As something different, my brother and I, purchased a DNA test for our father for Christmas 2006. DNA tests are becoming increasingly popular for some genealogists as they can offer some incontrovertible evidence when trying to establish relationships between people. It also held tremendous novelty value and a good addition to our family tree research.
The test obtained 38 certified Y-DNA markers which are used to determine the Haplogroup of the individual under test. These results reveal information relating to deep ancestral information and hence origins of the paternal line can be determined.
This can be done because Y-DNA is passed down virtually unchanged from generation to generation along the male line. Thus, your Y-DNA ancestral marker values are the same or very similar to those of your ancient forefathers from many generations ago and hold valuable information about the ancestry of your paternal line. Also, all descendents anywhere in the world who once shared the same forefather as yourself and are descendents from the same line as yours will have the same or very similar Y-DNA marker values to you.
The results reveal the following:
Haplogroup Prediction: R1b. Prediction Strength: Strong
The founder of the R1b lineage lived over 35,000 years ago prior to the end of the last Ice Age in southern Europe and Iberia. Members of Haplogroup R1b are believed to be descendants of Cro-Magnon people, the first modern humans to enter Europe. Cro-Magnons lived from about 35,000 to 10,000 years ago in the Upper Paleolithis period of the Pleistocene.
When the ice sheets retracted at the end of the ice age, descendents of the R1b lineage migrated throughout western Europe. Today, Haplogroup R1b is found predominantly in western Europe, including England, Ireland and parts of Spain and Portugal. It is especially concentrated in the west of Ireland where it can approach 100% of the population.
This Haplogroup contains the well known Atlantic Modal STR Haplotype (AMH). AMH is the most frequently occurring haplotype amongst human males with an Atlantic European ancestry.
So there you have it. We have traced our tree back 35,000 years. All that's left is to fill the gap between then and now!