Can I find out my race or ethnicity?
Yes. Autosomal or non-sex-linked tests are best for this because they look at all your lines, since their markers are spread across all your chromosomes (except for the sex chromosomes). Check out the DNA Fingerprint Test or DNA Fingerprint Plus. The maternal and paternal lines can be measured with more precision by today's state of genetics, but remember they are but two lines among many. Each generation you go back, the number of your ancestors doubles, so that for 1500 CE (the beginning of European immigration to the Americas), a person alive today has, in theory, over 34 million lines. In practice, populations go through bottlenecks and people do not marry randomly, so the number is a lot lower. Multiplexing sex-linked DNA tests cannot measure "crossover" patterns from the male to female line, only the "outside" male-male and female-female lines. In some cases, your outside lines may not be the dominant ones in your genetic makeup. For instance, a British schoolteacher was found to be the direct male descendant of a sub-Saharan male ancestor, believed to have come over as an African slave with the Romans. About 30 percent of American black males have a Y chromosome that originated in Europe and is Caucasian. Remember: autosomal tests are most comprehensive because these work by sampling markers from across your entire genome. Read our Statement on Ethnicity.