Family Tree DNA Genetic Test
Family Tree DNA is one of the popular ancestry genetic testing company. They offer ancestry composition for more than 350 geographical regions.
- Site has a very strong genealogical community and targeted DNA projects.
- They let you email others with matching profiles as you.
- They allow a free upload of raw data from tests run for other sites.
- Has a chromosome browser, which lets you compare two or more sets of DNA results.
- There have been complaints of a confusing user interface.
- Not very popular among consumers.
Family Tree DNA Genetic Test Review: Summary
The Comprehensive Genome Test was a life-changer. It helped me discover my roots and gave growth to a sense of belonging I had yearned for all my life. The test provided tools with which I traced my ancestry and helped me find close relatives with whom I can build a positive relationship.
If I had to make a complaint, it would definitely be the somewhat overwhelming amount of information provided in excruciatingly technical detail. This affected by enjoyment of the test in its entirety, and I would advise, if I may be so bold, that the website provide a sort of layman explanation for most of the rather technical terms used in order to increase customer participation and enjoyment.
In summary, I fully recommend this test as a way to gather knowledge about your roots and get in contact with members of your family. The benefits it has provided to me is well worth the price.
Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) Genetic Test: Full Review
The company was founded close to two decades ago and throughout the years since its inception, it has continued to be regarded as one of the most trusted and prominent providers of DNA testing services all over the world. The services the company provides have grown from the mere analysis of Y and mitochondrial (mDNA) for both paternal and maternal DNA ancestry to the full-blown center for both genome testing and analysis and relative tracking that it is today.
I already had a pretty clear idea of what service I wanted even before I checked out the website, so it was just a matter of decoding what names contained the services I wanted. There was a handy little page that showed the particulars of each test, which greatly reduced the amount of time I spent floundering about on the site. I wanted the Complete Genome Test option, and I made sure to read the description attached which let me know that it was specific to males and it had the Family Finder feature as well as the mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) analysis. This meant that I would get a full breakdown of the genetic origins of both my maternal and paternal ancestry, as well as a list of possible matches of any existing relatives on their database.
My ordering experience was remarkably painless and straightforward; I clicked on the appropriate tab to purchase and I was directed to a shopping cart page containing all the features I had ordered. After completing this part of the process, I was then directed to the payment section on the website where I was offered a selection of payment methods. I chose to pay via Mastercard, and I entered my address and I was billed for shipping. Because I am a bit of a regular online shopper, I wasn’t much surprised by the amount charged for shipping as it fell well within the range of the amount I’d normally pay. I went through the terms and conditions carefully, as I’m wont to do when it comes to anything that concerns genetic material and it seemed pretty straightforward and non-sinister; they agreed to do nothing I hadn’t previously given informed consent to with my DNA and I was told that I’d have to resend a sample if the one I provided initially wasn’t able to be used.
The kit arrived soon after, containing a form to be filed for consent as well as the materials for sample collection (cotton swabs, thank god) and a requirement for a list of my known ancestors. I assumed that this was to provide a bit of a starting point for the ancestral tracing, and I was later proved right.
I took the samples, posted the box including consent forms back, and I was duly notified when the lab received my sample and then was given the option of monitoring the progress of the analysis of my genetic sample. The results were available a few weeks later, although the results of my mitochondrial DNA testing were the last to arrive, taking more than one week after the receipt of my Y DNA and Family Finder results. These results were displayed in a relatively easy to understand and interpret dashboard, although I had some problems with both the technical language and some of the details provided.
Migration and MyOrigin maps
I wanted to take a look at this section first, as it was one of the most exciting sections of the test. My Origins showed a relatively unsurprising 95 percent European lineage with trace elements of Middle Eastern and Scandinavian traces, with the areas off origin conveniently displayed on a color coded map of the world. An ancient origins map also gave some information about the possible occupations of my very distant ancestors; mine was composed of almost equal percentages of farmer and metal age invader, which I was very much thrilled by. The display showed me my maternal and paternal haplogroups which had turned out to be K1a4a1e and I-M253 respectively. There was also a haplogroup migration map which showed the possible routes of migration of both my maternal and paternal haplotypes, as well as some relevant information and explanations.
The next part of the results showed the matches maps, which was a graphical representation of the location of my existing relatives on the database. This was easily one of the coolest things that I had seen so far, and really brought into focus the practical evidence of the advancements made in science and technology in order to pull this off.
A look at the family finder feature on the dashboard showed that I had a total of 2041 matches, a staggering amount if you factored in the fact that I had only 3 relatives that I knew about and inputted in the forms I was given. I was given a little information about each relative including the closeness of our genetic relationship as well as the time when we were matched, as well as their ancestral surnames.
When I went further to click on the profiles provided, I was shown even more information about my relatives including their contact information and ancestral surnames. There was actually a lot more information provided in the result dashboard, but this proved to be a lot more complicated to interpret. Suffice it to say that I was given an exhaustive breakdown of the parts of genetic material that I and my relatives had in common, specific breakdowns of the mitochondrial and Y DNA as well as their specific matches, and something called a genetic distance and terminal SNP, which I had little use for.
I was given the option to download a copy of my raw data in case I wanted to send them to another genetic testing site for confirmation of results or further analysis, a measure which I seriously doubt that I’d have to take since this test has done a more than adequate job of answering all my questions and providing all the information I need to get in contact with my family members. Full marks for that, honestly, as I hadn’t been expecting it.
The wellness report was a third party service which I did not feel inclined to purchase as I visit a physician semi regularly, and the other services I saw displayed on the website did not interest me in the slightest.
In conclusion, the comprehensive genome test answered all the questions I had and lots more, it gave me the opportunity to discover and meet with the existing members of my family, it educated me on the history of my genetic history and it provide a sense of scale to my life as a human being that has affected the way I live and what I consider my place in the world to be. The services provided by the site are very much what they are advertised to be, and the payment modalities, sample collection and tracking, and eventual delivery of results were relatively straightforward and stress free.
If I had any complaint, it would be the overly technical nature of some of the information provided which made the experience less interesting than it would have otherwise been. I hope the people who are behind the operation of this wonderful site take this into consideration so that they can provide a fully enjoyable experience for their customers all over the world.