Genealogy is the study of the past. People search for information about relatives who have passed away and ancestors they have never met. However, genealogy is also affected by new discoveries, technology, and updated terminology. Here are some words you should add to your genealogy dictionary.
Many families are made up of people who are either genetically related to each other, or who are related through marriage. Adoption means “to legally take into your home a child to care and provide for as if they were your own birth child.”
Lately, there has been mention of the person who has been adopted. That person is called an adoptee. This term is used in legislation that involves the rules regarding the circumstances under which an adoptee can view their original birth certificate.
Genealogy and genetics have become increasingly interconnected. As such, genealogists need to add some genetically related words to their genealogy dictionary. Many of these words are important for genealogists who are trying to put together their medical family tree or who want to take a DNA test.
DNA is an abbreviation of deoxyribonucleic acid. It is the hereditary material in humans (and other organisms). Most DNA is found in the cell’s nucleus, but a small amount can be found in the mitochondria of a cell.
A carrier is an individual who carries and is capable of passing on a genetic mutation associated with a disease and may or may not display disease symptoms. Carriers are associated with diseases inherited as recessive traits.
In order for a person to have the disease, an individual must have inherited mutated alleles from both parents. An individual having one normal allele and one mutated allele does not have the disease. Two carriers who have children together might pass on a genetically heritable disease.
There are genetic testing kits that can help a person find out if they are a carrier of a specific disease. Genetic testing is a medical test that identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. There are several different methods that can be used for genetic testing.
Mitochondrial DNA testing traces a person’s matrilineal or mother-line ancestry using the DNA that is in his or her chromosomes. Mitochondrial DNA is also called mtDNA.
Mitochondrial DNA is passed down by a mother, unchanged, to all of her children (both female and male). This means that a person of either gender can take an mtDNA test and receive results about their matrilineal line. Some genetic testing companies use this information to connect users who have matching mtDNA.
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