The FTDNA Family Finder Service: Our Review
Wondering if the FTDNA Family Finder service is right for you? In this review, we’ll go over its features, discuss its benefits, and help you decide if this genetic testing service is a good fit for your needs. Let’s get started.
What is Family Finder by FTDNA?
Family Finder is an autosomal DNA test by Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). It examines 70,000 autosomal SNPs to trace your ancestral line and provides a breakdown of your ethnic origin.
According to FTDNA, Family Finder uses a proprietary algorithm that reveals other individuals who share a common ancestor within five generations on either side of your family.
Your genetic matches are identified with their real names and email addresses using which you can reach out to them. This feature comes with powerful tools that not only help you find your family but also let you interact with them.
It is also essential to keep in mind that you will only match with those people who have also opted for the Family Finder test.
Who should take the Family Finder test?
The autosomal testing is for people who are looking to match with their relatives and would like a detailed breakdown of their ancestor’s origin. Anyone who has an interest in learning more about their heritage, cultural and ethnic background and close relatives should try Family Finder. It is a great way to learn more about yourself and your family based on your unique genetic “fingerprint.”
How does Family Finder work?
The way Family Finder works is simple. You just head to its website and purchase the test kit. Then, you follow the instructions to take a few swabs and send it back to Family Tree DNA for testing.
If you already have your results from another autosomal test, you can upload it to Family Tree DNA for free. It currently allows the transfer of DNA tests from AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, and 23andMe.
Direct testing is always preferred here since the data you upload might not contain the relevant information for the test you choose.
Once your results are available, you’ll have access to your full genetic profile at Family Finder. You can browse information about your origins, ethnicity, look for closely-matched relatives, and much more.
How can I order a Family Finder test from FTDNA? How much does it cost?
All you have to do is head to this page to purchase the test. Usually, the test costs $79, but it’s often on sale for just $59, making this one of the cheapest ways to test your DNA.
Today (September 3, 2019) is the last day of their extended Summer Sale where even the Paternal and Maternal Ancestry tests are offered at discounted rates – $129 and $149 respectively.
23andme Relative Finder vs. FTDNA Family Finder
Currently, 23andMe and FTDNA are two companies that enable their customers to connect with their close relatives by comparing the matching autosomal DNA SNPs.
The Relative Finder (now known as DNA Relatives) by 23andMe, was first launched in 2009, while FTDNA released Family Finder as a stand-alone product in 2010.
Compared to 23andme, FTDNA has a smaller overall database but has some features that the other services lack. These include the provision to track paternal and maternal lineage, a wider overall variety of tests, and an easy-to-read report outlining the results of your test.
What does a Family Finder test report include?
The primary reports included in this test are:
- myOrigins – This mapping tool provides a detailed breakdown of the ethnicity and location of your ancestors. It also comes with a personal “heat map” with information about your genetic ancestry.
- ancientOrigins – This tool compares your DNA with DNA from archaeological dig sites throughout the European continent. It reveals the migration routes your ancestors may have taken and your shared autosomal DNA with ancient groups of people from Europe. This feature also gives insights into how your ancestors might have lived, survived and interacted throughout their migration.
- Family Matching – This feature lets you sort DNA matches by the maternal and paternal lines, and link them on your family tree.
What is the Chromosome Browser in Family Finder?
The Chromosome Browser is an advanced tool that lets you compare segments of DNA with your genetic matches.
This new feature is very intuitive to use and allows you to click on every segment to explore it more.
This tool also comes with the provision to download all the data. It even lets you filter the segment of the data you want to download.
The pros and cons of FTDNA genetic testing
Overall, FTDNA testing is a good option for those who want to dig deeper into their ancestry.
- Detailed reports and tools for unique insights
- Allows transfer of DNA tests from AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, and 23andMe
- Smaller overall pool of matches
- Lacks health screening tools
- Does not incorporate historical records
FTDNA Family Finder is a great choice if you’re looking to trace your heritage and learn more about your relatives. Give it a try today, and what you learn about yourself and your family may just surprise you!