Additional Q & A

Prices range between 79-129$ (shipping not included). There are occasional discounts during special days such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday in November, DNA DAY in April, and National Holidays.
yDNA and mtDNA tests are available at FTDNA. These tests are more expensive. It is recommended to check current prices at the time of purchase.

DNA testing changes the whole game in genealogical research. Examining certain markers in our DNA can help us trace the origins of our ancestors, revealing the migration routes of our ancestors and the areas they came from. Furthermore, DNA testing can identify and connect us with relatives living around the world, even distant cousins who share a common ancestor. In addition, DNA can be used to confirm relationships within a family tree, revealing potential unknown branches of our lineage.

The processing of DNA samples varies per company. From the moment the samples check in at the lab, it may take 4-8 weeks.

Genetic genealogy is an innovative approach that combines the power of DNA testing with traditional genealogical research to uncover family connections and heritage. Analyzing specific regions of the DNA, allows people to discover their ancient origins, identify relatives and confirm genealogical connections. This innovative field is revolutionizing the way we research our family history, providing new insights into our genetic heritage that may not be apparent through traditional genealogy alone. Each person has two trees. Genealogical tree and DNA tree. Everyone who is in the DNA tree is in our genealogical tree, the family tree, but not everyone who is in the genealogical tree is in the DNA tree, only those from whom we inherited part of our DNA.

There are several types of DNA tests available for genealogical research, each offering unique insights into our ancestry.
yDNA – traces the direct paternal line, father to son, making it particularly useful for investigating family lineage and distant ancestral roots. mtDNA – focuses on the maternal line, passed from a mother to all her children, and offers insights into ancient maternal ancestry and migration patterns. Autosomal DNA – the most popular and common type, tests chromosomes passed down from both parents, the test provides a more comprehensive view of family relationships with the entire extended family.

There are 5 main companies (as of today 2023) that focus on DNA for genealogical purposes:

AncestryDNA: Having the largest database in the world (as of the beginning of 2023 with over 23 million subjects), AncestryDNA offers autosomal DNA tests providing ethnicity estimate and a list of matches from the database. Ancestry is a genealogy company which allows access to a huge collection of historical records.

23andMe: Autosomal DNA Testing. They have a large customer database (as of the beginning of 2023 there are over 13 million subjects) and the results provide ethnicity estimate and a list of DNA matches (as well as a general group of MT and Y)

MyHeritage DNA: offer autosomal DNA testing with ethnicity estimate and a list of matches from the database. MyHeritage provides access to their extensive international database and offers useful genealogy tools.

FamilyTreeDNA: offer autosomal DNA testing, and the only company to offer Y-DNA and mtDNA testing with a match list. They offer special projects of surnames, region of origin and more.

LIVINGDNA: offer autosomal DNA testing with a focus on detailed ethnic assessments and targeting groups in the England region.

When choosing a DNA testing company, it is important to consider factors such as the type of testing required, the size and variety of its database, the specific features and tools offered, and its overall reputation and customer reviews.
It’s important to review each company’s privacy policy and terms of service to ensure they match your preferences.

Choosing the right DNA company is essential for accurate and reliable results. Make sure the company you choose is reputable with an extensive database that can offer a large pool of potential matches. It is essential to review the company’s privacy policy to ensure that your genetic data remains secure and that you have control over how it is used and shared. Choose an established company that adheres to ethical standards and respects your privacy concerns. It is important to focus the question, the purpose of the test, and make sure that the company provides the information that will help you answer the question you defined.
Privacy and security are of utmost importance when it comes to DNA testing companies. Reputable providers implement strong measures to protect your genetic data, ensuring that it remains confidential and cannot be accessed by unauthorized parties. Look for companies that allow you to manage your data preferences, such as controlling who can see your results or use your DNA for research purposes.
Leveraging DNA matches and shared segments can be crucial in building a comprehensive family tree. Genetic genealogists can teach you how to interpret match lists, identify common ancestors, and collaborate with genetic cousins to connect missing branches in your family tree. Combining DNA evidence with traditional research methods yields a more comprehensive and accurate representation of your family history.
While DNA testing can be a valuable tool, it is not a substitute for traditional genealogical research. It is important to combine DNA evidence and conventional genealogical methods to obtain the most comprehensive and accurate results. By combining these approaches, you can overcome genealogical “brick walls,” fill in gaps in your family tree, and gain a deeper understanding of your heritage.
DNA testing for genealogy has brought significant advances in the field of genealogy, offering insights into ancestral origins and distant relatives. However, it comes with some challenges and drawbacks. Privacy concerns arise due to the sharing of personal genetic information and potential third-party access. Ethical dilemmas can arise when unexpected family secrets are revealed. Although it provides limited genealogical data, traditional research is still necessary for comprehensive family trees. The accuracy of DNA matches decreases with genetic distance, meaning that more distant relatives may not be reliably identified by testing. Inaccuracies in interpretation and the lack of context may lead to misinterpretations of the results. Despite these challenges, DNA testing remains a valuable tool when used with care and awareness of its limitations.
DNA extraction for genealogy testing is simple and safe. It is collecting a small sample of saliva by filling a test tube with saliva or rubbing a swab on the inside of the cheek (each company and its collection method). These methods are non-invasive and painless, which makes them suitable for all ages.
An autosomal DNA test can trace your ancestry back hundreds of years. However, the accuracy of matches and details decreases as we go back in time. YDNA and MTDNA tests give information thousands of years back, about the general area from which your ancestor’s father or mother came.
Centimorgans (cMs) are a unit of measurement used in genetic genealogy to quantify the amount of shared DNA between two individuals. When you take a DNA test, the testing company compares your DNA to that of other people in its database. Understanding centimorgan is essential when interpreting DNA matches. Based on the number of shared cMs, the company estimates the potential relationship between you and your genetic matches. The higher the centimorgan value, the closer you are to another person. Additionally, by analyzing the shared DNA segments, it is often possible to identify common ancestors and build branches of the family tree, even with more distant matches. I encourage you to leave details if you wish to receive a table detailing DNA amounts and the probability of possible closeness of each amount.

Endogamy refers to the custom of people from the same community or from a close background, marrying and having children in the same community for multiple generations. As a result, individuals in inbred populations tend to share a higher amount of DNA with each other than would be expected in non-inbred populations. This can lead to unique genetic patterns and complex family relationships that require special consideration during DNA analysis. In endogamous communities, such as some isolated ethnic or religious groups, the presence of many ancestors can make it challenging to accurately determine specific genealogical relationships. Understanding endogamy is essential when interpreting DNA matches and uncovering family relationships in these communities, as it can significantly affect the interpretation of shared DNA segments and the accuracy of putative relationships (examples of endogamous communities: Orthodox Jews, Old Order Amish, Jehovah’s Witnesses and more.

DNA testing has become a powerful tool for adoptees and individuals seeking to uncover unknown relatives and connect with their biological families. For adopted individuals, this can be especially valuable in providing crucial clues to their biological heritage when traditional records are limited or unavailable. By taking a DNA test and uploading the results to various databases, adoptees can find biological relatives who share significant amounts of DNA, such as parents, siblings or even extended family members.

Ethnicity assessments are a fascinating aspect of DNA testing for genealogy, as they attempt to reveal the geographic origins of a person’s ancestors based on their DNA. However, it is important to understand that ethnicity estimates are not exact percentages of your ancestry but rather broad approximations. DNA testing companies compare your DNA to reference populations from different regions around the world to estimate the likelihood of your genetic heritage originating from those regions.

It is recommended that ethnicity estimates be used as only one piece of the puzzle. Instead of relying on specific percentages, focus on the bigger picture that your DNA results and genealogy research together paint.

Combining DNA evidence with traditional genealogy can provide a more comprehensive and accurate representation of your family’s diverse heritage. Remember that while ancestry tests can be fascinating and informative, they are not definitive and should be considered a starting point for further investigation of your genealogy.

Embarking on a DNA journey can be a very rewarding experience, but it is essential to be aware of potential emotional and ethical considerations. A DNA test can reveal unexpected and sometimes sensitive information about your family and ancestry. Discovering unknown relatives, uncovering family secrets such as half-siblings from a past relationship or siblings born from sperm donation can all evoke a range of emotions, from joy and connection to surprise and even confusion and anger. It is important to be mentally prepared for any outcome and approach the process with sensitivity and understanding.





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