Family Tree DNA has pioneered genetic genealogy and it now enjoys the world's largest DNA database. Family Tree DNA is also the genetic genealogy company behind the well-known Genographic Project by the National Geographic and IBM. Geni chose to partner with Family Tree DNA in order to provide its customers with the highest quality DNA testing available on the market.
The tests are made by Family Tree DNA.
The results are analyzed at the Family Tree DNA Labs at Houston, Texas in the USA.
There are two basic types of DNA tests available for genealogical testing:
mtDNA Tests - Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is contained in the cytoplasm of the cell, rather than the nucleus. This type of DNA is passed by a mother to both male and female offspring without any mixing, so your mtDNA is the same as your mother's mtDNA, which is the same as her mother's mtDNA. mtDNA changes very slowly so it cannot determine close relationships as well as it can determine general relatedness. If two people have an exact match in their mtDNA, then they share a common maternal ancestor, but it is hard to determine if this is a recent ancestor or one who lived hundreds of years ago. It is important to keep in mind with this test that a male's mtDNA comes only from his mother and is not passed on to his offspring.
Example: The DNA tests that identified the bodies of the Romanovs, the Russian imperial family, utilized mtDNA from a sample provided by Prince Philip, who shares the same maternal line from Queen Victoria.
Y-DNA Tests - The Y chromosome in the nuclear DNA is used to establish family ties. The Y chromosomal DNA test (usually referred to as Y-DNA) is only available for males, since the Y chromosome is only passed down the male line from father to son. Tiny chemical markers on the Y chromosome create a distinctive pattern, known as a haplotype, that distinguishes one male lineage from another. Shared markers can indicate relatedness between two men, though not the exact degree of the relationship. Y chromosome testing is most often used by individuals with the same last name to learn if they share a common ancestor, however, it is also used to verify if two males share the same paternal ancestor, no matter how many generations back, even if they have different surnames.
DNA tests can be used by genealogists to:
Link specific individuals - e.g. test to see whether you and a person you think may be genetic cousins descending from a common ancestor.
Prove or disprove the ancestry of people sharing the same last name - e.g. test to see if males carrying the TAYLOR surname are related to each other.
Map the genetic origins of large population groups - e.g. test to see whether you have European, Native American, Jewish or African American ancestry among others
Find other people who are related to you through the same male ancestor (Y-DNA), female ancestor (mtDNA) or across all lines (Family Finder), and to discover your ancestral origins.
Some tests are based on the DNA that is passed from father to son; others are based on DNA passed from mother to her children, male or female. This is why certain tests are suitable only for males as clearly documented on the website. However, if you are a female genealogist and you want to test the paternal line, you can purchase a DNA test for your brother or father to use. In addition, if your spouse is also as interested in family history as you, you can purchase a DNA test for your spouse in order to assist them with their family history research.
DNA for genealogy is pushing the frontiers of science, and different tests are offered to meet different research objectives of our users. Depending on your goals, you can focus on your maternal line, your paternal line, your ethnic origin, or on finding relatives from all lines. The Comprehensive Genome test combines the best of everything to give you the most extensive results across the board. You can also start with a highly affordable entry-level test like the Y-DNA12 and later on upgrade to a test with higher resolution and accuracy like the Y-DNA37 or Y-DNA67.
The number of matches varies according to the frequency of your Haplotype in the database. Given the size of the database, most people will have matches. However, initially having a small number of matches or no matches at all, should not be a source of frustration, as the process does not end once the test is completed and the results posted. As the database keeps growing, you will be matched against the new records and notified when there is a match. This is a service Family Tree DNA provides with no subscription or other fees.
Taking the DNA test is quick and easy. You take the test, which shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, at the comfort and privacy of your home. The test kit consists of two swabs, two tubes, instructions, and the release form. At the test, you will rub the swab on the inside of your cheek, and place it in the tube.
Hover here to see what the DNA test looks like.
Hover here to watch an instructional video, 'How to Take Our DNA Test'.
The amount of time varies according to the test kit you order. The average time from receiving your kit at Family Tree DNA until they post your results is six weeks. We'll continue to update you about new matches and other information regarding your results.
When you order a DNA test, Family Tree DNA creates a personal page for you, password protected, where your results are posted. From that page you can print reports and your certificate. After your initial results, you keep receiving updated information about your matches, and as they happen, you are informed by email.
The Chromosome has definable segments of DNA with known genetic characteristics. These segments are known as Markers.
Yes, you can do that by requesting us to delete your results. However, we recommend leaving them stored in order that you could continue receiving new matches as new people get DNA tested and match you.
Family Tree DNA has created two public databases for people that wish to share or compare their results with other individuals or other labs: Ysearch.org and MitoSearch.org. Your results can be exported to those websites at your discretion.
Not right now, but we plan to support this.
Your DNA is stored by Family Tree DNA, free of charge, for 25 years so that we could perform other tests at your request, without requiring you to submit additional DNA tests.
Your DNA results will be stored at the Family Tree DNA Labs and will be accessible only to their staff, in order to help you with your genealogical research. Neither Family Tree DNA nor Geni will share your results.
No. Family Tree DNA will never share your results This includes insurance firms. In addition, in 2008, the GINA Act passed in the United States. The GINA Act stops insurance firms from using DNA test results to deny coverage.
No. Family Tree DNA or Geni will never share your results. This includes insurance firms, employers and government agencies. In addition, in 2008, the GINA Act passed in the United States (Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act). The GINA Act stops insurance firms from using DNA test results to deny coverage.
DNA tests are less expensive than one would think. With costs starting at US $99.00 a DNA test can provide a genealogist with an answer that otherwise would take years to find, numerous trips and fees for other services. There are many testimonials from genealogists that after years of research found their answers in a simple DNA test.
The shipping costs are $4 if you live in the USA and $6 if you live elsewhere, anywhere in the world. You will also need to ship the envelope kit back to Family Tree DNA Labs at Houston, Texas in the USA.
We are happy to refund you if you make an order and change your mind before the DNA test is shipped to you. After it is shipped, we cannot accept refunds.
Geni is enjoying the trust of millions of users and we are expanding to provide all needs of a family historian in one place.
The DNA tests that we are selling are some of the highest quality in the world, and you can get them on Geni at prices that are lower than anywhere else, especially if you are a Geni Pro subscriber (if you are not, this provides another good reason to get a subscription!).
Please go to our help page, and we will forward your question to one of our DNA experts who will be happy to assist you further.
Watch Family Tree DNA President & CEO Bennett Greenspan discuss DNA testing for Genetic Genealogy.
Watch an instructional video of How to Take Our DNA Test.