Reasons Why Your Oldest Relatives Should Take a DNA Test



Your oldest relatives might not know much about DNA testing, what it can reveal, and how easy it is to take a DNA test. As such, they might not see a need to take a DNA test. There are many reasons why your oldest relatives should take a DNA test. Important genetic information might be lost, forever, if they fail to have their DNA tested.

DNA testing can provide a lot of useful information. A DNA test can identify the father of a baby. Genealogists use DNA testing to find people that they don’t know – but who could be part of their family tree. Some DNA tests can detect if a person is carrying a mutated gene that could potentially pass a disease onto their children.

In recent years, DNA testing and genealogy have become intertwined. There are various companies that will not only sell you a DNA test kit, but also will educate you about what your results indicate. Some can even connect you to customers who might be a relative of yours.

Your oldest relatives should take a DNA test for many reasons. The results of the test could reveal that the relative carries a mutated gene that increases a person’s genetic risk of developing a specific disease. That knowledge could encourage your relative to see a doctor, and to let younger generations know that their genes may carry the same risk of disease.

Mitochondrial DNA is always inherited from a person’s mother. We share our mitochondrial DNA sequence with maternal relatives (including our mother, sisters, brothers, maternal grandmothers, maternal aunts and maternal uncles). Women can pass on their mitochondrial DNA. Men cannot.

From one generation to the next, it is possible for mitochondrial DNA to mutate. One way to find the “original” mitochondrial DNA is to have your oldest relative take a mitochondrial DNA test. Doing so preserves that data before it is lost, forever.

A Y-DNA chromosome test is a genealogical DNA test which is used to explore a man’s patrilineal or direct father’s-line ancestry. The Y chromosome passes down from father to son. The mutations in Y-DNA can be used to estimate the time frame in which the two individuals shared a most recent common ancestor.

Women cannot take a Y-DNA test because they do not have a Y-chromosome. They can ask their father, brother, paternal uncle, or paternal grandfather to take the test for them. If the oldest relative in your family is male, and he takes a Y-DNA test, he is preserving that genetic information for future generations.

Related Articles at FamilyTree.com:

* World’s First “Three-Parent” Baby Born From New Procedure

* How Does DNA Work?

* Why Mitochondrial DNA is Important to Genealogists

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