Thursday, November 15, 2012

What’s in My gDNA Toolbox

If I were talking about my regular genealogy toolbox, I would be listing links to all the great websites with digital records (e.g. FamilySearch). I would also talk about great repositories like NARA, BPL or the Mass Archives. Or, I would mention tips and techniques like Nearest Neighbor and the Hidden Treasures in old photos.

Now that we are adding DNA as a tool for genealogy, we have to pack a new toolbox.

The Databases – record sources to compare your DNA against

· – Y-DNA database
· – mtDNA database
· – DNA Project database
· – DNA Project database
· – DNA Project database

The Testing Companies – many different testing companies that are not all equal – do your homework

· – DNA testing (my favorite)
· – DNA testing
· – DNA testing
· – DNA testing
· - DNA testing

Sources of gDNA Knowledge – There are many areas of genetic genealogy that are open for interpretation. Read everything and come to your own conclusions.

· – Advocates for the use of genetics as a tool for genealogical research
· Wikipedia - Haplogroup details

Analysis Tools – DNA results love to be compared and analyzed

· – Whit Athey’s Haplogroup predictor
· - Dean McGee’s Y-DNA comparison tools
· - David Pike’s autosomal comparison tools
· - Autosomal comparison tools
· PHYLIP – phylogenetic tree creation

DNA Data Management – you need to organize and manage your DNA records

· Legacy Family Tree – supports DNA records (the one I use)
· Family Tree Maker, RootsMagic, Ancestral Quest and The Master Genealogist – supports DNA
· Excel – spreadsheet tools

· Google Maps – User defined maps – you never know when you might want to build your own custom map

This is hardly an exhaustive list. I use most of these tools on a weekly basis. I’m always looking for new tools (or creating ones that don’t exist).

What's in your toolbox? Let me know what tools you are using.


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