What You Need to Know About DNA Paternity Analysis
Almost everyone is familiar with the term, “paternity test.” It refers to a kind of genetic testing that can determine with nearly 100% certainty who is the biological father of a child. This kind of testing can be conducted during pregnancy or after the child is born.
DNA paternity analysis goes beyond a simple paternity test. Through this kind of analysis of your genetic information, you can discover a wealth of information about your paternal lineage. In other words, who your ancestors were on your father’s side.
Today’s amateur genealogical researchers might use DNA paternity analysis to learn more about their father’s side of the family. This analysis can help you build out your family tree, learn more about your ethnicity, and gain new insights into your family history.
Where to Get a DNA Paternity Test
Paternity tests themselves are widely available. The process usually involves a cheek swab or blood test, and must be conducted in a medical setting if you need the results for legal reasons. If you’re interested in getting a paternity test, whether to help determine a biological father, for legal reasons, or other reasons, first consult with your doctor. They can refer you to a testing center or lab, and might also guide you through any emotional health concerns that could result from a paternity test.
Many of those interested in exploring their paternal ancestry, and who have no legal reason to obtain a paternity test, opt instead for at-home DNA testing. Companies such as 23andMe, MyAncestry, and MyHeritage offer at-home testing. You order the testing kit, provide a sample, mail it back, and receive your results. These companies also offer resources, databases, and genetic reports to help you explore your genetic information, including any paternal family history.
Explore Your Family History with a DNA Paternity Analysis
Once you’ve taken your at-home DNA test, you can use the results to start exploring your family history. The testing company you used likely has resources available to you on their website. This can include tips on how to build out a family tree, historical information about your ancestors, and options for connecting with newly discovered living relatives.
Because DNA testing reveals information about your paternal lineage, you can use this information to learn more about your ancestors on your father’s side of the family. This is especially useful information for those who didn’t have an opportunity to ask their father about where his side of the family came from, never knew their biological father, or for those who have some information from Dad but want to dig a little deeper and trace the family history as far back as they can.
Other Family History Resources
Genealogy has gotten increasingly popular, with many individuals and families interested in learning more about where they came from. Luckily for amateur researchers, a treasure trove of genealogical information is available online - and often for free.
The National Archives, for example, maintains an entire website dedicated to genealogy research. Here, you’ll find links to free databases, census records, military records, immigration records, and countless other sources of information that can help you locate family members and learn more about them. They even offer free charts and forms that you can use to map your family tree.
Websites like MyHeritage or GeneologyBank let you enter the name of a relative to search a range of records including birth records, death records, marriage records, and historical newspaper articles. As you explore more resources, you’ll find more facts as well as clues that will help you understand both your paternal and maternal sides.
If you are in contact with living relatives, it’s also a good idea to interview them about your family’s history. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other extended family members can give you the names, dates and places of birth, and other key information about great-grandparents, distant cousins, and more. These oral histories and family memories or stories that have been passed down from generation to generation are invaluable sources of information.
Take a Deeper Dive into Your DNA with Genomelink
Thinking of taking an at-home DNA test, or already have your results? Upload your raw DNA data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, and other testing companies to take a deeper dive into your genetics - including your paternal ancestry- with Genomelink.
Explore your personalized Genomelink DNA Dashboard, where you can learn more about what your genetics have to say about categories like ancestry, physical traits, personality, intelligence, food and nutrition, fitness, and more. Access reports that trace your family history with our DNA Match and provide wellness tips. You can even join on-going genetic research projects that are working on the next frontier of DNA science. Get started for free to access genetic reports and insights only available on Genomelink.