Being able to help you discover your history and ethnic origins is our number one source of motivation! And today, we would like to share the best DNA tests kits for ancestry with you! We have written our DNA testing guide to help you discover your ancestry, the history of your ancestors and to help you build your family tree !
Comparison of the best DNA tests kits
|Sample to be taken
This guide to DNA testing is several pages long. We invite you to first discover our section of reviews on the different DNA tests on the market that our genealogists have written just for you. We are attentive and analyze the results of the DNA tests.
Moreover, if the laboratories meet our requirements and the demands of our readers through different criteria established by our scientists, we advise them in our comparison. Therefore, whether you are a novice or an expert genealogist, you will find reliable and secure DNA tests in our guide.
How do you do a DNA test?
It’s very simple to do a DNA test. You just have to discover the laboratory’s website, provide your credit card information and fill in a form.
You will receive a DNA kit from the laboratory a few days after your purchase. Then you have to spit into a container or take a cheek swab. Repackage the DNA kit and send it by post to the laboratory.
After four to eight weeks (depending on the laboratory’s turnaround time), you will receive an email inviting you to consult your DNA results.
In fact, the delay of the results depends mainly on the type of genealogical tests you have chosen. Indeed, there are 3 types of DNA tests: mtDNA, Y-DNA and the autosomal test (origin test, ancestry test). It is important to understand the differences between these DNA tests.
3 genealogical DNA tests
Before going into detail by types of DNA tests, let’s go over the bases of DNA together: All humans have 46 chromosomes, i.e. 23 pairs of chromosomes. 23 chromosomes are provided by the mother and 23 chromosomes are provided by the father at conception.
The DNA makes it possible to identify the sex of the human being, in fact, scientists have repeatedly demonstrated that on the 23rd pair of chromosomes :
- Man has an X and a Y chromosome;
- Women have two X chromosomes;
AUTOSOMAL DNA TEST
The autosomal DNA test analyzes the first 22 pairs of your chromosomes. So whether you are male or female, you can do the autosomal DNA test because it is the 23rd pair of chromosomes that defines the sex of an individual.
When genealogists look at your genes with an autosomal test, they look at single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to define your similar DNA or relationships to individuals who share your genes.
It is good to know that your father passes on 50% of his genes to you and your mother passes on 50% of her genes to you. Your grandparents 25% and your great-grandparents 12.5% and the higher you go up in the genes the lower the rate. In fact, beyond five generations the reliability of the results of the autosomal DNA test are less accurate.
An autosomal DNA test is therefore useful for finding close cousins or relatives.
Also, the autosomal DNA test is one of the best scientific solutions of the 21st century for finding living relatives. In order to start building your own family tree and discover your family history.
Unlike the mitochondrial DNA test, the Y-DNA test analyses the 23rd pair of chromosomes.
This DNA test is only accessible to men and it traces your paternal lineage, i.e. your genes from your father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc.
If you are a woman and want to start genealogical research of your paternal lineage, we have a tip to share with you: ask one of your relatives for a sample. Whether it is your father, brother or uncle, with a DNA sample from one of your male relatives, you will receive reliable results on your paternal lineage.
MITOCHONDRIAL DNA TEST
The mitochondrial DNA test (mtDNA test) analyses the mitochondria. Simply put, the mitochondrion is a single strand of DNA, which is passed on by your mother.
The mitochondrial DNA test is the DNA test that allows you to go back as far as 50 generations in your genes. This is because it is the type of DNA that undergoes the least amount of change when it is passed on.
Also, the mitochondrial DNA test only traces your maternal lineage. So your genes from your mother, your grandmother, your great-grandmother, and so on. Some labs cross-match mitochondrial and autosomal DNA results to get accurate results.
With the mitochondrial DNA test, you are sure to discover the geographical areas where your ancestors lived thousands of years ago.
Summarize on types of DNA testing
The autosomal DNA test allows you to discover your close relatives, your ethnicity, but the results are no longer reliable after five generations.
The Y-DNA test traces your paternal lineage. As for the mitochondrial DNA test, it shows your maternal lineage. Both the Y-DNA test and the mitochondrial DNA test can be used to show a common ancestor for up to 50 generations.
The only laboratory that offers DNA kits that cross-reference the data from the autosomal DNA test, y-DNA test and mitochondrial DNA test is the FamilyTreeDNA laboratory.
Which ancestry DNA test to choose: We help you in your genealogical research
Our site is an information guide written by a team of expert genealogists. Are you looking to find out which DNA test to choose? You’ve come to the right site!
Throughout the centuries, churches, communes, town halls and states have always taken a census of the population in order to know the population on a territory. Moreover, many genealogical documents contain information for your genealogical research, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, death notices, photographs, cemeteries, notarial deeds or even passenger lists for a train or a boat.
With the massive increase in population during the 20th and 21st century and the evolution of means of transportation, it can be very difficult to trace one’s origins to discover one’s family history. In particular, when one does not know one’s parents. If you want to know the history of your family, this ethnic history that belongs to you and you alone, it is possible to discover it by taking a DNA test.
It is to help you discover this history that we have written our different opinions of DNA tests with which you can make your story your own. However, it may be difficult to find laboratories that provide online DNA testing that you can immediately trust. We invite you to find out about the characteristics of the laboratories and their DNA tests before you order it. Also, you can read our various scientific summaries.
It is good to know that DNA testing is regulated in some countries by laws. Not all DNA tests can be ordered. Indeed, with the increase in the number of laboratories offering DNA tests, your genealogical research may take longer than expected.
We have analysed the different laboratories per country to check whether a laboratory complies with the laws of your country.
If you are looking for a certain DNA test and you do not see it in our comparison of the best ancestry DNA tests, it is because that lab has not obtained permission to sell its DNA tests in your country. It is also possible that the laboratory simply does not offer its services in your country.
In addition, here are the different characteristics that we analyze when you take a DNA test:
THE CERTIFICATE OF RESULT
This is an official document provided by the laboratory. The certificate summarizes the analyses performed and provides you with the results discovered by the laboratory. It is on this digital or paper document that we analyze the results obtained.
The result certificate highlights the results such as your genetic markers, your different genetic identifications, your compatibility with an X chromosome or Y chromosome for a DNA paternity test or a maternal test.
Also, if you perform a DNA test for an animal such as a DNA test for your dog or a DNA test for your horse in order to know its breed, it is with the certificate of result that the genetic status of the animal appears.
THE DNA SAMPLING METHOD
When preparing to do a DNA test, it is important to analyze which collection method is used to collect the sample. We invite you to read our different opinions on DNA testing to learn all about the sampling methods used in kits. It is very useful to have this information. Reliable laboratories display all this information. It appears clearly on the websites of the different laboratories.
For our team, it is important that the sampling method is simple to do, alone, from home. We guarantee that the selected DNA kits have a simple sampling method that can be done by everyone.
You’re going to order a DNA test online. You therefore understand that the quality of a DNA kit includes the number of ethnic regions, i.e. the analysis of cultural regions related to your ancestry.
What our genealogists analyze about ethnic regions are the following two points.
First, the percentage estimate of the ethnic origin of the testers.
As a result, we analyze the following data:
- How many ethnic regions are analyzed?
- Does the laboratory analysis match with other past tests?
- Are all the ethnic regions reported represented in the results?
- Does the data match when compared with other lab results?
Second, the reliability of the results that are provided.
In addition, we attempt to answer the following questions:
- Does the analysis include the latest DNA research technology? (including GEDCOM files and DNA matches)
- Is it possible to build a family tree with the results obtained?
What we like to observe when observing the results of ethnic regions is when they agree with the results of other past tests.
DNA CROSSING TECHNOLOGY
The ability to cross-reference its data with other DNA is also crucial. Most laboratories offering DNA kits have the technology to match your DNA with other individuals.
Directly on the labs’ platforms, you have the possibility to share or not share your DNA to find relatives and distant cousins. We invite you to read the conditions linked to the sharing of your DNA on the official websites of the laboratories in order to share them.
For our team, DNA matching is a key element for our analysis. We explore the DNA matches of our testers by observing the different possible DNA matches. Both close and distant cousins.
THE SIZE OF THE DATABASE
The more a genealogy laboratory has a large database, the more accurate and reliable the results are. The result on your ethnicity and on the matches of your DNA will be more precise and will allow more genes to be analysed.
You will find in our comparison table and on our test pages the size of the database per laboratory.
This data base is constantly evolving according to the number of individuals who take a test at the laboratory.
We make regular updates with the primary objective of providing you with the most accurate information possible.
The professionalism of our customer service is a defining characteristic of our team. Yes, customer service is the only human contact we have with the laboratory where you take the DNA test. The staff who deal with individuals must be informed and polite. Customer service is there to answer all your questions. Whether it’s a question about deadlines, price or the results of the DNA test, customer relations must be there.
It is therefore an important criterion for us to screen genealogical laboratories. In this respect, we have defined 2 key assets that must be at the forefront of excellent customer service:
- Multi-channel contacts: phone, email, chat;
- Various languages: French, German, Spanish, English, Italian, etc..;
THE SECURITY OF YOUR DATA
SSL encryption, online payment, your results, we make sure that the laboratories we offer have an advanced security system.
Indeed, security must be verified and monitored. You will give your contact details and your DNA to companies, privatized laboratories. You must therefore be sure that the laboratory will not misuse your data as to resell it to a third party, or risk having your data hacked.
Obviously, our genealogists analyse this point with great care.
COMMUNITY AND POPULARITY
The genealogy laboratories all have a forum with an active community more or less popular.
Even external sites have been created for the sole purpose of sharing and exchange. We invite you to take into account the opinions of different genealogy enthusiasts about a laboratory.
Moreover, if you read several opinions and negative comments about a laboratory, we advise you not to have your DNA tested.
We still invite you to take a step back, a disappointed individual will be more inclined to criticize negatively a genealogy laboratory, sometimes for personal reasons.
What is the data provided by a DNA test?
DNA tests provide four types of data.
Ethnicity is results on your origins, your ancestors and close relatives by geographical areas in order to obtain detailed information on your ancestors and their evolution through the centuries (geographical migrations).
The haplogroup is a series of alleles in a chromosome. With the analysis of your haplogroup you can know a group of Humans who share a common ancestor with your DNA through paternal or maternal lineage.
DNA MATCHES WITH CLOSE RELATIVES
By taking a DNA test, you can create a complete family tree and find living close relatives.
Some laboratories provide health kits that allow analysis of genes that contribute to certain diseases. Genes that can affect you or your children. DNA health testing is a very sensitive subject both humanly and scientifically speaking. Indeed, from an ethical point of view, taking a DNA health test is not ideal because you are providing your health status to a private company.
To finish up on the DNA tests
You may be wondering if a DNA test is really necessary and useful?! Yes, absolutely.
Discovering one’s own genetic history through one’s ancestry is something exciting and educational.
The results of an autosomal DNA test can provide valuable information. With the right DNA kit, you can carry out the analysis of your genes to learn more about your ethnicity, your DNA matches.
In addition, to know the history of your ancestors and therefore yours going back up to five generations.
Doing a DNA test allows you to find your history and to weld stronger links with your family. This kind of test allows you to build your own family tree.
Having a family tree allows you to have a written record of your history, but it is also interesting information to present at a family party.
In the end, DNA tests allow you to learn more about yourself and they are affordable. Whether you are in the middle of genealogical research or are an insider genealogist, a DNA test is essential.
All the DNA tests presented in our comparison above provide reliable results that have been studied by laboratories with expert scientists in the field of genealogy. Our team of genealogists has obtained almost similar results on all past DNA tests.
So do not hesitate to experience a DNA test for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions : Your questions, our answers
A DNA test is an analysis of our genes, a unique genetic code unique to each individual. By using a DNA test you learn more about yourself and your ancestors. DNA tests are performed by genealogists in dedicated laboratories.
Prices differ from laboratory to laboratory. On average, an autosomal DNA test costs between $50 and $170. However, to get complete results on your genes and cross-reference your data with a Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA test, the price of a DNA test can go up to $600.
In addition to the price of the DNA kit, there are shipping costs of 10 to 12 $ and the cost of the stamp to send the kit back to the laboratory.
The results of a DNA test are reliable when you go through one of the laboratories we have compared on this page. With the evolution of technology and the Big Date,laboratories can cross-reference and process a lot of data to find your genealogical origins and ethnicity.
There are many genealogical laboratories that offer to get a DNA kit online. For an autosomal DNA test, you will find about ten solutions. We have made a comparison of the best autosomal DNA tests. Click here to discover our comparison of the best DNA kits.