I ran across a website for Genetic Genealogy the other day. Don’t remember how it happened. It may have been advertised at Ancestry.com (the best genealogy website there is, IMHO). They send a DNA test kit that you use to simply swipe the inside of your cheek so that they can chart your DNA. Then, they send you a report that helps you to determine where your ancestors came from (stretching a long way back), as well as show without a doubt whether you are related to others who have submitted their DNA.
I’m tempted to do this one day (in fact, I’d really like to one day….when exactly is the question). The cost of the test starts at $119 per person. That will give you a few DNA markers for either your father’s or mother’s ancestry. If and when I do this, it would be to help determine my mother’s ancestry.
The nice thing is that you only have to do the test once for yourself. Even if you order only the smallest report, it sounds like they run all the DNA tests they provide so you can always request more later without having to do everything again.
While the tests won’t give you names of ancestors, it will help determine where your ancestors came from. If you find potential relatives who have taken the DNA test, it will also tell you if they are indeed relatives. Basically, it will help to tie up loose ends and let you know that you really are tracking your family.