful results. These include finding ancestors you have in common with others, meeting new family members, discovering background information about people in your family tree, and more.
Find Ancestors You Have In Common
One exciting aspect of DNA matching is the ability to find ancestors that you have in common with other people. This can extend your family tree and broaden your understanding of your background and history, while connecting you with distant relatives.
A DNA match will likely alert you to an existing relative, but you might need to employ some sleuthing of your own to find exactly which ancestor you share. Studying your relationship range with a relative (like a distant cousin or closer relative) is a good place to start.
You can also look into shared ethnicities, shared birthplaces and locations, and take a peek at your relative’s family tree.
With a little patience and some background work, there are many things just waiting for you to discover.
Meet New Family Members
Whether you come from a large family or you grew up not knowing any biological family members at all, there is something for everyone to discover through DNA matching. Once you have been matched with potential relatives, the real fun begins.
You can chat, research, share records and stories, and together piece together more information about your family heritage. Remember, you’ll also be building new and meaningful relationships with relatives you never knew you had.
Learn About All The Ancestors In Your Family Tree
If you’re currently building your family tree, DNA matching can be a gold mine of information for your research. When you match with cousins and other relatives you didn’t know existed, you gain access to their family trees as well.
How does this help you? Imagine your ancestor’s siblings, nieces, and nephews, and other family members that played a big role in that person’s life. You can expand your tree and enrich your understanding of your ancestors.
DNA Testing Kits
The good news is that it has never been easier to order a DNA test and get results quickly. Here are a few DNA testing kits you might want to consider:
- AncestryDNA - Provides connections with living relatives, suggests DNA matches, traces migrations and provides a search of origins in up to 500 regions
- 23andMe - Gain insights from up to 500 years ago, get connected with living relatives, learn more about your own traits, and benefit from an ancestry timeline
- MyHeritage - Get a percentage of DNA shared with database matches, find living relatives, learn how your matches are connected, and gain important ethnicity information
It’s a good idea to have in mind what you hope to gain from DNA testing, and find a company that can match your specific needs. With a little research, you’re sure to find the right testing kit for you.