April 29, 2015

Using DNA to Find Your Mexican Ancestors and Distant Cousins
Last Names of Nuevo Leon

In this post, I provide you with ideas and resources on Using DNA to Find Your Mexican Ancestors and Distant Cousins.

I will provide you with what I have learned on how DNA can help you locate your ancestors and distant cousins, the top testing companies, some books to enhance your knowledge, and some recommendations. To avoid providing you with the wrong information and or confusing you, I will avoid talking on technical terms.

Using DNA to Find Your Mexican Ancestors and Distant Cousins

I have tested my DNA with AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, and 23andMe but AncestryDNA is my favorite. I like ancestry since they usually have specials, and they are very genealogy focused.

Also once you test with them you can transfer your DNA to FTDNA and GEDMatch for free.

Another great benefit of AnbcestryDNA is that they have the biggest collection of user-generated family trees. In these trees, you can very easily find ancestors and discover distant relatives researching the same ancestors. Now, these trees are also a huge problem since about over 90% of them are not sourced and or even worse they source another Ancestry user family tree.

That is the reason that I always caution everyone to be careful of what they copy and to only use those trees for clues as to where to find documents and network with others. I always recommend that they never copy everything as if it were the truth because often time it is not.

Now, why am I talking about this, simply because AncestrysDNA program uses those trees to help match you with possible cousins. Ancestry uses Your DNA to match you to other members that have similar DNA to you thus predicting a possible relationship. Then it tries to match similarities in your family tree to try and estimate common ancestors between you and every other member in their database.

Usually one would need to have a paid membership with Ancestry in order to see member trees but this is not the case if you took your DNA test. You get to see all your matches family trees for free as long as they are public. If they are private you will have to go a step further and ask the other person to let you see their tree.

Once you get your DNA results you will find more distant cousins than what you would know what to do with at least that was my case. They are the key to finding your ancestors, once you find cousins with similar family trees as yours so that you can network with them to try and bring down brick walls and or provide each other with needed documents about particular ancestors. Now that I have provided you with how DNA is useful let me provide you with the types of testing there is.

Types of DNA Testing

In order to start Using DNA to Find Your Mexican Ancestors and Distant Cousins, you need to know which test to take.

Here is a description of the three that are available.

atDNA – This is the autosomal test that is based on your chromosomes. This test looks into all the possible DNA inherited from your ancestors and this is the one used to provide you with cousin matches.

y-DNA – This type of test only looks at DNA passed down from father to son in your paternal line.

mtDNA – This test only looks at your maternal DNA passed down from mother to daughter.

Now that you know what types of tests are out there let me tell you about the top three companies that I recommend that you use, in case you decide to test your DNA. I have used one of them and the rest are what our readers have used and recommended.

Top Three Genealogy DNA Testing Companies

AncestryDNA – This company is very popular and is great to locate cousins. It only provides the Autosomal DNA test. It basically looks at DNA that you may have inherited from your ancestors and then looks for other people with the same matches.

FamilyTreeDNA – This company offers the Y-DNA which looks at only your father’s paternal line. They also have the mtDNA and this test looks only at your mother’s direct female line. They also offer a test called Family Finder and it is an autosomal test just like Ancestry.

23andMe – According to their website, they seem to do a similar test to the autosomal and also test for y-DNA and mtDNA all in one package. I need to test them out. If anyone has used their services please let me know.

NOTE: If you buy a DNA kit please use one of our links so that we can get credit and receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The links are here https://mexicangenealogy.com/dna/, thank you in advance.

Other Great Resources on Using DNA to Find Your Mexican Ancestors and Distant Cousins

Gedmatch – Website to let you further analyze your DNA results and also find others that are a close match for you. How to use Gedmatch PDF Also check youtube for videos on how to use GEDMatch: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=gedmatch

Ancestry DNA Helper – Extension for Chrome browser to let you get more out of your AncestryDNA results. How to use AncestryDNA Helper PDF

Further Reading and Learning on Using DNA to Find Your Mexican Ancestors and Distant Cousins

Check out my various blog posts about DNA testing with AncestryDNA here: http://www.dnatestingforgenealogyhq.com/blog/

Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond – This is an awesome book that will explain the different tests in detail and how each can help you solve specific problems when it comes to your ancestors. I highly recommend you read it if you are serious about DNA testing.

DNA Surname Project – Gary Felix website about DNA testing and the Genealogy of Mexico DNA Surname Project.

We Are Cousins DNA Project – Project that aims to discover the various haplogroups for each last name of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico.

We Are Cousins DNA and GEDMatch – a Facebook group for anyone with roots in South Texas and Northeastern Mexico that have tested their DNA.

Adoptions and DNA

This is another topic that comes up too often. If you are adopted and are seeking your family DNA is a great tool. Remember you will get possible cousin matches. Here is a great website to get you started in your search with DNA: http://dnaadoption.com/  I also recommend that you check out the following book Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA

I hope that this post empowers you to look beyond documents and archives and helps you enter into the new frontier in genealogy that is of DNA research. As I mentioned before I am not an expert and I still consider myself to lack knowledge in this area. I just wanted you to have at your disposal the same resources that I have used and or know of.

Learn More About our Sister Website

Please take a few minutes to visit our sister site so that you can learn more about Using DNA to Find Your Mexican Ancestors and Distant Cousins.

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About the author 

Moises Garza

I have doing my family genealogy since 1998. I am also the creator of this blog Mexican Genealogy, and my personal blog We Are Cousins. To always be up to date with both of these sites follow me on facebook. To contact me or book me for a presentation, buy my books, and or learn more about me visit my personal website at www.moisesgarza.com.

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