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. If you’re interested in learning even more about your ethnicity, we suggest checking out our Best DNA Ethnicity Test article and in-depth comparison review.

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.

Best For: Jewish Heritage & Ethnicity

Seeking to know more about your Jewish family and where they come from? Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) compares your autosomal DNA with 60+ reference populations around the world including Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. We also recommend Family Tree DNA’s Autosomal test as the best ways to dig deeper into your ethnic background.

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.

Best For: Finding Relatives & African Heritage

AncestryDNA’s test identifies potential relatives through DNA matching. It compares your results to others who have taken the AncestryDNA test, and gives you a breakdown of your ethnicity. You can also get these results from other tests, like FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA), but we usually recommend AncestryDNA for this particular use because their DNA database is the largest (5 million people compared to less than 1 million with FTDNA). This means you’ll be more likely to find living relatives and shared ancestors. You can also use the website’s extensive historical ancestry records to try to trace your ancestors on you mother’s and father’s sides.

Wondering if you’re from a specific area of Africa, not just “West African” or “Sub-Saharan African”? Ancestry.com’s DNA test could very well be worth your while for this as well. They test for more regions in Africa than other sites, including Africa North, Africa South-Central, Hunter-Gatherers, Africa Southeastern Bantu, Benin/Togo, Cameroon/Congo, Ivory Coast/Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal, as well as the Middle East.

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.

Best For: Asian Areas

If you suspect you’re of Asian decent, we’d recommend 23andMe, as they have more specific regions within East Asia including Japanese, Korean, Yakut, Mongolian, Chinese, Broadly East Asian. FTDNA only tests for Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and AncestryDNA doesn’t get more specific than Asia East.

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.

Best For: British Ancestors

If you have Brit in your blood, Living DNA is your best choice for DNA testing. Based in the UK, their database is specifically geared toward the European and UK markets, making their results much more comprehensive in those regions.

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.

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.

Best For: Faster Results

MyHeritage DNA typically gives you your results within 3-4 weeks, while most other testing kits take 6-8 weeks or longer.

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.

Best For: Ancient Ancestry

The Geno 2.0 test allows you to trace your roots back hundreds or thousands of years and gives you their ancient migration patterns across countries and continents around the globe.

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.

Want to Learn More About Our Human History and How You Fit In?

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.

Are you looking for a fast, affordable way to determine your father or the father of your child? Take check out our At Home Paternity Test Review to learn more about Legal Paternity Tests, Prenatal Paternity Tests, a host of relationship tests (sibling, grandparent, maternity, etc.) where we go into more detail about the types of paternity tests, detailed features, pricing and more.

We also have further reading on this topic in our DNA Testing 101 article and DNA Test overview page where we define some terminology and answer frequently asked questions.

What do you hope to discover via DNA testing?

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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.

Leave a Reply

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

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Candice
Candice

Correction from mgm previous post…. I am thinking an ancestry.com dna and family tree dna test might be best.

Candice
Candice

Hi Sally,
I am interested in doing a DNA test on my family and am open to doing two separate ones. One on my mother, and one on my father. Both of my parents are African American. I have tried to trace where I come from beyond America and always find myself reaching a dead end. I am thinking I should do an ancestry dna testing and then a 23andMe. However, one worry of mine is that I might run into either one not being specific enough. What do you suggest? Thanks for your time!

Best,
Candice

Uygur
Uygur

Hi Sally,

My ancestors moved from Central Asia to Anatolia hundred of years ago.
I am an Uyghur but i don’t know wich test i should take.
What do you suggest?

Valeria
Valeria

Hi Sally. I’m from argentina and I know my ancestors are all from Italy and Spain. But my husband is quite a mix: we believe he has native Chilean ancestors plus Denmark or Nordic ones from her mum side and French-basque ancestors from his dad side (despite having a very African surname that we believe is the result of a mispelled translation when the Basque family emigrate to South America).
Which company would you recommend for him and for me (maybe two different ones?) to find out more of our origins, especially his? I would like to get the most details as possible. Thank you!

Myles
Myles

Hi, is there a DNA testing for people that live in Italy to connect to Italian ancestors?

Kathy Schnell
Kathy Schnell

Hello Sally. My grandson will be on 14 September 16. For some reason he would like to know his DNA. I would like to purchase a kit that would be able to give us some medical information about him as well. His father was supposedly conceived by a sperm donor who is unnamed. My grandson is on the high-functioning Autism spectrum and I would really like to get a better idea of what he has to look forward to in the future. He has wanted to be a ‘soldier’ for as long as I can remember but was told because of his Autism, he is not able to join the service. I would really like to get as much information as possible for a reasonable price. I am disabled so on a fixed income. I would like to give him his test for his birthday. Which do you suggest?

Bob

FTDNA is not currently compatible with Helix version of the NatGeo DNA tests. I tried last night. Also, NatGeo is now over 840k people.

Jim

In 2016 i did a Ancestry DNA test that said i was 90% English. I am almost positive I am 40% German. I would like to do a test with someone else what do you suggest ?

Filipe
Filipe

Hi Sally,
congrats on the excellent work putting all this information in a more compact way. It’s still a lot to figure out, but it’s good.
As far as I can tell, all my ancestors are born and bred in the North of Portugal.
Would you have any suggestion on a suitable test/company?
Do all of these companies tell you: from your mother’s side, the results are X; from your father’s side, the results are Y, etc.?

Thanks and Regards
Filipe

Steve
Steve

Hi There,
Can you suggest which company and test can give the best data focused and concentrating on Northen Italy and southern France when I know my ancestry Going back 3 generations and are all from the same region?
I’d like information where my early ancestors came from prior to explain physical characteristics. I considered ancestry but they group Greek and Italian together. which does not bode well from those in northern Italy the alpine region bordering France, Austria and Switzerland. BTW I live in Australia.

Thanks

Olesja
Olesja

Hello,
I know I have a lot of Slavic (and probably even some central Asian and Caucasus) roots, which DNA Test would be the best for me to break it more down?
Thanks

franco
franco

Hi, I recently used AncestryDNA and had somewhat surprising results. I’m now considering to purchase another test but 23&me, my first choice, is expensive and My Heritage seems to be less accurate than AncestryDNA, is there an alternative? And would even be worth it? Would the results be similar or differ wildly?

Georgi
Georgi

hi all my ancestors i knoww of aree from the balkans (southern europe) which test would you recommend?

maya
maya

Hi! I am half Japanese and half British. I was wondering which kit option would be best to get in depth information of my ethnic background? I am also curious about health related testing.

Thank you!

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 best one for me

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 I never came to know as much of my family across all lines.

I have purchased kits for 23andme ancestryDNA, but as I read through your article and comments, I started doubting whether I should have tried other routes–like My Family Tree. Which test is best for determining backgrounds for South American natives and Sephardic Jews?

Also, I know as far as a family tree database, My Heritage DNA tends to have more information on surnames in my line (seems to be more popular in Brazil). Would you say that test is worth doing or should I just access their database based on the information I gather from my tests?

And to be clear, my focus is to get as narrow of a region/ethnicity result as possible and to connect with possible relatives.

Thanks!

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 the Sephardic that my fathers results showed. I also came back 12% Middle Eastern ( 7% Asia Minor and 5% Western Middle East) another surprise. My mother believes she’s half Italian and half Polish – results still pending ( but has no idea about any Middle Eastern or Jewish roots)

Additionally – he nor any of my known family members are showing up as matches in the family finder tool- which obviously is a cause for concern to me. If you look at photos, I look just like my father and other relatives as well.

Assuming I inherited DNA from both parents – and without jumping to the worst of conclusions ( you can imagine what’s going through my head now) – shouldn’t I be at least half of everything he’s showing ? Why would there be no Sephardic showing up and shouldn’t my European percentage be much higher given his results?

What are the chances they mixed up my results with someone else’s at FTDNA? Trying to understand the possibilities here…

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?

Wanda
Wanda

Hi Veena, I recently did a test with MyHeritage, and 100% disagree with the results. I am positive I am of American Indian and German heritage, but not one bit of that appeared on the test results. The customer service representative told me if I was expecting to see results based on grandparents, that was not possible because we don’t get any DNA from our grandparents. What?????????

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 that will do a swab test that will also be more health-related if 23andMe fails again?

Thank you for your help in this matter it is greatly appreciated.

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 I thought I was buying when first contacting Family tree, was given the hope that we could confirm or be given close matches to our biological father, where to from here ? Incidentally this test cost over $400.00 US “

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 ancestry?

Thanks so much,

Sara Van Wey

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 or disprove a relationship between William/Phillip. What other approaches can I take?

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 that their titular focus on African ancestry may not appeal to the broadest customer base, it would be great to see an update here that evaluates the quality of their product. As it is, it appears that I may need to do a combination of multiple tests from multiple providers to get the clearest sense of my heritage. Help! 🙂

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 process, maybe a formula of sorts, to “solve for X?” Using DNA, genealogical and historic resource data, has anyone developed a process, checklist or a dichotomous key of sorts that one can follow to make a best guess(es) estimate of who the “X” or “?” might be? Perhaps a way to use DNA matches that do not fit with any other known paternal lines to narrow the list of suspects or point toward a particular surname?

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 are in our DNA. Any helpful thoughts on this? Thank you!

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 to give me a sense of my ancestral provenance? In your responses to previous questions, you said something to the effect that the gene pool from where these services draw are mostly European. (I am sorry if I mischaracterized you). Would it be worth the investment to order an ancestry test, given that there might be little or no helpful information that can give insights into my ancestral origins? Which service would you recommend? Thanks for your time and help!

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 act doesn’t seem to be able to protect against this. I’m hesitant to link up DNA with my real name and tree while this is all so fuzzy, legally.

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 not be able to afford that. I am leaning towards myheritage because the turnaround time appears to be the fastest, and that is also important because I want to get going on this right away at the beginning of the year and don’t want to have to wait 2 or 3 months for the results

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 and the Ancestry DNA will give basically the same results, is this correct? Thanks for your help with this and your great article!

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 levels of testing. Please help.
James

Jeams
Jeams

Hello Sally,

My wife and mother don’t know who their father is and I wanted to get them a birthday gift and get them the best dna test to find their father? Which test would be best for them to find their father if they only know who their mother is?

laia
laia

Hello! I’m from Spain although many many times in my life people had asked me if I got asian family (which I don’t know so far). I was wondering if a simple Family Finder Autosomal would be enough (and which company is the best) or if I need the mtDNA (and which company is the best). I’d really would like to know more about my ethnicity (if I have a part from caucasian) and as close as the country were comes from if it’s possible. Thanks so so much.

Tam

Hello Sally Jones- I just ordered the 23andMe test because I know my mother’s(deceased) history but my father is estranged. He says that he’s Indian but I have never seen him. I have a son, should I get my son to take the Y-DNA test to find out more about my father? I have no one else to find out information on my biological father.

Also, I’m wondering if I ordered the correct test? I have an Ancestry membership(family tree) account. Can I link/uploade my 23andMe results to find living relatives in Ancestry.com?

Thanks in advance.

Kathryn James
Kathryn James

Tam, I believe by testing your son, the test would follow your son’s father back, not your father. You would have to have a Brother, or some other male directly associated with your family before your son was born. The test on your son would only go back on your female side as well. Maybe Sally Jones can shine some more light on this.

Deborah Schmidt
Deborah Schmidt

Hi Sally, I recently returned from Budapest and am planning to pursue my family’s history and possible lost relatives. My focus is two-fold: First, to discover from where members of my mother’s side of the family originated (a guide suggested that many Hungarians originated in Mongolia) and second, to discover any far-flung relatives. Most of the family of my grandmother’s generation died in the Holocaust (she was one of the few to emigrate before the war) but I’d love to know if anyone in her extended family survived. I would like to start with one DNA ancestry test and then perhaps a second one, depending on the information I’m able to discover. I’m not so much interested in health information and any information I’d get regarding my father’s side of the family would be “bonus.” I would love to have your opinion as to the best test with which to begin. Obviously, I’m a rookie at this. Thank you!

Unityman
Unityman

I just received my National Geographic Geno 2.0 (Helix) results, which includes ancestry by region. Does the Ancestry.com test provide sufficiently more regional detail to be worth a second test?

bluejay
bluejay

Hello,
I am interested in a test that gives me the most complete view of my geographical origins as far back as possible, including possble Neanderthal. I am female, does this give me a disadvantage?

Martha
Martha

Hi, I am 9th generation American, and I can trace most of that back myself, but I want to know what was Before that. Can I find out about ancestry through, say, 2000 years? Thanks!

Canadian Cousin
Canadian Cousin

Hi Sally,

Although I’ve been researching my family history for approximately 20 years, I’ve only just ordered my first DNA test. I decided to go with Living DNA and was surprised to see that you called their test expensive – while US$159 might be costly for autosomal DNA testing, the fact that they include mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA tests in the same package makes it something of a bargain, in my opinion. Were you just referring to the fact that the initial cost is higher than their competitors, or do you think that the additional tests aren’t quite the deal they appear to be?

The other main attraction for me was the more detailed geographic breakdown, expecially for UK ancestors – my paternal ancestry is 100% English (at least for the past 5 to 8 generations), while my maternal ancestry is 100% Irish (last 3 to 5 generations). One thing that I haven’t bee able to figure out is how Living DNA’s Y-chromosome test compares with those offered by FTDNA. The latter advertises Y-tests covering 37, 67 and 111 markers, while Living DNA’s chip tests over 22,000 Y-markers – I’m pretty sure that they’re talking about 2 different things, and that Living DNA’s test isn’t actually that much more detailed. Do you have any idea how they might actually compare or can you suggest anywhere that I might find that information?

In any event, I enjoyed your article and will be interested in seeing if Living DNA makes its way into the top 3 for 2018. Best regards!

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

LivingDNA has lowered their price to $119 for all 3 tests making it a great value especially for those who are interested in their UK heritage specifically. For that reason we have updated the article to remove “expensive” as a con accordingly with the new cost.

joyce Adams (Furczyk)
joyce Adams (Furczyk)

Which test will give you both mother and father ancestors, will you be able to trace each separately?

MrBoraxo
MrBoraxo

Which test provides the best breakdown by country? I’m a mixed breed and would like to know exactly what % is German, Russian, Portuguese, Polish, etc. I really don’t care about tracing my path from Africa, which is gonna be that same for most Europeans.

Judy
Judy

I am interested in doing this for health reasons for my husband. Which test would give me the best of both worlds?

ann

I’ve heard there is some sort of commonality with around 16 million people alive today that can all be traced to one man in central Asia (maybe Genghis Khan, though no way to know as no genetic information on him). Is there a test that would show if I have this relationship? Thanks!

Michelle
Michelle

Hi I was wondering what test would be best to find out about health, like what kind of things I could get and pass down to my kids ?? Thank u

Jill
Jill

Hello Sally. I am adopted and am on a search to find my biological family. I took the AncestryDNA test and discovered a possible 1/2 sister who was also adopted. Beyond this DNA test, neither of us have any information about our biological families. We both have uploaded our DNA into myHeritage, GEDmatch, and FTDNA. By doing this, I have found a potential 2nd cousin that we both share. We are considering taking another DNA test just to be sure. What would you recommend. The potenital 2nd cousin took her test through 23andMe. Thanks for any help or advise you can provide.

Sue Page
Sue Page

Hi Sally. My adopted son does not know what his background heritage is. His biological parents had big issues and we aren’t really looking for relationships but want to know about ” what” he is.. as he is asked and obviously bi or multiracial. What test would be best for ethnic background and do you have the right to NOT include your information to be contacted by possible other family members.

Carl
Carl

OK. Y markers. I gpot those 15 years ago from Gnome. BUT, no one ever explained the significance of the markers, other than they somehow represented mutations?
.

Carl
Carl

I had National Geographic perform Y and MtDNA tests done about 15 years ago. The product is basically a Haplogroup for Y and a Haplogroup for MtDna. Punching these into Google, shows the current distribution of those Haplogroups. I do not really see 23 and Me or Ancestry or FTDNA providing anymore info other than comparing with their respective data bases. . Am I missing something? One disappointment in Genographics is that there is/was no one to talk to RE the meaning of the test data. ALSO, IF A full sequence is done, is there a company that can interpret the sequence. One company indicated that they can provide 32 panels..whatever that means. Anyhow, not understanding the products fully or their duplicity I’m left to view the data as merely ancestral connections.

wolf
wolf

i had it verified today by support from one of the top 10 testing groups, that in fact, all raw files from all competitors contain similar data incl mutations aka ‘health’ even if they dont offer any tests on their sites to read/decode/report any of it, so the truth is ‘all raw files have mutation/health data’ embedded in them and you can take any of them over to 3rd party reporting sites to unpack that data.

please add ‘gene by gene’ to an updated comparison, they are $79. presales support at familytree and gene by gene are very responsive which i can’t say for 23andme which is extremely poor.

wolf
wolf

“Doesn’t offer health-related DNA tests” sounds like FDA-legalese aka a misnomer, all these raw files must contain the same data that when uploaded to 3rd parties reveal health information if that site is equipped to decode the raw file and has reports to show the health data.

Cybele Moon
Cybele Moon

Hi Sally – oh boy my results from Family tree vs Ancestry differed wildly!! with a low confidence of 2% “Caucasus” in Ancestry I got 24% “middle Eastern” in FTdna.
FTdna : Ancestry
British Isles 30% British Isles 21%, Ireland 12%
Western & Central Europe 46% Western Europe 14%
Middle East- 24% Italian/Greek 48%
Scandinavia 2%
Caucasus 2%

Ancestry says I am 98% European where FTdna say 76% European.
I have yet to do 23&me. But not sure anymore of the accuracy.

So very strange. But I do know Scots and Irish in family and also Southern Italy on father’s side..

Carl
Carl

Moon. That is my concern..All companies have the same data with differing results…… AND each has its own data base. I wonder if there is an organization that keeps a master data base. If I bought a product from each of the providers, even if they were close in analysis, I’m not sure I would get any more information than one of them …

Nancy
Nancy

Hi Sue, what test would you recommend I take if I want to learn more about what indigenous group I come from? My parents are from Mexico State and I would love to learn the specific tribe I come from. Are there any tests that are more specific for Mexico’s indigenous groups? Thank you in advance for your help.

Brian Tomasio
Brian Tomasio

Hi Nancy, for what its worth, i found this company provides just what you are looking for! http://www.accu-metrics.com/first-nation.php Good luck!

Sue

Hi Sally, my grandmother has been traced back to 1600’s in U.S. What should I use to trace her roots which may be English. Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions ~ Sue

Gerardo
Gerardo

Hi! Sally I got my results from AncestryDNA and from my hermitage both are different. Ancestry :62 % Native American, 25% Iberian peninsula. My Hermitage: 90% Native American, 7 % North and west Europe. To me is look to different why?

Kaitlyn Johns
Kaitlyn Johns

Hi Sally. I’m looking for which test would be best for my mother. We don’t really care about finding relatives or anything like that, we are more interested in knowing what parts of the world her ancestors are from. Her family has been in America since the early 1600’s, but it has also migrated with nearly every generation, married in a lot of different people, and had minimal formal education so we’ve never had many clues to go on. Which tests are going to give us the most comprehensive information about where she is from? Thanks.

Jessica
Jessica

Hi Sally,

I am adopted and know very little of my family history. I do know that both my parents were French Canadians and so I assume that my roots could be traced back to France. Beyond that I don’t know much else. I’m also interested in any information about RH- blood type. Both my parents passed away (I did get to connect with my dad and some siblings). I only have 2 brothers (only can locate 1 of them) as I would like to know my dad’s genetic history. Which test would you recommend I take?

Sue Williams
Sue Williams

Hi, I’ve tested my elderly parents with 23andMe and am considering other companies for them. I understand that it would be good to test a maternal uncle. Would there be any need to test siblings for ancestry since I have tested my parents? Thanks.

Cynthia
Cynthia

Hi Sally, I have read your article and looked through the different websites but wanted to ask your advice. My dad passed and I have two full brothers and one half brother. I am interested in getting info on both health and ancestry and possible relatives. Would you suggest I do 23andMe first then upload the raw data to another source? What would you do to get the most info without having to pay for all the various options? Thanks!

Tony
Tony

Hi Sally,
I tried to look through prior comments to see if a similar question, but to my knowledge, I don’t see one.

I was wondering which kit you would recommend for my parents and myself. We moved to the US from Egypt when I was a toddler and as far as have known the vast majority of our ancestors were Egyptian. I believe we have some Moroccan on my Father’s side and Turkish on my Mother’s. But being from that region, I’m concerned that the results might be too vague/inconclusive. I saw a couple of question from people asking about Jewish descent and saw that you mentioned another Jewish database. We’re not Jewish, but I’d be surprised if we didn’t have any Jewish blood. But considering all the of the various races and such that have been in Egypt, it just seems that some kits are better suited for people from certain regions.

I’m mostly interested in tracing our lineage and not so much the health-related information. Based on your piece, I’ve been considering FamilyTree and 23andMe, but was hoping you’d be so kind to share your thoughts.

Ondina
Ondina

You should add TellMeGen to your comparison: http://www.tellmegen.com/

I think your PROS and CONS are only based in FTDNA options. There are a lot of things you doesn’t said.

Tammy
Tammy

We never knew the identity of my grandfather’s father, and we were unable to obtain my father’s DNA before he passed. If I do an Autosomal DNA test would that help me trace possible ancestors on my father’s/grandfather’s side of the family? If so what service do you recommend? Is there a company who can do DNA testing on personal items?

Jan

I ‘m pretty use I’m at a dead end as my father was an only son and I have two sisters. So there is no hope of tracking my “y” connection. I’m 75 years old.

Cathie
Cathie

Hi Sally, Any recommendations on best test for identifying African roots? The ultimate goal is know what African region my family comes from and then visit. Also, father’s family has been in the US for generations and mother’s family from the Caribbean. Thank you!

Oliver
Oliver

Not sure if someone else mentioned, but I believe 23andMe does include the Y-DNA and MtDNA testing, as I received both Paternal and Maternal Haplogroup information from the testing. After all, it wouldn’t be 23 chromosomes if it wasn’t included.

Rachel
Rachel

In order to maximize the amount of information that can be gathered from DNA testing but also have a larger comparative database, can a brother be tested through one company in order to do the Y-DNA, and then a female sibling tested via another company? If so, can you make a recommendation? Or is it recommended to stay within one company?

Liz Tipps
Liz Tipps

I have taken the Ancestry DNA test and it shows I am 78% Great Britain and 9% Scandinavian. Would your tests go back further or pinpoint more exact ancestry? I’m interested in what regions we come from and also how far I can go back in the past with where I came from

Kevin
Kevin

If I am simply looking for genealogical information (my family has been in the US for over 200 years), which test/company would you recommend? Supposedly, the lineage dates back to England, Ireland, Scotland, France, and Germany… true “mutt”.

Nick
Nick

Hey Sally, thanks for doing the comparisons and still answering people who have questions and concerns!

I’m Asian (Taiwanese, with family coming from China) and I was wondering which test is best for myself? I was also curious about my health, but heard 23andme isn’t the way it used to be after the FDA cracked down on them and the best way to go is just with Ancestry or FTDNA and upload the results on Promethease for a small fee.

What are your recommendations for my situation? Thanks again for all that you do!

Shea
Shea

Hi Sally, I would like to ask what test you think would be best for me, at least to start with. I would like to find out a more definitive area my ancestors came from in Europe plus the migration pattern to US. Do any test narrow the search enough to a precise region say in the UK which is where I think were from? Not really worried about the medical part of DNA testing. Also do the test show mothers side fathers side DNA branch seperate or would they have to be tested themselves? Thanks

Annie
Annie

My brother recently took the autosomal test with Ancestry DNA. I am interested in taking the mitDNA with another company but am uncertain about taking the autosomal test. We have the same parents so would not our autosomal results be the same?

Krystal Leigh Nicht
Krystal Leigh Nicht

This review states that 23&Me doesn’t offer mitochondrial or Y chromosome analysis…but I think that they do. It clearly states on their website that they use mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome to determine the haplogroup.

Josh
Josh

My wife is adopted, dark hair, brown eyes and olivish skin about 30 years old and although she doesn’t care to make any connections with biological “matches” she would like to have an idea of ethnic/country/region origin, as much as possible anyway and if possible any medical predisposed type of information. Do you have any recommendations or direction on this?

Claudia
Claudia

Hello Sally, I have always wondered whether I have Jewish ancestry since both my grandparents had black hair, but also due to their Sir names which I found in the Ashkenazi Jewish sir name list. I wouldn’t have to go back more than 4 or 5 generations, because during WWII my grandfather who was German had to, like all other citizens of Germany, prove on hand of genealogical research, that he and my grndmother had no Jewish ancestry. From memory I believe he had to go back quite a few generations. I still feel that there might have been Jewish ancestry and I would be proud if it were the case. I have already completed a Ancestry DNA test which only mentioned the individual countries of Europe and their percentage in my DNA, but there was no mention of Jewish ancestry or the like. It did mention a small percentage of North African, Middle Eastern DNA which I have but no specifics. Which other DNA test do you suggest I do which could be more specific to my question? I also fest that the Ancestry DNA test gave me a very broad range on my result, is there any other ancestral DNA test which is more specific and which would cover the answer of whether I have Jewish DNA or not? I am very grateful for your help and advise on my questions.

Laure
Laure

I know who my mother is, but she won’t tell me who my father was, she claims to have been raped by a few different men. I don’t mean to sound cold but she has lied before so I’m not sure if this is the truth.
My hope is to find my father, which test would be best to achieve this ?

Thomas
Thomas

Hi Sally, my son, who is about to turn 16 has asked for one of these test for his birthday. He is mostly interested in finding out what countries / regions of the world his ancestors are from. Not sure which test to get for him, which one has the most “bang for my buck”. As a side note, my father was from Germany, my mother is French, and after they got married, they moved to Ecuador, which is where I was born and raised. Now I live in the U.S., which is where my wife is from. In other words, getting a test that concentrates in U.S. genealogy would not be the best for him, given that half of his ancestry was not living in the U.S.
Thank you! Thomas

Anastasia
Anastasia

hi i am looking to find the right test to take and must say im both excited and a little frazzled. my husband and i both want to take one, to learn mostly what makes us up, but things like health would be cool too! something that was brought to my attention was that most ancestry tests dont include native americans? i know im in part, meti, and would like too see where that lays in the map of my genetic history. can you point me in the best direction please?

Sara
Sara

Why is this a “con”?
-Harder to connect with genetic matches (they must approve sharing contact information, and members say many don’t)
I see it as a “pro” because it means I can make my own decision about whether to connect with others!

T.S.
T.S.

You could create a generic free email account specifically for this.

Linda
Linda

My husband and me want to learn who we are and where we are from.We have five sons, but no living parents. My husbands paternal grandfather was 100% Irish,and his paternal grandmother was 100% Portuguese and on his mother’s side,they are Swiss. My family is a little bit of everything (?).What is the best test for us to take? We each have a sibling, but are unwilling to get tested. We want the best results to share with our children, grandchildren and great grandchild.

Tina
Tina

Hi. My sister’s and I want to get a DNA test for our father. We are looking for roots of both his mother and his father. Possibly looking for current relative but really looking for what nationalities my Grandma was and if my Grandfather was full Italian. The Family Tree seems really expensive to look at both sides. Could we get the same information from National Geographic? What test do you recommend to look at both sides of the family?

Tina
Tina

I grew up believing I was 100% Greek as far as everybody on my mother’s and father’s side of my family was concerned. I just got my results back from Ancestry.com. My results indicated that my ethnic makeup was 63% Italy/Greece. Fortunately I already knew that I was Greek because I would be wondering which ethnicity I am Italian or Greek? 14% of my ethnicity estimate comes from the Caucasus region which includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia,Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. I want to know which of these countries in particular my ancestors might be from. Are there any other DNA ancestry tests that would give a more precise location instead of listing all of the countries.

Ramona Hayes
Ramona Hayes

I’d like to do a test for my husband. We know his mother’s family history, but have no idea about his father’s. Which test would be best to find out his paternal line?

Elisabet Orning
Elisabet Orning

I bought a kit from the Genographic National Geographic several years ago but have never got anything except for a written overview of how migrations moves long ago. As for my personal data they have never been able to upplogad them! It’s an “ongoing issue”. I have asked them to compensate me by giving me another test to try out, free of charge, but have not even got a reply from them.
So I recommend that you try one if the other companies.

Michele
Michele

Hello!
I am interested in DNA testing as I am doing research mainly on Ancestry.com but also use Wikitree; and Geni. I have enlisted the help of some known relatives on Ancestry.com as well. I have an older brother that is willing to test or we could try to test using our father. I have met with roadblocks on both sides of the family and due to lack of known records. I thought perhaps testing myself (female) and my brother or father would help. I am at a loss as to which testing(s) would give me the biggest bang for my buck. I would like to go as far into the past as possible using the two DNA samples. I need to know that whatever kits I buy will work on Ancestry.com for certain and if possible others. So, do I buy two kits? If so, which ones? What advice would you and/or your team have for me?

Tammy Toledo
Tammy Toledo

Hi I’m Tammy I’m looking to find out where I came from both parents are out of picture. I do no grandma And grate grandma on mom side came from Ireland but I have no idea were my dad came from or any of his family and would like to no some about my medical DNA to

Juan Carlos Tornel
Juan Carlos Tornel

Hi! I am Mexican with no clue about both of my parent’s backgrounds. I am interested mostly in finding out what my parents genetic and cultural backgrounds are (e.g. ethnicity, nationalities)

Tommy
Tommy

Hello Ms. Jones,
I am very interested in finding a possible sister that was born to my mother’s previous husband. I know she passed away many years ago but I would like to know the details of her birth and possibly where she may have been laid to rest. Can you please guide me through this en devour?

Lloyd
Lloyd

I would like a DNA test to see my ancestry. I was trying to see if I was from Israelite heritage or Hebrew heritage? Where and who were my forefathers? Could I be related to Noah from the bible? Thanks in advance for the advice and please let me know how deep of a test I should get? I am new to this and I am a male so not sure should I do Y, MTSB or what, but I do know I want the haplo types, if that makes since and more detail and precision to know where my ancestors come from.

Laura
Laura

Hi Sally, My sister and I are interested in learning about our father’s line (more interested in genealogy than health). Our father was adopted (and is now deceased), so my sister and I are the only relatives we know of with a biological link to him. Which test(s) would you recommend to get the most useful information? Would it be beneficial for both me and my sister to be tested (same test?, or what if we took different tests to be able to tap into separate databases)? And would it make sense to have our mother tested, so that we could deduce that what my sister and I have in common with each other, but not our mother, would then be from our father? We also have native american heritage on our mother’s side and would be interested in knowing the %. Thank you.

Stephanie
Stephanie

I am planning on using AncestryDNA to test myself, my grandmother (born in germany, living in USA), and my great Aunt (born and always lived in Germany.) There is some ambiguous information about testing in Germany. The AncestryDNA homepages says only available in US,UK, & Ireland, not Germany. There are some other references to Germany being added recently. Other references to DNA testing being strict/illegal in Germany. and I just found https://www.ancestry.de/, which looks like it is owned by AncestryDNA. Can you clarify? Can a USA kit be taken on the plane to Germany?

Sheila
Sheila

Hello, Sally, I received very surprising results from Ancestry.com. I thought I must be reading a strangers results. Nothing showing my dad’s heritage ( native American and irish) . Yet, it said 41% Scandinavian , spanish, portuguese, italian, greek, german. At a loss for words. Mom new of German ancestors and irish, but all these others are surprising. I’m confused, are mistakes ever made with these tests? Thanks kindly. I’m 81 yrs old and have thought I was indian ( I am very olive skinned) and German and Irish my entire life. Wondering why none of my dad’s dna doesn’t show up.

Emily Jelassi
Emily Jelassi

Hi, I’m interested in getting my DNA tested, not only for genealogical purposes, but also health (potential health risks, carrier, etc.). As I’m adopted, I would love to have any information (even as a percentage) on where my birth parents came from. Is there a company that does both, or would I have to have two (2) separate tests done? And which company/companies would you recommend for my specific needs? Thank you!

Felipeii
Felipeii

Hi, according to 23andme I am 53%, Ashkenazi Jewish and according to Ancestry I am 48% Ashkenazi Jewish neither shows if I have Sephardic Jewish DNA. Is there a DNA test that I can take to show my Sephardic Jewish ancestry?

Lynn
Lynn

Hi Sally, I am hoping to persuade my uncle to do a Y-DNA test to try and prove the rumour of who my 2x Gt Grandfather was. Which would be the best company to go to – the families involved are Welsh and would this test give the information we need?

Ethelene Blair
Ethelene Blair

Hello, I am female and wondering which test company and what test to use???

#1. I am looking for information on the ethnicity of my father’s maternal grandmother.
#2. Also looking for information on the ethnicity of my mother’s maternal great grandmother.
#3. Are direct lines of grandparents ethnicity taken back to 4 or 5 generations for all sets on both paternal and maternal sets?

These are what I’m looking for answers to. Can all 3 of these be done through me? My parents and family have all passed away including aunts and uncles.
Please reply to my e-mail box with answers to all 3 questions.
Sincerely thank you!
Ethelene

mario
mario

i did the test with ancestry.After 8 weeks no news, so emails and phone calls…they replied that it was “probably” lost and sent me another kit….now after 5 weeks there is no trace of this new one on the webpage where i should control the state of the process….a real mess!
and a terrible customer service ….Avoid it

Jennifer
Jennifer

AGREED! my brother sent his in and it took 10 weeks to be done, and it only appeared after I called their 800# and raised Cain, and asked to speak with a supervisor.

Dennis
Dennis

Hi, I am quite new to this and want to know about my ancestry. I have a 97 year old aunt on my father’s side still living (father is dead) but she is in California and I may never see her. But my 83 year old mother is still alive and quite local. I looked at Family Tree DNA and they have three tests. Which of these should I take and should I give my mother one of the tests? Trying to get credible details about my past and wondering if I have to buy all the tests for myself and whether I should buy all or none for my mother while she is still alive. Also should I buy from ancestory.com? I do not care about the medical stuff so I assume 23andme is not necessary.
Please advise.

Genie
Genie

Could you please evaluate a new gene analyzing program, enlis? Also, what do you think about commercial gene analyzing companies like Genomind or PGxONE Plus by Admera that need to be ordered through a psychiatrist or physician, respectively? Thanks. Great article.

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Genie, thanks for sharing, we’re not familiar with the commercial companies but will look into them and consider doing an analysis in the future!

rose
rose

I have many cracks in my family tree. For example, my mother does not know who her biological father is, i don’t know anything about my biological fathers side. which is the best side to find this information out? Nationality and percentages? thank you!

wander
wander

Hi Sally. I am looking for my grandfather and his father before him, on my fathers side and are going to buy a test my brother can take to find out. What will I find out? We are Norwegians, so this is a small place on earth and I don’t know if anyone in our line has ever taken a test. Will we find out who anyone of our earlier ancestors are, or just get a confirmation that we are from the same place? (I think my grand father on my father’s side was from north and we are from the east of Norway, and I can’t find him in any database)
Which test and from what company would you recommend for me? I want to know if we maybe have some relatives that emigrated to the USA and where we come from other than Norway (I know most of my ancestors on my mother side was farmers in Norway dated back to the 1700’s so I don’t think there are any surprices there, I just want to know about my fathers line, and my father can’t say anything)
What other tests should I take to find out about the family a few generations back? And can I take the tests from the same company?

DrRoots
DrRoots

I tried Ancestry DNA first and then Family Tree DNA. The results were almost completely off from 25%. After months of investigation I could cross-reference of Ancestry DNA, no matter how strange some “cousins” from Italy or Greece sounded like, after digging back enough in time, it made sense. I figured out that all my greek/Italian DNA really were my descendants distant cousins who left south EU (Albania/Croatia/Serbia) from Ottoman occupation. All my DNA matches in Ancestry DNA & last names matched too…. My DNA mix in Ancestry DNA was 98% European, 2% from Caucasus.

“My Family Tree DNA” test showed me 75% European & 25% North Africa/ Middle east. It would have been fine but nothing matches in those 25% (North Africa, Turkey, Middle east). Not a single DNA match from my Ancestry DNA matches was from Africa or Turkey, not a single one even as far as 5-8 generations apart. Ancestry DNA test matches exactly what I knew and what my parents told me that both in mother & father sides lived in a isolated area for 500+ years and all of them were fair skin, brown/blond her with green/blue eyes…… and 25% mix of non-European probably would have blended there too ….but first I couldn’t find a match from those non-EU countries in my “Family Tree DNA” neither even though the test showed I was 25% from there. Probably they go 1000 years back ????? or the methodology ? but based on my experience I find Ancestry DNA closer to what I do know.

Indeed I don’t expect to find anyone from those countries, my family told me that as long time remembers, we were from that area. I requested Family Tree DNA to delete all my data.

Probably later on I will try 23&me see.

That’s my experience. Hope it helps.

tay

Hey Sally, I’m impressed by your fast answers to peoples questions. I am a male Jew living in Israel, my parents were born in Lithuania, I know my family has a long history in Europe, however it is also known that Jews were shifted throughout the world a lot due to the Persian and Roman Conquests around 2000 years ago, and before that its possible they were also in many parts of Africa. I’m curious to get the deepest and most accurate information possible about the history of my DNA and i’m not sure if the Ancestry DNA is better for me than the Geno 2.0. I wish to see my DNA division on the world’s map also by approximate time line, or at least to connect between time and place. is it possible with today’s technology?

can’t wait to hear from you

Rie Takashima
Rie Takashima

Hi,

I just received my DNA report from the Alliance DNA and it was kind of disappointing. I am of Japanese descent (female). The report from Alliance basically showed most of my DNA is from East Asian group. Duh!
I would like to go as far back as possible to find out where my ancient ancestors came from. I understand my DNA can only trace back my maternal line. In order to get the most comprehensive report of my genetic makeup, who is the best person to be tested? Both of my parents are living. I have one sister, two sons (their father is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent), and male and female cousins on both my mother’s and father’s sides.
And which DNA test would be the best one?

Thank you!
Rie