Every individual has a unique DNA fingerprint stored inside their cells. A DNA consultant can help an individual use their unique DNA fingerprint to establish a particular and specific relationship, like child-parent, grandparent-grandchild, niece-aunt, etc, mostly for legal purposes.
The procedure for collecting personal DNA is quite simple. A DNA consultant provides the individual to be tested with a DNA collection kit. There is no need for the individual to go to the lab because the kit is usually sent through the mail. The kit contains a long cotton swab with instructions on how to brush the inside of the cheek to collect cheek cells. These cheek cells are returned to the DNA consultant, usually through the mail. Lab technicians then extract DNA from the cheek cells and the genes are analyzed.
Most human beings are naturally curious about their ancestors and their ethnic background. In an effort to satisfy this curiosity, genealogy has grown to become one of the most popular hobbies in the United States. Traditionally, an individual trying to trace their roots would talk with their older family members, search old family bibles, locate more distantly related family members and trade information with them, and perhaps search through other important papers passed down through the family. While these techniques still work of course, the internet has revolutionized how genealogy is done. It is now much easier to locate and communicate with distantly related family members. The internet also offers very easy access to large databases such as census data, birth records, death records, military draft information, ship passenger lists, immigration records, old newspaper articles, city data, and much more.
Even with all the tools the internet offers a genealogy hobbyist, individuals still hit what is known as a brick wall in genealogy circles. For example, they may be able to trace back four generations on their mother’s side but can’t seem to go any further. On their father’s side, they may not be able to determine their great-grandmother’s maiden name. DNA consultants report that many individuals who hit brick walls turn to DNA testing to determine their ethnic histories going further back than their genealogy research can show them.
The further back you trace your roots, the more difficult it becomes to follow all the branches. This is why genealogy charts are seldom complete past four to five generations. This is also why DNA analysis often turns up some surprises. For example, an individual may discover they have Native American genes or some Jewish heritage that they had no idea they had.
The most basic test that a DNA consultant offers costs about $300. Many individuals are surprised to find the price so low considering the amount of information they get back in the report. There is simply no better way to determine your ethnic background.