Best DNA Ancestry Test 2017: 23andMe vs Ancestry vs FTDNA vs Geno 2.0

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Family Tree DNA logo
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Ancestry DNA logo
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23andMe logo

Who are you? Where did your ancestors come from? Do you have relatives that you never knew existed? These are some of life’s biggest mysteries, and thanks to scientific breakthroughs over the last few years, you can now fill in more of your ancestry puzzle than ever before. Yes, we’re talking about the magic of DNA testing, which has added an exciting element to tracing your family’s roots. How? Through a home DNA test that you can order online, easily administer yourself and send in to get your individual genealogy DNA tested. Here, we examine just what these at home DNA tests involve, the kind of information you can learn, and which is the best DNA ancestry test for your personal needs.

What Exactly is a DNA Ancestry Test?

When you order a home DNA ancestry test, typically you’ll get either a cheek swab or saliva test, which are both easy to follow and submit to the lab (they give you a sample container in each kit). What’s more important than how you administer the test is the part of your DNA that’s being examined by the lab. Each service we review here offers something a little different. Here’s a breakdown of the three types of genealogy DNA testing.

Autosomal DNA Testing

The main focus of autosomal DNA testing is to find matches with other individuals based on a certain amount of shared DNA. Testing can’t predict exact relationships, but you can expect to find matches as far out as 5th cousins and in some cases even further. Sites like AncestryDNA analyze shared DNA and give you your matches as well as how much DNA you have in common.

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Testing

mtDNA tests both males and females along their direct maternal line, examining genetic markers on your mtDNA, which is passed down from mother to child each generation. This testing reveals your direct maternal deep ancestry and which haplogroup you belong to. All humans descend from Mitochondrial Eve, who lived an estimated 200,000 years ago in Africa. Her descendants are organized into different branches called haplogroups. mtDNA test results predict your mtDNA haplogroup.

Y Chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) Testing

Only males can take a Y-DNA test (you might recall from biology class that women don’t have a Y-chromosome). The Y-DNA test traces direct male-line ancestry — the majority of the Y-chromosome is transmitted from father to son with very little change. Each male’s Y-DNA test results are compared to other males’ results to find out their most recent common ancestor (MRCA) in their direct patrilineal lines. Most testing companies will provide this information. While females can’t be Y-DNA tested, you can have your brother, father, paternal grandfather, paternal uncle or paternal uncle’s son (your cousin) take a test for you. With Y-DNA and mtDNA testing, you can do a deep dive into your ancestors (we’re talking thousands of years back), which you can’t do with Autosomal DNA testing.

DNA Testing for Ethnicity

All services we review here include DNA testing for ethnicity, so you can get a clearer picture of where in the world your ancestors originated. Each company tests for certain geographical regions (they differ by company), and you’ll get an approximate percentage of your inherited DNA from each region.

Best DNA Ancestry Test Winners

We chose our best DNA ancestry test winners for 2017 based on a number of factors, including: the types of tests they offer, DNA database size, the extent of ancestry information you can find from each test, cost, genealogy research tools and more. And now, on to our genetic testing reviews!

Family Tree DNA Review

#1

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Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) is the clear winner of best DNA ancestry test if you’re committed to serious genealogy research or if you want to learn as much as possible from your DNA testing. Family Tree DNA is the only service that offers all three types of tests separately: Autosomal, Y-DNA and mtDNA testing, and the test is a simple cheek swab. The Y-DNA and mtDNA tests are much more in-depth than other companies’ analysis. They also give you the ability to transfer your data from other services and store your results for 25 years. You get the email addresses of your matches and can join targeted genealogical projects within their network. What’s missing? Although not related to ancestry, you don’t get medical-specific DNA results, like with 23andMe. But if your focus is on your family roots, FTDNA is the best way to go.

Pros

Cons

  • Competitive pricing for DNA Autosomal test
  • Only site to offer separate Autosomal DNA and in-depth Y-DNA and mtDNA testing kits and a good variety of bundled packages
  • Website supports targeted DNA genealogical projects
  • Stores your DNA sample for 25 years
  • Provides trusted privacy for your test sample
  • You receive email addresses for your genetic matches
  • Chromosome browser tool to compare shared chromosomal segments
  • Allows uploading of raw DNA results from 23andMe, AncestryDNA and Geno 2.0
  • Gives you raw data results, which you can upload to GEDmatch and other free genealogy research websites
  • Excellent online community forums and customer service
  • Provides ancestry ethnicity analysis
  • Database (877,000+ people) isn’t quite as extensive as other services
  • Doesn’t offer health-related DNA testing

Pricing

FTDNA offers several bundled packages in addition to the pricing below.

  • $89 Family Finder Autosomal DNA Kit (cheek swab), Results in 4-6 weeks
  • $79 mtDNA Plus DNA Kit, Results in 4-6 weeks
  • $199 mtDNA Full Sequence Kit, Results in 6-8 weeks
  • $169 Y37 Markers, Results in 8-10 weeks
  • $268 Y67 Markers, Results in 8-10 weeks
  • $359 Y111 Markers, Results in 8-10 weeks
  • $12.95 shipping
  • View all options

Coupon Code

Family Tree DNA often has time-sensitive coupons!

Read our in-depth FamilyTreeDNA Review

Ancestry DNA Review

#2

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AncestryDNA, part of the wildly popular genealogical site Ancestry.com, is our number two pick for best DNA ancestry test. The company offers affordable pricing, an extremely active online community, extensive DNA ancestry database and access to millions of family trees and billions of historical records via the Ancestry website. They analyze your simple saliva test at more than 700,000 genetic markers to find your genetic matches and give you a breakdown of your ethnicity. AncestryDNA suspended its Y-DNA and mtDNA testing, however, so you don’t have the ability to drill down as deep into your genetic profile and ancestry as you can with FTDNA, which still offers those tests. AncestryDNA recently introduced a new tool, Genetic Communities, which focuses on post-colonial North America and helps you better pinpoint where your recent ancestors lived in the U.S. and migrated from around the world.

Pros

Cons

  • Competitive pricing for Autosomal DNA test
  • Largest database — 3 million people
  • Reliable security for DNA test samples and results
  • Excellent online community forums and customer service
  • Provides biogeographical ancestry analysis
  • You can download your raw data results
  • Stores your DNA sample indefinitely
  • Can connect with genetic matches via anonymous email and Ancestry.com message boards
  • Doesn’t offer separate Y-DNA or mtDNA testing
  • No targeted genealogical DNA projects available to join on website
  • Can’t upload raw DNA data from other services
  • No chromosome browser available to compare shared chromosomal segments
  • Doesn’t offer health-related DNA tests

Pricing

  • $99 Autosomal DNA testing kit (saliva sample)
  • $9.95 shipping
  • Results available in 6-8 weeks

Coupon

AncestryDNA often has time-sensitive coupons!

Read our in-depth AncestryDNA Review

23andMe Review

#3

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23andMe comes in third as our best ancestry DNA testing company for the unique services they provide. 23andMe is your best bet if you want to trace your lineage and get health-related DNA results. They offer two testing kit types — an Autosomal Ancestry test for $99 or a Health + Ancestry test for $199. On the ancestry side, you’ll get three reports: ethnic composition, haplogroups and Neanderthal ancestry. 23andMe’s health results include three FDA-approved genetic health risk reports (late-onset Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Hereditary Thrombophilia), 40 carrier status reports (whether you carry genes for certain health conditions), five wellness reports (lactose intolerance, for example), and more than a dozen trait reports (male bald spot, unibrow, etc.). If you want to use your DNA results to help you trace your family tree, however, 23andMe’s research tools and genealogy community aren’t up to par with FamilyTreeDNA or Ancestry.com.

Pros

Cons

  • Large database of 2 million people
  • Offers some health-related DNA test results
  • Test samples and results are secure for privacy
  • Provides chromosome browser to compare shared chromosomal segments
  • Provides biogeographical ancestry analysis
  • Gives you raw data results
  • Stores your DNA sample
  • DNA autosomal test more expensive than our top two winners
  • Doesn’t offer separate, in-depth Y-DNA or mtDNA testing
  • No genealogical DNA projects available to join on website
  • Can’t upload raw DNA data from other services
  • Genealogical community forums are lacking compared to our top two choices
  • Harder to connect with genetic matches (they must approve sharing contact information, and members say many don’t)

Pricing

  • $99.00 Ancestry DNA test (saliva sample)
  • $199.00 Ancestry + Health DNA testing kit
  • $9.95 shipping via 23andMe website
  • Results available in 6-8 weeks

Coupon

23andMe occasionally has time-sensitive coupons!

What Other DNA Ancestry Tests Should You Consider?

Below are some other DNA tests we’ve reviewed for you to consider.

Living DNA | MyHeritage DNA | National Geographic Geno 2.0

Living DNA Review

Living DNA logo

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Living DNA, an England-based company that launched in early 2015, is a new addition to our reviews this year. They say they’re the “first truly global DNA test” because they break down ancestral origins across 80 worldwide regions (while other companies focus on an estimated 30 regions). Furthermore, they break down your roots across 21 regions in the British Isles. If you already have a good idea that your roots are from the United Kingdom, Living DNA could be a great test for you to delve deeper into the region. Living DNA has partnered with several leading genomics, analytical, testing and research organizations, which lends them a lot of credit in our book. We’re keeping our eye on this relative newcomer to see how their reputation plays out.

Pros

Cons

  • Provides the widest geographical breakdown of your ethnicity of any at-home DNA test on the market
  • Excellent for a more in-depth British regional breakdown
  • Gives you raw data results
  • Good security and privacy policy
  • Shipping of kit (and return shipping) included in price
  • Doesn’t have its own database, so you can’t compare your results to others who’ve tested or find familial matches
  • No health-related DNA results
  • No genealogy research website resources, tools or community
  • No information on website about long-term DNA sample storage

Pricing

  • $119.00 DNA testing kit
  • Free shipping
  • Results in 10-12 weeks

Coupon

Living DNA occasionally has time-sensitive coupons, find and share them here!

Read our in-depth Living DNA Review

MyHeritage DNA Review

MyHeritage DNA logo

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MyHeritage is one of the most popular genealogy research and family tree websites in the world. In September 2016, they launched an autosomal DNA ancestry test at a competitive price. Their test is similar to AncestryDNA, with slightly fewer ethnic regions identified. But MyHeritage has plans to expand their testing to 100 regions in the coming years. Although the test is new, their testing lab holds top certification and accreditation from leading organizations. An advantage of MyHeritage DNA? You can import DNA testing results from competing companies to compare with their database. The downside? While they have a massive database of family trees and active users, their database of DNA results is still in its early stages. But based on the popularity of this website, we anticipate their DNA database will grow quickly.

Pros

Cons

  • Competitive pricing for Autosomal DNA test
  • Reliable security for DNA test samples and results
  • Provides biogeographical ancestry analysis
  • Can upload raw DNA data from other services and gives you raw data results from your MyHeritageDNA test
  • Good online community forums and customer service
  • No separate Y-DNA or mtDNA testing
  • Doesn’t offer targeted genealogical DNA projects available to join on website
  • DNA testing database too small (for now)
  • Doesn’t provide health-related DNA test
  • No information on website about long-term DNA sample storage

Pricing

  • $79 Autosomal DNA testing kit (cheek swab)
  • $10 shipping
  • Results in 3-4 weeks

National Geographic Geno 2.0 Review

National Geographic Genoproject logo

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The Geno 2.0 Next Generation DNA testing kit is best for people who want to trace their roots all the way back to ancient origins (even to Neanderthals). The test is part of the National Geographic Genographic Project, a scientific effort to analyze historic patterns in human DNA across the globe. How does it work? You purchase and submit your simple cheek swab test, their lab runs its newest advanced DNA testing, which identifies thousands of mtDNA markers for direct maternal lineage, examines Y-DNA markers for direct paternal ancestry and analyzes more than 750,000 other ancestry-informative markers to reveal your ancestry’s regional affiliations. The Geno 2.0 Next Gen test is expensive, and their database is relatively small which limits your research abilities. But the great thing about this test is that FTDNA allows you to upload your Geno 2.0 results into their database for free, so you can find your relatives and get additional insight on your ancestral origins. And you get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re contributing to a global historical genomic project.

Pros

Cons

  • Offers autosomal and full mtDNA testing (but limited Y-DNA)
  • Test samples saved securely for privacy
  • Contributing to a globally targeted genealogical DNA project
  • Excellent online community forums and customer service
  • Provides biogeographical ancestry analysis
  • Gives you raw data results
  • DNA test is expensive
  • Smaller database at 800,000 (but you can upload to FTDNA)
  • Can’t upload raw DNA data from other services
  • No chromosome browser
  • No website support for connecting with genetic matches

Pricing

  • $149.95 DNA testing kit (cheek swab)
  • Free shipping
  • Results available in 8-10 weeks

Don’t Miss GEDmatch on Your DNA Quest

GEDmatch.com is a free website, where you can upload raw autosomal DNA results and your match lists from AncestryDNA, 23andMe, Family Tree DNA, and MyHeritage DNA. In GEDmatch you can compare your DNA results with the results of all other GEDmatch users who’ve made their results public, regardless of what company they used to obtain autosomal DNA results. GEDmatch can help you:

  • Identify cousins and share research efforts for matching relatives.
  • Identify what portions of your DNA came from each parent if you and one (or both) of your parents have their DNA tested.
  • Potentially get more detailed ethnicity breakdowns. GEDmatch has six different options for displaying more detailed ethnicity, with many breakdowns under each option.

How does GEDmatch protect your privacy? GEDmatch requires you to provide your email address and the exact name you used with your testing company, but you don’t have to make your name or any of your information public — but that limits much of what you can do with the website.

You Never Know What You’ll Discover

Watch this heartwarming story from the Katie Couric Show about what one man discovered from his AncestryDNA test.

Is Your DNA Ancestry Sample Protected?

Yes. The testing services reviewed here all have strict privacy policies in place to protect your DNA sample from being misused — you can find these policies on their websites. And in 2008, the U.S. passed the Genetic Information and Non-Discrimination Act to protect citizens from having their genetic information used against them for health insurance or employment purposes.

A Big Piece of Our Collective Human History

Whether you’re searching for living relatives or want to know where your ancestors originated from, a DNA ancestry test is a fun way to find out more about what made you who you are. With millions of genetic ancestry profiles conducted since genetic genealogy became commercially available in 2000 and a growing interest in DNA ancestry, we can all learn more about our shared human evolution. If you’re not already researching genealogy online, you may want to check out our Best Online Genealogy Software comparison article for our recommendations.

What do you hope to discover about your relatives and genetic makeup through DNA testing?

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An international traveler since she was under 10 years old, Sally loves exploring the world’s mysteries first hand. Her favorite destinations? Greece and the British Virgin Islands. She grew up learning to question, explore, and discover new things and ideas — it’s probably why she went into journalism as a career! She loves what the Internet has brought to research and exploration, but she still hits the ground to travel whenever she gets the chance.

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398 Comments on "Best DNA Ancestry Test 2017: 23andMe vs Ancestry vs FTDNA vs Geno 2.0"

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Jimmy
Jimmy

Hi

I have Germanic (northern European) roots on my father’s side but on my mother’s side Southern European and probably even Sephardic roots. Neanderthal on both sides too. What website/kit should I opt for?

Thanks,

Jimmy

Jimmy
Jimmy

Hi

What website/kit offers most detailed information in one test? Presence of Neanderthal DNA should be included too

Thanks,

Jimmy

Rosemarie Cola
Rosemarie Cola
Hi Sally I was wondering would any of these tests help me find family members. I was adopted at the age of one and don’t know anything about my family. I am all by myself now other than my husband and I thought maybe I should connect with family members if I can find them. I know where I was born, possibly my parents were from Italy and Norway and I may have my birth mothers name. If these test are a waste of time, I would be thankful if you tell me, or could you direct me to the… Read more »
Camille
Camille
Hi Sally–this is all so great! I could really use your opinion here. I was born in Brazil (North, border of Amazon) and I know I have Sephardic jew in me from my paternal and maternal grandfathers (Morocco & Iberian peninsula). I feel pretty confident in assuming my grandmothers from both sides have a native background, given the history of my region, their complexion, among other physical features. My maternal grandmother passed away very young, and we have lost all contact with that side of the family. And with moving to the US as a young child, I feel like… Read more »
Dave
Dave
Hi My father and I both recently took FTDNA’s family finder and it said he was 85 percent European ( 35% West European and 50% South EasternEuropean ) which was not a surprise. What was a surprise was he came back 15% Sephardic Jewish. Oddly – my results came back vastly different which is somewhat of a concern to me. I came back 32% European ( 23% South East Europe, 3% West European and 6% East European) What is really strange is I came back 52% Ashkenazi Jewish ( a complete surprise to me) with no traces at all of… Read more »
Kit McKeon
Kit McKeon

I understand that some of the DNA tests will sell their results. Is this true and do you know which ones- I would not want to use one of those.

Zubin Shah Salim
Zubin Shah Salim

Hello Sally: I come from an Persian ( Iranian) ethnicity. Which testing service would give me more detailed and accurate results ? Please suggest. Thank you in advance.

Yulia
Yulia

I am interested to find out not only my roots, but also if I am related (percent DNA match) with somebody else. Can this be done if we both perform the testing? What DNA test kit is more appropriate for this? We both are believed to be Ashkenazi Jews. Thank you!

Veena
Veena

I did a test with MyHeritage and am what i mostly assumed i was from stories told as a kid. However no Indian as I’ve been told. Will doing a test with 23and me give me different results? Has anyone done multiple testing and gotten different results?

Freda Leung
Freda Leung

Hi Sally: I am a female and i have 6 sisters. I live in Canada. My father passed away 30 years ago and have no paternal relatives whatsoever. My mother is still alive, she is Han Chinese and i have quite many maternal relatives. I have lived as a Chinese all my life, until lately, i suspect my dad could be a Tibetan. I have just ordered 23andMe a few days ago, now that i think about it, which dna testing company is best to pinpoint whether i am half-Tibetan and to connect with potential relatives from father’s side?

Shelley
Shelley
I took the 23andMe test and after about 5 weeks they contacted me to say that my test sample failed due to non enough DNA in my saliva. I just recently resubmitted another sample. However I’m concerned that I may fail this test as well. From what I have read the swab test seems to be better for collecting more concentrated DNA. My reasons for doing the DNA tests are not for heritage but rather to look for genetic mutations which blood DNA already revealed. This is why my doctor told me to use 23andMe. Can you recommend a lab… Read more »
Susan
Susan

My mother, who was born and raised in Germany by parents who were both German, was told she has “gypsy” roots. Which test would get some information for her regarding this?

Sandy
Sandy

Dear Sally,

Do any of the tests distinguish Sami ancestry from other Scandinavian ancestry?

Faye
Faye
I had my brother’ Familytree Y-DNA’ tested last year to find our fathers surname as we suspect he was Not born as a ‘Mulford ‘ the surname he used when marrying our mother in New Zealand 1945. Our father died 1961 and no record of him or parents exist. He had no contact with any family while married to our mother and results from Y-DNA have found no matches to the Mulford name but 90 matches to various others all different surnames 4 or more generations back, it is a very difficult site for a greenie to understand, not what… Read more »
Sara Van Wey
Sara Van Wey
Hi Sally, I just got my Autosomal results back from Family Tree DNA and I got 85% British Isles. I’m still awaiting my mtDNA, but I was wondering which service (if any) you could recommend to break down the British Isles result? Is there a way to find out how much is British, Scottish, and Irish? Or is British Isles about as narrowed down as you can get? Also, my last name is Dutch, but I didn’t see much show up in The Netherlands area on my Ethnicity Map. As far as historical borders, what region would normally determine Dutch… Read more »
Steve Richards
Steve Richards

23&Me DOES do Y and mtDNA testing!

Morris
Morris
Hi Sally. I descend in a direct male line from a man “Phillip” born in 1786 and I am in contact with another man (Ian) who descends in a direct male line from another man “William” born in 1773. I believe that Phillip and William were brothers that would make me and the man I am communicating with 5th cousins. There is circumstantial evidence that Phillip and William were brothers but no direct evidence. Ian has had a MyHeritage DNA test done and I am awaiting my Ancestry DNA results. Can I compare Ancestry and My Heritage results to confirm… Read more »
Adisa
Adisa
I’m disappointed that this comparison completely overlooks the services provided by African Ancestry. As a black person, I’m keenly interested in reasonably detailed reports. E.g., “Mandinka” instead of just “West African” or “Sub-Saharan African.” While African Ancestry promises this degree of detail, their costs are dramatically higher than the others listed here. I’d love to be able to evaluate whether I can achieve similarly detailed results from any of the other providers. Using the content on the respective sites, it’s also difficult to compare African Ancestry’s “PatriClan” product to what I think is its FTDNA peer “Y-DNA.” While I understand… Read more »
Melanie Seago
Melanie Seago

My son in law has been told that he has a great great grandmother that was full blooded Cherokee. She was never on the Dawes rolls. What test would be best for him to look for Native American ancestry?

Angela
Angela

Hello! My husband and I have VERY different ethnicity backgrounds. I have French Acadian with primarily all over European. He has primarily African American/Native American. His great grandmother is the Native American link and she is still living. How do we go about discovering her specific Native American heritage? Should we test her and ours seperately? Which tests should we get? I really appreciate the help!!

Anders
Anders

Hi there

For someone looking to research their European ancestry, which is the best test? I was considering 23andMe and the FTDNA full bells and whistles (since I am male), to get the best combined results – would this be reasonable? How thorough a breakdown of European ancestries do these companies give? The appeal of their combination is that it will also provide health screening.

Callie
Callie

A relative asked , since her father has passed, but was cremated, are there any DNA Test Kits that could perform a test from cremated remains?

Maggie
Maggie

Hi – just thought you might want to know that you can’t actually transfer to FTDNA from NatGeo anymore. I tried and got a message saying they could not accept results from Helix kits and there are many forum comments confirming this. Apparently it’s a new development, possibly within the last few days :-/

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Maggie, good to know thanks for letting us know! We’ll look into it and update the article accordingly if need be. Appreciate you sharing!

Hugo
Hugo

Hi Sally, thanks for the good research. I am not interested on finding relatives or health. What is the best test for ethnicity? I grew up in Colombia, my ancestors were mostly European (Spain, France, Britain) but I would like to confirm this and also see if I have any Native American from South America genes. What would be the best test for this?

Kerri
Kerri

Hi, Sally- I’m interested in health-related DNA kits. I already tried 23 and me, and was rejected twice for having low DNA in my saliva. So I guess I’m also looking for a kit that offers something other than providing a saliva sample. Any suggestions?

Tara
Tara

Since you hold on to the DNA for 25 years, can you pay for additional tests later?

Dave
Dave

Is there any value in purchasing the Y111 test from FTDNA for both me and my father? Theoretically if I take the test myself, would it tell me everything about my fathers paternal line ? (Provided my parents didn’t take home the wrong baby from the hospital)

Jol

Everyone is leaving out Vitagene. They do Health and Ancestry for $99 and their ancestry goes back past 1000 years. Located in the United States San Francisco, California.

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Jol, thanks for letting us know! We’ll check them out and be sure to add to our list to consider adding during our next audit!

Camille Renee Moore
Camille Renee Moore

Sally,

My maternal aunt is the family historian, but since she’s been ill (dementia), all of the research has stopped. Plus, her work has vanished from 2 moves, so all the work must be started again. Do I need find names to enter into a database? Is my DNA enough? Also, as the descendant of African slaves/Indigenous peoples/slave masters, I’m curious as to my specific ethnic makeup. Which DNA testing service provides the most detailed breakdown? Any help in both matters would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!

kyle
kyle

I just ordered a FTDNA automosal test for myself. My dad does not know who his real father is. He knows his mom. What is the best route trying to fill that spot with not knowing who my fathers father is? Should I have my dad buy a kit from FTDNA?

jim

Sally – I would like to have testing done but do not want the testing company to provide my address to others who may have a connection to me. Can that be done with any of the recommended testers and how do I make that request? Thank you.

uncertain ancestry
uncertain ancestry

Hi Sally Jones! What would you recommended for someone with suspected East Asian ancestry, who wants a specific Asian breakdown (or at the very least, to confirm Asian ancestry)? (No interest in medical history, cousin finders, etc.). Thank you!

Gretchen
Gretchen

I got tested via 23andMe and uploaded the raw dna data to FTDNA. My ancestry composition is different on both sites. Which interpretation should I consider to be accurate. [One site has me as 100% European; the other 87% European and 13% Sephardite – diaspora]

Mike Miller
Mike Miller
Thank you for all the helpful information you provide! My wife and I have a somewhat similar genealogical problem of trying to identify a male ancestor why fathered a child out of wedlock, shamed the family and his identity was concealed. Let’s use my case as the example: My Paternal G-Grandfather is an “X” or a “?” on my family tree. He fathered my grandfather, born 1878, in a small, isolated area in the foothills of the southern Appalachians. We suspect he was from this community, perhaps a married man and/or relative. For situations like ours, is there a defined… Read more »
Edie Lukens
Edie Lukens

We are trying to determine if my husband’s family is Dutch or German. Can these tests determine this?

Janet
Janet

thanks to my niece who does our family genealogy, i have all that info but i am more concerned with potential health issues. which dna program do you recommend i buy. thanks

Sharon
Sharon

Hi Sally, I have a special needs son that wouldn’t be able to spit in a vial. Is FT the only one that does a cheek swab? Thank You

Rob

Just with regards to LivingDNA. In the cons it is listed as expensive. How did you come to that conclusion? No other DNA company comes even close to what you get for that price – which includes yDNA, mtDNA and autosomal results. Also, they have always said they will provide their own database.

teresa smith
teresa smith

What do you suggest for someone, myself, who is adopted and knows nothing of biological parents?

Jennie
Jennie
My sister and I are interested in buying tests for ourselves as well as our father (for the Y elements), but are getting stuck on the choices – FTDNA has the mtDNA that we are interested in, but it seems like to get any ethnicity breakdown we have to bundle with the family finder, and then it is like 3x the price… Do you know if this is true? (The company’s office hours are closed until Monday!) We are not interested in finding specific family connections through this testing – we are mostly interested in the wheres and whens that… Read more »
Jens Lipponer
Jens Lipponer

It would be interesting to find out more. Apparently church records for my family name in Wartau St Gallen (CH) go back to 1570 as earlier records were destroyed during the 30 years war. That’s what I have found out so far…. Hopefully the database here will be big enough to trace a bit further.

West African
West African
I am from West Africa, particularly from Nigeria, but have lived in the United States for the past decade and a half. I have some really light-skinned relatives on both sides of my family and wonder if I might have some distant Arab forebears since my part of Nigeria was on the famous Trans-Saharan trade route that connected the Arab/Berber world and sub-Saharan Africa. But my hunch could be entirely misplaced since Africa is home to a multiplicity of native skin types. My question is: do any of these services have enough information about West Africa and the Middle East… Read more »
Gretel
Gretel
My father recently died but gave me a swab sample. What’s my best option for testing that would give me the most data? I’m active on Ancestry and FT. I understand there are sites you can run the DNA data through to get medical info after the test. I am at a dead end for his family tree. But he also had atypical dementia that I might want to know more about someday. Also, I wonder if you might add some info about the security of genetic info. Some rewrites of Trumpcare will penalize people with genetic issues. The 2008… Read more »
Cherrie Williams
Cherrie Williams

I would like to purchase a DNA Test for my daughters birthday. Her father, who has passed, father was not known. Her father was told his father was Italian, but we have no proof of that. Which of the Company’s testing would give us the best results to find out what nationality she is?

Lukas
Lukas
I am teaching an Ethnic Studies class next year and wanted to do something that would really get my students interested in their history. I am going to try and get all of my students a test, but want to know which one would fit best for our purposes. The biggest thing I am looking for is ethnicity percentages and the most detailed regional explanations, to give my students a starting point. I need to make sure that once I have ordered the tests that I will not have to pay a monthly fee to access results, because I will… Read more »
Olivia
Olivia

Hi Sally! So I recently tested with ancestry.com, and found out I am 20% Western European. If I want to get more specific results for my western European heritage, what testing kit would you recommend? I am more interested in ethnicity than anything else. Thanks!

Kimberly Perricone
Kimberly Perricone

Hi Sally… I know my question is going to seem very weird and different from the rest of the questions that I’ve seen. I am Rh negative and from what I’ve read The ancestral lineage is not traceable. Which test would you recommend for me to do because I’m not sure if blood type truly does make a difference.

Pam
Hello Sally, I would like to find information about my fathers side of my family and also possibly find any living relatives. My father, who is deceased, was adopted by his step father and knew nothing about his biological father. If my half brother (we have the same father) does the Y-DNA test, how accurate would his paternal results be for me? And is this the best test to consider? Will I get any paternal information from the Autosomal or mtDNA tests that I can take? From reading your article and all the comments , it’s my understanding that FTDNA… Read more »
James Whitaker
James Whitaker
Hi Sally, My great grandmother’s father on my father’s side is unknown but I do know she was from Wales as she came here in 1895. My father is still alive and I had him do ancestry’s DNA test already. What other service and /or test can you recommend to help me use genealogy DNA testing to find out more as to who my great grandmother’s father was? I would get my dad to take the test to help close the generation gap. I’d like to get the test right due to my dad’s age plus there are so many… Read more »
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