DNA Reference

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When DNA identification of human remains is made, the DNA laboratory gets the headlines. But just as important is the genealogical research needed to find a family member who can provide a DNA sample for comparison.


While mitochondrial DNA is more useful than Y-DNA in identifying remains, finding a family reference along the direct female line can be a challenge because of the name change in each generation. The identification of very old remains may require research covering many decades, sometimes spanning continents. We are experienced at the historical, geographical, and genealogical research required to find DNA references anywhere in the world, along both the exclusively male line for Y-DNA identifications, and the exclusively female line for mtDNA identifications.


Family Referencing for Human Identification

A DNA profile that has been extracted from unidentified remains is not useful unless it can be compared with the DNA of potential family members. Identifinders has demonstrated its expertise on locating such family references, through its work on many high profile military and historical cases.


For very old remains, mitochondrial DNA is usually used for identification purposes. Because of its abundance when compared to nuclear DNA, there is a higher probability of harvesting enough mtDNA to make an identification.


Even so, using mtDNA can create a challenge for the genealogist whose task is to find a maternally-linked family reference to compare this mtDNA to, since the name changes in each generation along the exclusively female line of a family.


Identifinders has met this challenge even in the most difficult cases. For example, to locate the family reference for Fred Noonan, Amelia Earhart's navigator, we located a family reference who was related to Noonan over three hundred years ago. His reference mtDNA sample is now been stored by Identifinders in case Amelia Earhart's crash site is ever located.


Contact Identifinders for a custom quote for your family referencing needs.