- Identify DNA signatures for those who share the same surname or a variant. Suggested test: Y-DNA.
- Confirm or reject paper trail genealogical descendancy. Suggested test: Y-DNA and mtDNA.
- Help to overcome genealogical deadends (a brickwall). Suggested test: Y-DNA or mtDNA.
- Help to find one's family by comparing DNA signatures (for example: adoption). Suggested test: Y-DNA or mtDNA.
- Discover descendants of a common ancestor who had been separated for a long time (e.g. Europe and America). Suggested test: Y-DNA (for men). Suggested test: mtDNA (for men and women).
- Confirm or reject hypotheses regarding your family history: Do we have Amerindian ancestors? African or Asian ones ? Suggested test: Y-DNA (patrilineage) with determination of the Y haplogroup. Suggested test: mtDNA (matrilineage) with determination of the mt haplogroup. Suggested test: DNA-print or Biogeographic.
Genetical genealogy (GG) might assist you to complete your genealogy based upon written records. It does not replace it. GG will not identify specific individuals. It can at most identify classes of individuals sharing similar DNA signatures who usually will be related to a common ancestor.
Principle #1: Genetics can help confirm or reject hypotheses based upon paper trail.
Principle #2: Genetics can suggest new research directions.
Note: Recent genealogy is concerned with our ancestors back to the period when surnames or family names were required. This period is relatively recent. It is indeed uncommon that a genealogy will go back further than the 13th century. However, there are always exceptions.
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