Filling in Family Gaps with Autosomal DNA

Family tree gaps happen when people dive deeper into their biological family roots and hit a wall where they feel they cannot find any more information. There are three ways in which people can trace their family history. There is oral history passed down through generations, archival sources, and DNA evidence. Databases like the National Archives can help start family research through census, military, immigration, naturalization, and land records. Cross-checking oral traditions and archival sources can reveal inconsistencies that require further research and turn people towards genealogists.

Because of historical events, some ethnic, racial, or religious groups may have a harder time finding archival information. Slavery, displacement, and other instances of forced migration greatly lessen the likelihood of there being complete archival information available. In fact, Alex Haley’s 1976 novel, “Roots,” is widely credited as inspiring a surge in African-American genealogy, inspiring people to look further into their family background that may have been obscured by slavery. Adoptees may want to complete their biological family tree as well, learn more about their biological relatives, or actually connect with family members. For others there may be familial rumors passed down or stories of distant family members that offer no proof and leave questions. This are many reasons why there may be a family tree gap, and filling that gap may be important for some to find their identity.

What is autosomal DNA and how does it help genealogists fill in gaps? Autosomal DNA consists of the chromosomes that are not the sex chromosomes. That means 22 pairs of autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes. When DNA is passed down, the traits that are handed down are selected randomly, but certain blocks of DNA can stay together for several generations. Shared cM, which stands for Centimorgan, is part of the DNA that can help genealogists infer familiar connections.  

Autosomal DNA testing can reveal cousins that may have also taken autosomal DNA tests, and the testing can explore up to five generations. Being able to triangulate how DNA connections relate to each other on a family tree is a unique skillset that DNA Cold Cases can help with. Getting the chance to meet with those cousins and distant relatives can open more doors and can lead to the many benefits of knowing your biological family connections.

DNA Cold Cases helps people fill in family gaps by looking at the search from every direction. Our company is made up of team of experts that have personal experience researching and tracking down biological family connections. By helping people retrace their familial steps, our DNA genealogy experts can help others search and analyze data to reveal family connections people may have not previously known they had. DNA Cold Cases helps utilize science, technology, and available data to help build a more detailed family tree and fill in family gaps.