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The different genealogies

Genealogy is a practice that involves researching the kinship and ancestry of individuals. Genealogy is therefore considered a science of history that allows tracing a family's memory based on documents, oral interviews, or genetics.


The different genealogies

We generally distinguish two types of genealogy:


  • Ascending Genealogy

Ascending genealogy starts with an individual and aims to trace their ancestors. This person will be the base of a genealogical tree, and as you climb the tree, the parents, grandparents, and so on appear.

  • Descending Genealogy

Descending genealogy focuses on the descendants of a person or a given couple and aims to find all descendants. This can be used to determine kinship links between people. Mathematically, the further the ancestor is in time, the more potential descendants they can have.


Classic Genealogy


Classic genealogy is practiced using archives and documents that allow the search for the ancestry or descent of a person. This research allows highlighting any statement that can explain and prove the relationship between family members over several generations.


You can thus use civil status acts, notarial or judicial archives, religious registers, or any official or non-official written or oral document that can assist you in your quest. For example:

  • Birth certificate

  • Family record book

  • Will

  • Marriage certificate

  • Property title

  • Death certificate and notice


In addition, today you have several institutions and companies providing information and archives to guide you in your genealogy research. For example, the Familysearch website gives you access to individual genealogical trees and offers to connect yours. But also Ancestry which helps you create your genealogical tree while preserving your information throughout your research.


Genetic Genealogy


Genetic genealogy is a discipline based on the study of an individual's DNA by a genetic laboratory. This is done to conduct several tests in comparison with a database that gathers anthropological information, as well as the genetic fingerprints of all the tested individuals.


This analysis leads to two types of results:

  • An estimate of the individual's geographical origins

  • A list of genetic matches

These are people who have undergone the same test in the same laboratory, who share DNA markers and therefore a genetic link with you. This list is provided with an estimate of the shared DNA rate, which gives an idea of the kinship link.



The interest of DNA tests in genealogy:


DNA tests give you the opportunity to access a database that is continuously enriched. If during your test you did not find a reliable connection to add to your genealogy, it is possible that in the future new people could be tested and bring you the missing information to your research.


  • Geographical origins:

Knowing the percentage of your DNA's ethnic origin and its geographical location. Origins predictions allow you to learn more about the origin of your ancestors in History. Depending on the tests, you can also access historical data on population migrations, which can guide your classic genealogical research.


  • Build your genetic tree:

DNA tests will allow you to verify if your genealogical tree coincides with your genetic tree. Thus, you can correlate the information about your classic genealogy and the genetic matches that the DNA test can bring you.

This can also identify new genetic branches by linking your genealogical tree with that of a 3rd, 4th, or 5th degree cousin depending on the results.


In the case where your genealogical tree has gaps such as an adoption, or a child of a foreign soldier, for example. Genetic genealogy gives you a chance to fill this gap and find the lineage of your biological ancestors.



Which DNA test to choose?


We have selected 4 laboratories that we recommend due to the quality of the service and the reliability of the results they offer. But each laboratory has its advantages and disadvantages, the choice of a test will depend on your profile, your situation, and your objectives.


We assume that if you want to have the most possible information about your genealogy, it is then recommended to do genetic tests on all existing databases. This will allow you to increase the rate of identifiable genetic relationships to speed up your research.


The laboratories we recommend for a genealogy test:

familytree DNA
23andMe
Ancestry
myheritage





You want to know your ethnic and geographical origins:


  • We recommend starting by doing a test at 23andMe which offers greater accuracy in estimating geographical origins. The geographical areas even target your regions of origin within a country, with quite convincing results.


You wish to complete your genealogical tree:


  • If your research concerns your origins across the world and especially in America, Ancestry is the best choice, as they have the largest database. You can also create your genealogical tree and have access to the association of correspondence of your relations.

  • If your research concerns European origins, it is advisable to use the databases of MyHeritage which gathers more information on the origins of the peoples in Europe. You will also be able to create your genealogical tree and associate corresponding relationships (matches).


You are looking for an unknown parent:


  • We recommend starting by doing DNA tests of the Y chromosome or mitochondrial DNA at FamilytreeDNA. This type of test, which is offered nowhere else, is much more reliable in the accuracy of the relationships found.



MyHeritage

Ancestry

23andMe

FamilytreeDNA

Precision of geographical origins

+++

++

​+++

+

Family tree

YES

YES

NO

YES

Import your data

YES

YES

NO

NO

mtDNA

NO

NO

NO

YES

Y-DNA

NO

NO

NO

YES

​Subscription

YES

NO

NO

NO

Test price

​+

++

+++

+


How to transfer the results?


Genealogical research often leads to having to relate, but also record, exchange, and merge the data from the results of genetic tests. To deepen your analyses and increase the chances of matches, the laboratories allow you to transfer the raw information from one database to another.


In this transfer policy, most laboratories accept that the raw information (raw data) can be downloaded by the person concerned. But not all of them give you the possibility to add information from a third-party laboratory.


Today, the MyHeritage and FamilytreeDNA laboratories are the most flexible and allow the addition of genetic information from any other competing laboratory.

Transfer from :

To :

MyHeritage

Ancestry

23andMe

FamilytreeDNA

MyHeritage

YES

YES

YES

Ancestry

NO

NO

NO

23andMe

NO

NO

NO

FamilytreeDNA

YES

YES

YES




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