Resources

Learning about DNA, history, and how they fit together is a never-ending process! I've compiled some of my favorite resources to help you learn more.

Note: This page contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I may receive a payment. There is no difference in cost to you, but it helps me keep the lights on. For more information on affiliate links on this site, please see the affiliate disclosure.

DNA Tests

One of the most-frequent questions I hear is "which DNA test is best"? There's no one-size-fits-all answer to that. Most people start with autosomal DNA tests, which can help identify people related along all ancestral lines. For a comparison of options, check out the Autosomal DNA testing comparison chart on the ISOGG Wiki

If you have questions about which test(s) might be best for your particular situation, please contact me for a free consultation.

These are some of the most popular testing companies:

  • 23andMe: Offers both ancestry and health information.
  • AncestryDNA: Part of Ancestry.com, this is an autosomal test with more than 5 million people in its database.
  • Family Tree DNA: Offers autosomal, mitochondrial, and Y-DNA tests.
  • MyHeritage: Offers autosomal DNA tests.

Books

I encourage you to support your local independent bookseller. Here in Seattle, I'm a big fan of Elliot Bay Book Company. But if you are going to buy from Amazon, please consider starting from here. The links in this section are affiliate links. Borgerson Research is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

If you read only one book about genetic genealogy, it should be The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine T. Bettinger. This book covers all the types of DNA testing, tools, techniques, and ethics. I've had the opportunity to study with Dr. Bettinger, and he is very skilled at making complex information accessible.

Reading  The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures by Christine Kenneally is one of the things that started me on this journey. This is a truly fascinating look at where science meets story.

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn is a classic, and something I wish had been included in my high school curriculum.

Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives and Our Lives Change Our Genes by Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD is a piece of great science writing that will change how you think about your genes.

When I was an undergraduate biology major, I learned that much of our DNA was called "junk" because it didn't code for proteins. Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome by Nessa Carey debunks that myth by discussing what scientists have learned about ways that so-called "junk" DNA is anything but.