The family tree tool has special features which allow you to work together with family members to trace the ancestry of multiple lines in your family tree using DNA.
If you are male, you can test your own Y-DNA to trace your paternal line (that’s your father’s father’s father’s…. ancestral line), and you can test your own mtDNA to trace your maternal line (that’s your mother’s, mother’s, mother’s…. ancestral line).
If you are female, you can test your own mtDNA to trace your maternal line, but females do not carry Y-DNA so if you want to trace your father’s line, you will need to test a male relative, such as a brother or male cousin on your father’s side of the family.
The dilemma: There are many lines in your family tree, but by testing yourself, you will only be able to uncover a maximum of 2 lines: your direct maternal and/or paternal lines. What if you are interested in your father’s mother’s line, or your mother’s father’s mother’s line? Even if you don’t carry the markers, other living members of your family might, and you can test them to uncover additional lines. However, the genetics involved can get quite complex, so it’s often difficult to determine just who needs to be tested to trace a certain ancestor.
The solution: The family tree tool has a built in calculator which helps you to determine how to trace multiple lines in your family tree. As you build your family tree, the family tree tool automatically determines the genetic links between all individuals in the tree.
How to use this tool: Go to the family tree tool by clicking on the “family tree” link from the control panel.
Finding out which line you will uncover be testing yourself or another family member: Identify the individual that you are considering testing (it can be yourself or any other family member).
Click on the “ancestry” link. A pop-up window will appear showing you who the most distant known ancestors are. These are the ancestral lines that you will uncover by testing this individual.
Tracing the ancestry of a particular ancestor: To trace the ancestry of any ancestor in your family tree, find the ancestor of interest in your tree, then click “ancestry”.
A pop-up window will appear. If this line can be traced, you will see a green check box. If this line cannot be traced, you will see a red “x”.
To trace this line, click “investigate this line”. All of the living people in your family tree who carry the genetic markers required to trace the ancestry of this line will be listed.
Using this tool, you can find out what types of information you will retrieve by testing each member of your family. This tool will allow you to work together with family members to uncover many ancestral lines in your family tree, and also helps you to save money by letting you known which individuals carry the same marker types, because in such situation, testing only one family member will be enough to provide the answer.