Sunday, January 27, 2013

Changes to your Y-DNA Profile

Everyone who has had a Y-DNA test with Family Tree DNA now has a different haplogroup designation which you will see in a box on your MyFTDNA page when you log into your account. The changes result from the explosive growth in new findings as a result of advanced testing. For a detailed explanation of what these changes are and what they mean, please go to

Thursday, January 24, 2013

To Learn More....

Those of us who have had DNA tests to advance our genealogy can claim to be "citizen scientists." As such, we often want to learn more than just the basics provided by the testing companies we chose. While there are many professed specialists, I rely on just a few to keep me updated and well informed of the latest happenings. And happenings there are aplenty in this wondrous new field that is just beginning to understand its potential. Click on the links below, browse their recent postings and sign up to receive email notices of new posts (or to add them to your RSS feed, or however you like to be kept current):

DNA eXplained: and
Your Genetic Genealogist:

If you have specific questions about any aspect of DNA testing, go to:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Don't Waste Your Money!

All DNA tests are NOT created equal. Do not let yourself be fooled.

If you are interested in DNA testing, first understand what it is you want to learn, then do a little research to find the best test at the best price.

Do you want to learn about health issues and what the future may hold for you in matters relating to your health? There is only one company that currently offers this kind of testing, and that is 23andMe. For $99, you can be tested and learn all kinds of things about your body, drugs you might want to avoid, diseases to which you may be prone or which you might carry, and fun facts such as whether you have wet or dry ear wax.

Do you want to learn more about your family history? The three leaders in the field, although there are a number of others, are 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA), and But before deciding on a company, you must first answer the question, What kind of family history?

If you want to learn only about your deep ancestral origins, order the Geno 2.0 test from National Geographic, then transfer your results to FTDNA to take advantage of their huge database and the widest array of testing options anywhere. The Geno 2.0 test will not help with your genealogy because the results reflect the time before surnames were adopted.

If you want to advance your genealogy, start with a Y-DNA test (for males only) to study your paternal line, then later upgrade to the Family Finder test for both males and females in order to find living relatives who may be able to help add to your family tree. You may also have mtDNA tests to learn about your maternal line. And  at FTDNA, you will automatically learn about your deep roots with any of these tests. My preference for genealogy-specific testing is FamilyTreeDNA.

If  you are interested in both health and genealogy, start with 23andMe. For $99 you get both types of testing. Then I strongly recommend that you transfer your results to FTDNA (for a nominal fee) to benefit from its database and additional offerings for genealogy.

Finally, if you're a devotee of and want to post your own family tree on their site, you can order their test and compare your results to others who have also uploaded their trees. Note that this is a somewhat simplistic test that does not include health or Y-DNA but does give you an overview of your deep origins and a limited amount of information about your DNA test results.

Notice that only 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA provide for downloading your raw data and using it for further analysis. They also provide much more detailed information than the others about all aspects of genetic genealogy. For a detailed comparison of all known DNA testing companies and their offerings, consult the nonprofit and independent International Society for Genetic Genealogy at Scroll down and click on the various Comparison Charts of DNA Testing Companies.