There are currently two types of DNA tests available for Genealogy: Y-DNA tests and mtDNA tests.† There is also a test that provides information about your ancestral mix, called the DNAPrint test.
The Y-DNA test is only available for males, since the test involves testing a small portion of the Y-chromosome, which is passed down only from father to son. †Males have both an X and a Y-chromosome. They receive the X-chromosome from their mother, and the Y- chromosome from their father. †Females have two X-chromosomes, one each from their father and mother.
Testing the Y-DNA provides information about the direct male line, which would be the father, his father, his father, and so forth, back in time. ††Scientists have discovered that a small portion of the Y-chromosome is passed from father to son, virtually unchanged. Therefore, if a father and son are tested, their results would match. ††If two cousins are tested, who have the same grandfather; their results would match or be a very close match.
By comparing the result from a Y-DNA test of two males, you can determine if they are related and approximately when their common ancestor occurred.† The locations tested on the Y-chromosome for the Y-DNA test are called Markers. There are 3 versions of the Y-DNA test available:
Y-DNA12 test is for 12 Markers
Y-DNA25 test is for 25 Markers
Y-DNA37 test is for 37 Markers
The 25-Marker test includes the Markers that are tested in the 12-Marker test. The 37-Marker test includes the Markers tested in the 25-Marker test.†† If a person starts with the 12 Marker test, they can later upgrade to either the 25 Marker test or the 37-Marker tests. The 25-Marker test can also be upgraded to 37 Markers.† Selecting the number of Markers to test may a budget consideration. †More Markers will provide a smaller estimated time frame for the common ancestor (and a greater assurance of proof).† The 12-Marker test is best at proving that two males do not have a common ancestor in a genealogical time frame.† For all other applications, the 25-Marker or 37-Marker test is recommended. The additional information from the 37-Marker test far exceeds the incremental cost. When the budget is available, select the 37-Marker test.
Because the Y-chromosome typically follows a surname, there is a much wider range of application in genetic genealogy for Y-DNA testing. ††In addition, the Y-DNA test can resolve a broad spectrum of problems, and provides information about the direct male line.†† Y-DNA testing is frequently used in what are called Surname Projects. †Surname Projects involve testing two or more males from each identified line of a surname, to determine which lines are related, and therefore which ones have a common ancestor. ††Surname Projects can also identify the number of origins for a surname. †††In addition, Surname Projects often provide clues for further family history research and locations for research, as well as save people research time with the clues provided by the Y-DNA test results.
In 1998, a Y-DNA test conducted before such testing was widely available and inexpensive, indicated that Thomas Jefferson or one of his direct line relatives (such as a brother or uncle) fathered at least one child born to a slave at Jefferson's Monticello estate.
Both males and females inherit mtDNA from their mothers. Testing mtDNA provides information about the direct female line of the person, which would be their mother, their motherís mother, and so forth.†† mtDNA testing provides information about the origin of your direct female ancestral line. †The result of the mtDNA test would tell you which of the original "Daughters of Eve" your ancestor was.† There are situations mtDNA testing can also be applied to your genealogy research. †An example of utilizing mtDNA testing for genealogy would be where an ancestor had two wives, and multiple daughters, and you want to determine which daughters had which mother. †In this case, you would need to find direct descent female descendents of the daughters, and test them.
For example:† Letís assume that Daughter 1 is documented with Mother A, and Daughter 4 is documented with Mother B. †You are uncertain of the mother for Daughters 2 and 3. †You would find female descendents of the daughters, in the direct female line, and test 1 descendent of each of the 4 daughters. †The descendents of Daughter 1 and Daughter 4 should have different results, and depending on which of these results the descendents of Daughter 2 and 3 match, tells you who the mother was of Daughters 2 and 3.
The mtDNA test is available in 2 versions. These tests are called:
The test called mtDNA provides a result for the region of mtDNA called HVR1. The test called mtDNA Plus tests two regions of mtDNA, HVR1 and HVR2.
Anyone with an understanding of family history research can utilize DNA testing. It isn't necessary to have a scientific background. †The few scientific terms you will encounter are explained. †It is easy to get started. †Typically, you would want to start with a test of your direct male line and your direct female Line. †If you are female, you would need your father or brother or other close male relative to participate for the Y DNA test to represent your direct male line.
The web site for Harden / Hardin / Harding DNA testing is:
If you are interested in DNA testing for a surname line other than Harden / Hardin / Harding, you can check at Family Tree DNA to see if there is a Surname Project established for your direct male line. You can perform a search by using the link listed below:
To order a Y-DNA test and/or an mtDNA test, use the following link: