Understanding and Using DNA Test Results

Understanding and Using DNA Test Results

Course Overview

Have you taken a DNA test and now wonder how to use the results? This course will help you understand and apply your test results in combination with traditional genealogical research to build your family tree. It covers basic types of DNA tests, including autosomal DNA, mitochondrial DNA, and Y-DNA; differences between companies that offer genetic testing; and useful third-party tools. To get the most out of the course, students should have taken an autosomal DNA test—for example AncestryDNA, MyHeritageDNA, 23&Me, or FamilyTreeDNA—or intend to take one.

DNA test results are a powerful tool that can also be used to resolve long-standing research questions. The course features practical applications and review questions to reinforce learning.

Author: Angie Bush, MS
Prerequisites: Have or plan to obtain autosomal DNA test results
Course: Online, cloud based
Price: NGS Members $75 Non-members $100

Course Description

DNA HelixParticipants are provided with an overview of DNA testing and how DNA test results are used to answer genealogical questions. Understanding how each type of DNA is inherited and applying that knowledge to a family tree is key. The lessons take an in-depth look at the types of DNA tests and the unique features of each DNA testing company’s website. The course features step-by-step guidance on working with your DNA test results and cousin matches. Other modules demonstrate third-party tools and how they resolve questions of unknown parentage.

  • Module 1—Overview and DNA Basics
  • Module 2—DNA Testing Plans
  • Module 3—Direct Line Testing
  • Module 4—Autosomal DNA Testing
  • Module 5—Using AncestryDNA
  • Module 6—Using MyHeritage
  • Module 7—Using 23andMe
  • Module 8—Using FamilyTreeDNA
  • Module 9—Using LivingDNA
  • Module 10—Received Results!
  • Module 11—Third Party Tools
  • Module 12—Citations and Writing Reports
  • Module 13—Ethics and Standards
  • Module 14—Recent Unknown Parentage

About the Author

Author Angie BushAngie Bush, MS, is a director for NGS and the chair of its Genetic Genealogy Committee. A genetic genealogist researcher with Ancestry ProGenealogists in Salt Lake City, Bush worked in biotech while pursuing her interest in genealogy. With the introduction of autosomal DNA testing, she combined both into one career. Bush works on unknown parentage cases and on “brick-wall” cases.  


Continuing Genealogical Studies  Members Non-Members
Understanding and Using DNA Test Results $75 $100
Register Now >


Since the online courses under the Continuing Genealogical Studies category are cloud-based, you can take the course from home or anywhere at any time. You need either a computer or tablet with an internet connection to access the lessons, examples, exercises, and quizzes. No software or material is loaded onto your computer or tablet.

To optimize your online learning experience, the Canvas system uses the current version of a number of different browsers. To check for your browser compatibility, please see https://guides.instructure.com/m/67952/l/720329-which-browsers-does-canvas-support for further information and details.

NGS grants a license to an individual to take the course shown above. This grants the individual a personal, nonexclusive, nontransferable right to the course materials for that student’s personal educational use only. All students work independently.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Course?

The Continuing Genealogical Studies series courses have no set time or date for attendance. These online courses are geared toward individuals who have schedules that are varied and may include work, volunteer, and personal demands. You prioritize your time management and your learning, so your course work can be scheduled at your own pace.

Upon registration, you have access to the course for six months from the date of registration. If you need extra time, a one-time extension of three months is granted by contacting the NGS Course Administrator.

When Can I Start the Course?

Within three business days, you receive two separate emails, one that confirms your registration and one that provides log in instructions.

Refund and Cancellation Policy

All purchases of courses are final. No refunds or credits are available.


Here is a link to the Continuing Genealogical Studies: FAQs. If you have further questions, please contact the NGS Course Administrator.