By April Leigh Helm, Matthew L. Helm

In addition to generalized genealogical researchers, some paid researchers specialize in helping you understand your DNA tests. If you’ve taken one or more DNA tests and you just don’t understand what it all means, you might consider hiring one of these DNA consultants. Some have built companies that will create a report that interprets your DNA results after they’ve been processed by a lab. The International Society of Genetic Genealogy maintains a list of DNA consultants.

Be sure to get answers to the following questions before engaging a consultant:

  • What are the academic qualifications of the consultant? Does the consultant have a degree in genetics, biology, or a related field?
  • How long has the consultant been involved in genetic genealogy?
  • What is the assistance that you require? Some consultants specialize in a particular type of DNA analysis.
  • Does the consultant have a relationship with a specific testing company?
  • As DNA research changes over time, will the consultant update the research as new information becomes available, and how much will the consultant charge for that service?