The latest addition to the genealogist's toolbox is genetic testing. These tests can increase the knowledge about the ancestors in your family tree.

There are three kinds of tests available. The first one is the Y-DNA test. Only males have the Y gene. The Y gene is handed down from father to son through many generations. Since the Y gene mutates slowly, the mutations help distinguish between families with the same surname. There is a Y-DNA project investigating males with the surname Rorer, Rorrer, Rohrer and other variations in the spelling. You can find it at If you are a male with the surname, you can take a simple mouth swab from a kit purchased from the testing company, mail back the swab and then await the test results. The results will tell you whether or not you are part of this family or another family with the same or similar spelling. Women can have a male relative with the appropriate surname take the test.

The second test is the autosomal test. This test reveals the genetic material handed down from all four of your grandparents. This is an excellent test to take for women or men who have a Rorer ancestor within the last four or five generations. There are many Rorer descendants who have taken the autosomal test at one of the four major testing companies: Family Tree DNA, 23 and Me, Ancestry and My Heritage. From any of those sites, you can upload your results to, a free site where you can look for matches from any of these four companies.

The third test is the MtDNA test which shows DNA which came down through generations of your maternal line. For men, the DNA does not get passed to future generations. This test is less valuable than the other two as it will give you information about your maternal ancestors from hundreds of years in the past, prior to the existence of written records for your family.

If you have questions about using DNA to learn more about your ancestry, you can e-mail me at the address in the compiler's information below.