Genealogy DNA

The WorldGenWeb project has prepared this brief summary and would like to encourage you to share your experience in the WorldGenWeb Facebook Group.

 

If you happen to be an expert in this area, we would value your advice. Please contact us.  

 

Genetic genealogy has become popular and may help help you determine your ancestral homeland.

 

 

DNA testing is now accessible to consumers and is turning into a mainstream research tool for genealogist. At the same time it has become very commercialized and is clearly not "non-profit".

 

If you are new to genetic genealogy, check out the International Society of Genetic Genealogy site and explore their initial links (e.g. Genealogical DNA testing myths, A Beginner's Guide of resources, etc.).

 

A useful Family History Daily article (2017) with a good comparison of DNA tests:

 

These are the major players (text as per Wikipedia; see also the Wikipedia Category: Genetic genealogy companies):

 

Family Tree DNA

Family Tree DNA is a division of Gene by Gene, a commercial genetic testing company based in Houston, Texas.

 

Family Tree DNA offers analysis of autosomal DNA, Y-DNA, and mitochondrial DNA to individuals for genealogical purpose.

 

It is the most popular company worldwide for Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA, and the third most popular for autosomal DNA.

MyHeritage DNA

MyHeritage is an online genealogy platform with web, mobile, and software products and services that was first developed and popularized by the Israeli company MyHeritage in 2003. 

 

MyHeritage DNA is a genetic testing service launched by MyHeritage in 2016.

 

DNA results are obtained from home test kits, allowing users to use cheek swabs to collect samples. The results provide DNA matching and ethnicity estimates.

AncestryDNA

AncestryDNA is a subsidiary of Ancestry LLC and offers a direct-to-consumer genealogical DNA test.

 

Consumers provide a sample of their DNA to the company for analysis.

 

AncestryDNA then uses DNA sequences to infer family relationships with other Ancestry DNA users and to provide what it calls an "ethnicity estimate".  

23andMe

23andMe is a privately held personal genomics and biotechnology company based in Mountain View, California.

 

The company is named for the 23 pairs of chromosomes in a normal human cell.

 

In 2007, 23andMe became the first company to begin offering autosomal DNA testing for ancestry, which all other major companies now use.

A Word of Advice

There are some privacy concerns (see e.g. "The FTC is investigating DNA firms like 23andMe and Ancestry over privacy" June 5, 2018 and "Take Caution: DNA expert warns of genealogy testing, privacy issues" April 26, 2018). The advice is that the public "should think long and hard before completing an at-home DNA testing kit". Make sure you read and understand the terms of service. 

Also, make sure you understand the limitations of genetic genealogy.

A DNA test will probably not answer all your questions ..... and it may raise new uncertainties.