Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
is a term used in the DNA research community referring to one's ancestral group or "clan," dating back to the dawn of humanity. Every person has at least one type of DNA that has been passed down from one parent unchanged through generations of time. The mutations or changes on this DNA is so rare that only a few such changes have occurred over the ages. As we know, one ancestor can have many descendants. Thus, people who share the same DNA are said to share a common ancestor. One type of DNA study is focused identifying and mapping these various ancestral groups around the world.
For genealogy researchers this type of DNA testing will not tell you much about your more recent ancestry, but it can help you discover how you were descended from our earliest forefathers and how your own DNA patterns traveled the earth. Other types of DNA studies can help researchers address more immediate genealogical questions. Understanding the various types of DNA testing and their uses can help researchers make more informed decisions.
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