Roberta Estes has a long list of European family surnames that she has encountered in her search through family records and public documents.
But through DNA testing she found out that she also has genetic links to sub-Saharan Africa and Native American Indians, bringing her closer to others who descend from those lines.
DNA tests are most useful in determining genetic links between people who may have little documentation or oral history to guide them. Adrian Williams leads a group of people with the surname Williams, the third most common surname in the United States. There are many branches of the Williams line that may not be related to one another. But Adrian says a DNA test has helped him find connections with others who share his surname.