DNA: Genetic Genealogy Tools

Affordable direct-to-consumer DNA testing for genealogical purposes has exploded in popularity in recent years. This is my cheat sheet for go to genetic genealogy research and analysis. The sites here are separate from the tools provided by DNA testing providers and can be used in conjunction with any of the major testing services such as AncestryDNA, MyHeritage DNA, and Family Tree DNA.

DNA Painter

This website is a must have for anyone who dips their feet into the waters of genetic genealogy. The site is free unless you choose to subscribe for even greater capabilities. As a free site it is amazing. It will make you want to pay the very reasonable price to join the site just to support the developer, Jonny Perl’s hard work. I use this site a lot in my work on SearchAngel cases. DNA painter has programs to build great visuals for clients which show how they are related to their DNA matches and why the relationship is the most probable.

See a great free webinar in introducing how to use this powerful free site.


Gedmatch has the ability to scare off new users quickly with the sheer information it provides for users. There are so many options and a steep learning curve. With that being said, for anyone with interest in evaluating admixture or phasing more than one set of DNA data this site cannot be done without.

International Society of Genetic Genealogy

This site is the starting point for anyone just learning about genetic genealogy. The site has guides and explanations of terms that will assist the beginning researcher and also advanced tips for advanced researchers. The organization was established in 2005 and has over 8000 members in 69 countries.

This wonderful resource has over 500 articles and counting and boasts of being a free genetic genealogy encyclopedia.

Search Angels

A non-profit organization which works to assist adoptees locate biological relatives using genetic genealogy.

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    This week the research tip is about using surname tables. Learn how to make a surname table and how it can be useful in research.

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