Hundreds of thousands of genetic profiles for family history and ancestral purposes have been generated by private laboratories, universities, and the National Geographic's Genographic Project during the past fifteen years. However, many individuals that had their DNA tested were somewhat disappointed, as the information provided by many laboratories is often difficult to understand. What do all these numbers and letters means? What can they tell about my past? As Ann Tuner and Megan Smolenyak stated in their book, Trace Your Roots with DNA, "test results for just one person are like the sound of one hand clapping." The great paradox in genetic genealogy is the fact that in order to understand your own DNA, you need to know something about the DNA of everyone else! Thankfully, a number of online databases are providing large quantities of searchable data in an effort to provide the missing hand. Knowing which resources are available and how to properly use them is key to understanding our personalize genetic genealogy and getting the most out of our own genetic profile.
Dr. Ugo A. Perego is the owner of the Genetic Genealogy Consultant services, which specializes in helping genealogists with all their DNA needs. He is also a visiting scientist affiliated with the DNA laboratory of Professors Alessandro Achilli and Antonio Torroni at the University of Pavia in Italy, working on human population genetics. He has previously worked for more than a decade as a senior researcher with the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation and GeneTree.com both based in Utah. Ugo earned a BSc and an MSc in Health Sciences at Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) and a PhD in Genetic and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Pavia, Italy. Ugo has contributed numerous lectures and publications on DNA and its applications to population genetics, genealogy, ancestry, forensics, and history. With his family he currently resides in Rome, Italy.