Author: Josiah Schmidt

What are the Different Ways DNA Can Help Identify People?

In the last few decades, DNA technology has opened up several new methods for identifying humans (whether adoptees, people of unknown or uncertain parentage, human remains, or tissue or fluid samples left behind by suspected criminals). These methods have proven increasingly useful for both family tree building and the investigation of crimes. The following contains […]

How Low-cM DNA Matches Can Help You Solve Genealogical Brick Walls

Many researchers using DNA to try to find their own biological parentage, or a friend or client’s biological parentage, only pay attention to the DNA matches with whom they share the most genetic similarity. In cases where the top of your list of AncestryDNA or 23andMe matches contains first- or second-degree relatives, this can indeed […]

How to Identify Your Child’s Biological Father Without a Paternity Test

We have all caught at least one episode of The Maury Povich Show, in which the host reveals the paternity of a child with either a “You are the father” or a “You are not the father.” Perhaps you have also wondered about the identity of your child’s biological father, either because of multiple relationships […]

How Professional Genealogists Use DNA to Find Adoptees’ Biological Parents

When the process of adoption became more formalized in the United States in the 20th century, a system of open vs. closed adoption arose. In open adoptions, adopted children either grew up knowing of their adoption and knowing the identity of their biological parents, or retained the option to acquire the information regarding their biological […]