Is it necessary to take a DNA test to discover my family history?
No, but it is highly recommended. Without a DNA test, we must rely on the family histories put together by other people as well as public records such as census records. In both cases, errors are not uncommon. The DNA provides a tremendous tool for verification and validation. It also opens many doors that simply aren’t available in the public records and family trees.
Which is the best company for DNA testing?
Each of the major testing companies have features and advantages that the others don’t offer. The single biggest consideration (in my mind) is the size of the database from which your DNA matches will be drawn. Ancestry.com has recently exceeded twenty million records. 23andMe.com has roughly twelve million records in its database. MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA, and others all offer advantages. Frankly, the best solution is to test at both Ancestry.com and 23andMe.com and maybe even others.
How long does it take to get results?
DNA test results can take weeks or even a few months to come in. Once the test results are available to us, we can usually get some basic research information back to you in a week or two. However, it can take months or even years to establish what we consider solid, proven family histories. In the average case, in takes a couple months to discover and verify your roots.
My family has only been in this country for a couple generations. Does that make the job tougher?
Frankly, yes! Tracing records overseas can be problematic, but it's certainly not impossible. Being multi-lingual (Spanish and English) gives us an edge in tracing records rooted in Mexico and Latin America.