Family Tree DNA - Review
With over 20 years of experience, FamilyTree DNA is the laboratory with one of the largest autosomal databases in the world. FTDNA offers 3 different types of genealogical tests with detailed and interactive analysis reports. With a single DNA sample, Family Tree DNA is the only laboratory to offer the ability to analyze your mitochondrial, autosomal and Y-DNA simultaneously.
Present on the market since 2000, Family Tree DNA is one of the oldest laboratories dedicated to the analysis of DNA tests in the world. With more than 2 million people having trusted Family Tree DNA, the laboratory is a reference in the 4 corners of the world.
In order to offer you a detailed and realistic review, our genealogists have carried out all the tests proposed by Family Tree DNA.
Find all our tests and reviews on DNA tests !
Family Tree DNA : Presentation
Family Tree DNA is known as the pioneer of genetic genealogy and the first to offer DNA testing in the home.
The laboratory offers the widest choice for genetic analysis of your DNA. Indeed, it offers 4 DNA tests, 3 of which are dedicated to your genealogy by studying different parts of the genome. Igenea also offers this type of DNA test. And a last one, recently presented, the health DNA test.
DNA tests and sampling
FTDNA is the laboratory that offers 3 different types of DNA genealogical tests:
- Y-DNA test;
- Mitochondrial test;
- Autosomal test;
Performing a DNA genealogy test allows you to know the geographical distribution of your ethnic origins. By comparing your DNA to a database, analysing and cross-referencing the data using the latest technology. Also, it is possible to know the ethnic distribution and geographic locations of your ancestors with a DNA genealogy test.
Find below the details of the DNA tests offered by FTDNA.
TEST FAMILY FINDER (FAMILY ANCESTRY)
The autosomal test allows you to discover your ethnic origins, your percentage of ethnicity and their geographies. By giving you access to the world’s most comprehensive database, the Family Finder test allows you to establish family relationships and find close relatives who are still unknown.
The Family Finder test includes :
- A map detailing your percentage of ethnicity and the ethnic origins of your ancestors;
- A detailed chart of your percentage of origins;
- A map illustrating the migrations performed by your haplogroup;
- A report telling you how you are related to people around the world;
- A tool that allows you to directly compare your DNA with that of others around the world;
DNA-Y TEST : PATERNAL ANCESTRY
The Y test is only for men as it is specifically concerned with the Y chromosome.
With one of the world’s largest databases for parental testing at its disposal, FamilyTree DNA allows you to trace your paternal lineage completely and reliably.
Depending on the kit you choose, the FTDNA Y-DNA test focuses on 37 to 700 microsatellite sequences of your genes to establish the origin of your paternal ancestors and retrace the path they have taken to date.
MTDNA TEST : MATERNAL ANCESTRY
The mtDNA test, also called mitochondrial test, is a test related to DNA passed from mother to child. However, only women are capable of transmitting this DNA. A male child can perform the mitochondrial test, but will not pass on this short piece of DNA to his offspring.
For recent maternal lineage (less than 500 years old), the results are not very helpful. This test mainly allows us to find out exactly what her ancestral origins are. With the mitochondrial test kit you can therefore follow the lineage of your maternal ancestors.
When you report your results, FamilyTree DNA shares a customized video with you that traces your origins from the haplogroup.
To get the most reliable results possible, FTDNA uses the buccal swab DNA collection method. A method that we particularly appreciate for its simplicity.
The quality of the results
When we conducted the tests, FamilyTree DNA provided us with a full report on :
- Our percentage of ethnicity by geographic area
- Our haplogroup
- Living relatives
- Maternal and paternal lineages
FamilyTree DNA, like most genealogy labs, tells you about your ethnicity. The company provides you with a set of information about your ethnicity, including your percentage of ethnicity and where your ancestors came from.
One of the advantages that pleasantly surprised us with FTDNA: The ethnicity map illustrating our origins with a colour code defined according to your link with the geographical areas.
Our genealogists appreciated the discovery of their results. They would never have thought that they had origins from places unrelated to their current family roots.
In simplified terms, the haplogroup corresponds to branches of the homo sapiens family tree. Haplogroups help to understand and identify the geographic movements made by our ancestors thousands of years ago.
The haplogroup results provided by FTDNA allow you to learn more about your ancestral lineage and the path they took to get where you are today.
Again, the lab shared an interactive map with us detailing the origins of our haplogroups and their movements over the centuries. This visual point is a real plus to better understand their cultural origins. Yes, the Family Tree DNA test is one of the only ones to propose the percentage of autosomal DNA quantity according to the old European groups and their professions (Hunters, Farmers, etc).
RESULT ON LIVING PARENTS
Like MyHeritage or 23andMe, FamilyTree DNA allows you to establish relationships with individuals in their databases who may have similarities to your DNA.
Surprisingly, some team members realized they had distant cousins in the United States or Iceland.
MATERNAL AND PATERNAL LINEAGE RESULT
The results shared by Family Tree are similar to those offered with the autosomal test. However, these tests are refined on your paternal lineage (Y-DNA Test) or on your maternal lineage (mtDNA Test).
Family Tree DNA’s commitments
To ensure users have a perfect experience every step of the way, FamilyTree DNA is committed to providing a quality service that is ready to support you every step of the way.
If you have any questions, you can speak directly with an advisor.
FamilyTree DNA has asked us to send them two buccal samples for a good reason: in the event of loss or damage, the laboratory has the second DNA sample that you have taken. This is a true mark of professionalism on their part.
After speaking with a member of the Family Tree DNA service, we learned that this second sample was stored using a barcode. This barcode prevents our cellular data from being used by a third party without our permission – a very good point about the security of our data.
How much does it cost?
- Autosomal test: $79
- Mitochondrial test: $159
- Y-DNA test: $119 to $399
The Y-DNA test comes in 3 packs. Each pack studies a different number of DNA markers.
- Y-37 test: $109
- Y-111 test: $219
- Test Y-700: $399
Editor’s review of Family Tree DNA
We have tested all the tests and our opinion is entirely positive.
Family Tree DNA has proven to be a trusted laboratory offering simple to use kits with reliable results.
Our teams were pleasantly surprised when we discovered its ethnic origins. Many were convinced that they only had Western European origins. The autosomal, Y-DNA and mitochondrial tests proved us wrong.
FamilyTree DNA is the only laboratory to have provided us with such accurate results in terms of ethnicity percentages. Of the 5 members who performed the tests, the reports revealed ethnicities from the four corners of the globe that no one could have imagined. One of the testers in particular obtained nearly 7% of Russian origin while another discovered that he had 5% of Amerindian ethnicity!
With responsive service and reliable and complete results, FamilyTree DNA is a laboratory you can trust to discover your origins and learn more about your ancestors.
THE MOST COMPLETE AUTOSOMAL DATABASE
FamilyTree DNA has the world’s most comprehensive database reflecting nearly 20 years of expertise. With more than 1 billion records (1,103,270 as of July 22, 2019), the U.S. laboratory is the only one with such a large amount of data.
The company has succeeded in creating one of the largest communities around genealogy and DNA testing. On its forum, every day posts are published that can help you in your research or in the questions you have.
THE POSSIBILITY TO DO ALL 3 DNA TESTS FOR COMPLETE RESULTS
To complete your results, FamilyTree DNA is the only one on the market to offer you all 3 tests at the same time.
Since the autosomal test, like the other two tests, requires a simple cheek swab, it is possible to combine the tests to obtain extremely complete results.
IMPORT YOUR GEDCOM DATA
FamilyTree DNA offers users the ability to create their family tree by importing their GEDCOM data. These data allow to exploit the databases of different laboratories (MyHeritage, 23andMe…) and thus to find new matches and new ancestors!