Hiring a DNA Testing Company

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DNA testing has become an accepted tool for identifying ancestors and for verifying genealogical leads. It is also used frequently to learn about our deep ancestry. Testing your family DNA sometimes results in finding cousins who may have more genealogical information than you.

Disclaimer[edit | edit source]

Neither The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nor FamilySearch International is associated in any way with any DNA study. As a non-profit organization, FamilySearch cannot recommend a specific DNA-testing company to you.

DNA Testing Companies[edit | edit source]

The main five main companies for genetic genealogy are 23andme, Ancestry, FamilyTreeDNA, LivingDNA, and MyHeritage. All five of these companies sell DNA kits, predict your ethnicity results, generate a list of your genetic relatives who are also in the database, tell you the amount of centimorgans you share with each match, and predict the relationship between the two of you, let you see lists of people who match you and someone else on your match list, let you add your family tree, and allow you to download your raw data. All of them use a microarray to test between 620,000-665,000 SNPs and all have a base price on their basic autosomal DNA test between $79 and $99. All five companies are highly reputable and will do a great job if you choose to buy a DNA test from them.

In addition to these five companies, GedMatch is also a key genetic database. GedMatch, however, does not sell DNA kits, you must buy a kit from another company and then upload your DNA raw data file into GedMatch.

If you are looking for someone you gave up for adoption, it is important to get your DNA in all the databases. That way you have the best possible chance of finding the one person you are looking for.

Comparison Table of the Five Main DNA Testing Companies[edit | edit source]

The following is a table comparing the main features of the five main DNA testing companies. To see the full table please refer to the ISOGG wiki page Autosomal DNA testing comparison chart.

Comparison of the Five Main DNA Testing Companies
23andme FamilyTreeDNA Ancestry MyHeritage LivingDNA
Website www.23andme.com wwww.familytreedna.com www.dna.ancestry.com www.myheritagedna.com www.livingdna.com
People in Database
(28 March 2022)
12,200,000 1,700,000 21,000,000 5,600,000 300,000
Base Price $99 $79 $99 $89
(frequently on sale for $49)
Shipping $9.95 $9.95 $9.95 $5 $9.95
Free Return Shipping Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Uploads Allowed from Other Companies No Yes No Yes Yes
Cost to Get all Features from Uploaded DNA NA $19 NA $20 $20
Method Spit tube Cheek Swab Spit Tube Cheek Swab Cheek Swab
Chromosome Browser Yes Yes No Yes No
Matching X DNA Reported Yes Yes No No No
Means of Contacting Matches Internal messaging system Emails provided Internal messaging system Internal messaging system Internal messaging system
Response Rate Low Medium Low Medium Medium
Autosomal SNPs Tested 630,312 612,272 637,639 576,157 683,503
Y chromosome SNPs Tested 3733 0 1691 3495 34,216
X chromosome SNPs Tested 16,530 16,271 28,892 + 440 from the PAR region 26,694 15,028
Mitochondrial SNPs Tested 4318 179 263 none 3982
Special features Neanderthal Ancestry, Y and mtDNA haplogroups Y-DNA and mtDNA specialized tests Thrulines Theories of Relativity
DNA clusters
High resolution ethnicity estimates for the UK

Public DNA Databases[edit | edit source]

Public DNA Databases do not sell DNA kits, but do allow uploads from the other companies. Here is a list of some of them.

Defunct Public DNA Databases[edit | edit source]

Result Analysis[edit | edit source]

Organizations, such as The Genetic Genealogist, The Genetic Genealogy Consultant, and Your Genetic Genealogist provide services to help you interpret your DNA results and get the most out of what they can tell you about your roots.

DNA Projects[edit | edit source]

Thousands of DNA Projects, usually focused on a particular surname, location, or ethnicity, are active around the world. A listing of geographical projects can be found in the ISOGG Wiki.

A list of the over 11,000 FamilyTree DNA projects can be found on their FamilyTreeDNA Group Projects page.

Adoption-Specific Projects[edit | edit source]

These projects have created with the specific purpose of helping adoptees find their biological families.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Genetic genealogy