Got DNA, Now What?

Many people are excited to find out about their family heritage. Maybe you have taken the saliva or swab DNA test and have received your pie chart or graph with your ethnicity percentages. Maybe you have even looked at the people who are you DNA matches. What should you do now?

Now it’s time to find out about the people who have your DNA from generations ago. That’s what DNA helps to uncover. While you are getting to know your DNA cousins, find out how you are related to them by building your family tree. It all starts with you!

A family tree is your pedigree. It traces your bloodline to your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so on. You can outline your pedigree on what genealogists call a Pedigree Chart . You can download and fill in this pedigree chart. You can complete your pedigree chart or use a family tree  online. DNA companies encourage you to build your tree to maximize your family connections with your DNA cousins.

Other companies allow you to build your tree and research records to find your family. The library has Computerized Genealogy classes to help you build your family tree online for free. Our classes help you discover how your cousins are related to you.

This tool will help you connect to family members you may not know. It will help you to learn how you are related to your DNA cousins. If you can’t make it to a class, download the Pedigree Chart Instructions to learn how to use the chart. Get started building your family tree to find out how to make the connections with your DNA extended family.


As a veteran genealogist, I love teaching and sharing digital family history and genealogy techniques and helping people solve genealogy problems. Being the Genealogy Librarian at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is so much fun! I work to promote a greater knowledge of family, history, and heritage.