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2018 Top DNA Tests

Vicki’s note – Family Tree magazine update on DNA tests.

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The Top 5 Autosomal DNA Tests of 2018

“With genetic genealogy testing now in its late adolescence, these five autosomal DNA tests are making the grade with millions of consumers. Here’s why each one may be worth your while.

It’s been about 18 years since the first consumer genetic tests for family history hit the market. This puts the DNA testing industry well into an exciting—and turbulent—
adolescence. Companies are working hard to establish unique identities, choose appropriate peers, set lofty goals and outgrow awkward blemishes. You can see them changing their looks and becoming more sophisticated. It’s a time of transition, experimentation and opportunity.

In recent years, one type of DNA testing has reached “Most Likely to Succeed” status: the autosomal test. Its affordability and applicability to all branches of a family tree makes it an all-around popular choice with millions who have tested already.

Let us introduce you to the top five autosomal test providers for the Class of 2018….”

23andMe

AncestryDNA

Family Tree DNA

MyHeritage DNA

and a new one –

“Living DNA

It was a surprise to many in the US genetic genealogy community when the UK-based company Living DNA, whose parent company DNA Worldwide Group provides paternity and other types of testing, launched its autosomal DNA test.”

Read the full article here:

 

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2017 DNA Testing Company Ratings and FAQ

2017 DNA Testing Company Ratings and FAQ

Vicki’s note – This is an  article that I modified from the Internet from this site –  https://www.top10bestdnatesting.com/.  I don’t know much about this rating organization, so take their rankings with a grain of salt. Their analysis of DNA testing and company features is thorough and answers a lot of FAQ frequently asked questions about DNA.

I am not familiar with some of the testing companies; new ones are added every year. My experience is that Ancestry.com is probably the most popular, and so should have the most DNA test takers.  This increases the ability to see more ethnic fine divisions and findings.  The results are compared to the typical DNA for most of the people in a particular population area.

All of them have sales, usually at holidays.  You can click on each of the online links below to find out more about pricing, etc.

I added 23andMe, as it is highly rated; and is a DNA testing company that does medical/health DNA tests, as well as Genealogy DNA tests.  There are several other adequate DNA testing companies that are not listed here as part of the ranking, such as FTDNA Family Tree DNA.

You also may want to be aware of the different company’s country of origin.

Hint – if you use a DNA testing company that uses the cheek swab method – be sure and “chew” the inside of your cheek before taking the sample.  This allows maximum amount of skin DNA cells to get an accurate test sample.

Most of the on-line sites have very interesting stories of actual cases where clients found family members, etc.  Some have a BLOG, news releases, and videos of case studies.

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2017 Top DNA Tests

Votes (7833)

Get results in 4-6 weeks

DNA matches in huge family tree database

Outstanding 9.8

Votes (1359)

$20 off per kit

5x more ethnic regions

Excellent 9.5

Votes (2194)

Excellent 9.2

Votes (275)

GPS Origins DNA tests revolutionize the DNA testing industry. Since 1995…Read Review

Paternal and maternal lineages

Very Good 8.9

Votes (557)

Diet, exercise, supplementation, and ancestry personalized to your DNA …Read Review

$99 for health + ancestry report

Receive results in 4-6 weeks

Very Good 8.7

 

               “Our Mission – To help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome.”

 

What is DNA Testing?

DNA testing examines the genetic code that’s carried in every person’s DNA. The code can be found in the cells of any human material, from a drop of saliva to a smear of blood or a strand of hair.

How Does DNA Testing Work?

DNA testing works by taking a sample of cells from the person who’s undergoing the test. Scientists isolate the DNA code that is at the heart of every single cell and carries the information which determines all of your physical characteristics, from your hair color and height to your chances of developing certain conditions.

How Do I Use the Kit?

If you use a home DNA testing kit, you’ll find all the instructions included. Usually, you’ll be sent a sterile tube to collect your saliva sample. It can be awkward to get enough spit for the test purposes. Some companies send a cheek swab that you rub against the inside of your cheek to get a sample of cells from there, instead.

Once you’ve collected your DNA sample, you’ll seal it into the sterile package and use the included mailing package to send it back to the company. It usually takes a few weeks to get the results, but the timeframe varies; it can be anything from 4 to 12 weeks.

When your results are ready, you’ll typically get an email inviting you to view the results online. Ancestry DNA companies have a dashboard that lets you explore your results.

The Top 3 DNA Testing Kit Providers

1.MyHeritage DNA is a huge service that supports genealogists as well as providing DNA tests. It offers advanced family history tools and has a very strong online genealogical community to help you make the most of your results.

Best for: looking for lost relatives

Results in: 4-6 weeks

Test type: cheek swab

Pros       Cons

Sync your results with family history data

Strong privacy policy

Only offers autosomal DNA testing

Your details are only stored for 25 years

  1. Ancestry.com

Best for: building family trees

Results in: 6-8 weeks

Test type: saliva test

Ancestry.com is a well-established DNA testing company with one of the biggest databases of users, at around 6 million people, which gives it an edge when it comes to matching relatives.

Pros       Cons

Largest database of users

Stores your DNA information forever

Easy-to-use dashboard

No chromosomal browser on offer

Only offers autosomal DNA testing

  1. LivingDNA

Best for: biogeographical ancestry results

Results in: up to 12 weeks

Test type: cheek swab

LivingDNA​ is a good choice for anyone who wants reliable information about family origins from the British Isles. By offering all 3 types of DNA tests, it offers an advanced and scientific approach to DNA ancestry testing that promises to deliver more reliable and detailed results.

Pros       Cons

Offers autosomal, Y-DNA, and mtDNA testing

Free test updates if results change

No chromosomal browser

No cousin matching service

 

Who Needs DNA Testing?

Potentially, everyone could need DNA testing at some point. It can be used to check for genetic disorders or inherited health conditions, paternity testing, or ancestry testing to learn more about your origins and search for family members. DNA testing has been used by historians and archaeologists to learn more about skeletons found at historic sites. For example, when the body of King Richard II was dug up in a modern parking lot, his identity was finally confirmed after DNA tests with some of his modern-day descendants.

What Are the Different Types of DNA Tests?

Paternity tests are used to confirm who is the father of a baby, child, or adult.

Genealogy or ancestry tests are used by genealogists to determine ancestral ethnicity and relationships.

Gene therapy DNA testing is most commonly used for parents before they try to conceive or for fetuses to check for inheritable genetic conditions or if an embryo is carrying any birth defects.

Forensic DNA tests are used by police at crime scenes in order to identify victims or find criminals after certain crimes.

 

How to Choose DNA Testing

Here are the key considerations to look for when you choose a DNA testing company or kit.

 

Type of Test

If you want a DNA test in order to learn more about your family and your origins, you have a few options. An autosomal DNA test checks only 22 out of the 23 pairs of chromosomes and can be used to compare DNA from both males and females, so it’s best for finding a range of living relatives. It gets less reliable the further back you go because of autosomal DNA changes every generation, so it’s only good for identifying up to third or sometimes fourth cousins and can only give reliable information back to your great-great-grandparents.

A mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test checks the tiny mitochondrial strands inside every cell. Both males and female inherit these mitochondria from their maternal line. It can be extended much further back in time because it doesn’t change quickly. It gives very precise details about your ancestors and distant cousins – even your 48th cousin! – but only if they lie on your maternal line. It’s good for proving you come from a particular region, ethnicity, or family group but not for finding relatives.

Y-DNA testing examines only the genetic information in the Y-chromosome, which is only found in males. It also does not change quickly, so like mtDNA, Y-DNA testing is good for proving relationship to a common ancestor or checking relationship with another individual, but it only works along the male or paternal line. This also means that only men can do a Y-DNA test, although women could ask a close male relative to take the Y-DNA test and then share the results.

Pricing

The price of the DNA test varies between different companies as well as depending on the type of test you take. mtDNA tests are the most expensive type of DNA testing, while autosomal DNA tests are the lowest cost and Y-DNA tests come in somewhere between the two. Although the tests are more or less the same, there’s a huge fluctuation in price between different companies so do compare prices before you buy. Some companies, like LivingDNA, offer a package of all 3 tests for a discount.

Ease of Use

Most DNA testing kits are pretty straightforward, but some elderly or weak individuals can find spit tests awkward to use. In those cases, companies that offer a cheek swab for taking samples instead of needing a saliva sample could be easier.

Reports

Not every company offers the same range of reports. Very few genealogical DNA testing companies will include health and wellness reports. Most companies provide ancestral reports, which break down your family heritage, ethnicity, and which region of the world you hail from, although some are more detailed than others. Some also provide a chromosomal browser which lets you compare your genetic profile with that of others from around the world. You can also find cousin matching reports, which let you know if you have any matches with other people registered with the same service.

Test Accuracy

The type of test you choose affects the accuracy since autosomal DNA tests are less accurate the further back you go but mtDNA and Y-DNA tests remain reliable for dozens of generations. The biggest DNA testing companies such as Ancestry.com, MyHeritage, and LivingDNA are all pretty equally accurate in their test results. However, all companies warn that you shouldn’t use home DNA tests for detailed and critical genetic information like the risk of genetic disorders or of developing cancer.

Privacy

With the rise of hackers and cyber thieves, privacy is a big concern for DNA testing. Check that the company you choose uses industry-standard safeguards and firewalls to protect your details. You should also check that the company you choose has a strong privacy policy and won’t sell your details to medical research facilities or commercial partners without your agreement. It’s important to ask what exactly the company does with your details.

Special Features

As well as these considerations, there are a few extra features that are offered by some DNA testing companies. Some companies store your data indefinitely which means you can discover new family history information 50 years down the line. Others only store it for a certain number of years.

Another feature is the size of the database. The bigger the database of users, the better your chances of finding a match.

Some companies also permit you to upload raw genealogical data to their database so you can see if you have any matches without taking a test again.

Cyber Monday and Black Friday DNA Test Sales

Cyber Monday DNA Test Sales

11-26-2017

http://blog.familyhistoryhound.com/black-friday-specials/

Black Friday DNA Test Sales

11-24-2017

Vicki’s note – Here are some Black Friday Sales :

From Family Tree DNA –  $49  and up depending on type of test –

per Hound on the Hunt, Diane T-J:

http://blog.familyhistoryhound.com/this-weeks-treasures/

From 23and Me:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G7PYQTM?tag=livescience01-20

From MyHeritage:

https://www.myheritage.com/dna?utm_source=black_friday_sale_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=legacy_email&utm_content=link2

From Ancestry.com:

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=dna%20test%20ancestry

 

 

 

 

DNA Testing Sales and Deals

The more people that get tested, the more chances you have of ethnicity samples becoming more accurate, and the more chances you have of finding cousins.  If you have had your DNA tested, look back at the results a couple of times per year, you may find more accurate results just from more data being added from new testers. You will not have to pay again.
Or you can pay about $39 to have a DNA test from another company transferred to Family Tree DNA.  The more companies you test at, the greater your chances of having a match with a cousin. 
And information from YourDNAGuide.com about another free option to share your DNA tests.  Download your results to Gedmatch.com   to compare with more users.   GEDmatch provides DNA and genealogical analysis tools for amateur and professional researchers and genealogists. Most tools are free.  Read how to do it in the second part below:

 

DNA Testing Sales and Deals

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DNA DEALS

There are so many DNA Deals we had to add a special page for them all. I have to tell you I haven’t met a DNA test that I didn’t like and I’ve tested with every one of these companies. Take advantage of the Father’s Day Specials; for yourself, your dad, your uncle, your aunt. Tell everyone to test, because I’m always looking for cousins.

AncestryDNA (Canada) Get $20 off their DNA kits.  Click HERE

 AncestryDNA (US) Get 20% off their DNA kits.  Click HERE

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) Save as much as 20% off their DNA kits. Click HERE

MyHeritage Save $20 off their DNA kits. Click HERE

23andMe – Get your genealogy and medical DNA information. Save $50.  Click HERE 

Living DNA Save $40 off their DNA kits Click HERE

 

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Gedmatch.

Gedmatch can be a great place to collaborate with others who have been tested at other companies and gain access to more genetic tools to try to figure out how you are related to others.

It is a FREE (yes, FREE!) service provided by very intelligent and motivated genetic genealogists. Anyone with genetic genealogy test results from 23andMe, FTDNA.com (the Family Finder test), and Ancestry.com.

1. Head over to www.Gedmatch.com and click on “New User.”

National DNA Test Sales end today!

Vicki’s note – WOW – massive sale for everything DNA genealogy testing research!  Hurry – most end today April 26.  DNA testing sales will happen again around the Christmas Holiday season.  Also be looking to see if there is another National DNA Test Sales day (s) about April 21-25 next year.  I have been way busy lately and just saw notice of this very short sale from Thomas MacEntee:

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😍 MASSIVE DNA DAY SALE 23andme $79 + free shipping, AncestryDNA $79 +free shipping, Family Tree DNA $59 and more

Try the new Yahoo Mail

5 First Steps to Researching Your Own Adoption

Vicki’s Note – article from Family Tree Magazine:

5 First Steps to Researching Your Own Adoption

11/28/2016

Simplify researching your adoption by taking these 5 easy first steps.

Trying to discover the identities of your own birth parents means navigating a maze of records access laws, genetic matches and family stories. Make sure you cover these 5 first steps to researching your own adoption as you begin your search:

1. Get a current copy of every bit of information the state where the adoption took place makes available.

You may have done this, but if it’s been more than a couple of years, do it again: Laws may have been passed making records more open. If the state allows access to your original birth certificate, get it. If a past request was denied, ask again, in case the laws have changed.

2. Review every scrap of information available within your adoptive family.

Review every letter, photo, postcard and memory for clues about the adoption and your biological parents. Ask questions of everyone who might have information and be willing to share it.

3. Take an autosomal DNA test at every testing company you can.

AncestryDNA has the biggest pool of test-takers, but don’t overlook 23andMe and the Family Finder test from Family Tree DNA. The right test for you is the test that puts you into the pool with a close family member—and you won’t know where that pool is until you dive into it.

4. Share your information on registries that cover the area where you were adopted.

Then search to see whether a member of your birth family may be looking for you. Many states (such as New York) have registries, and you can use websites such as Adopted.com.

5. Join online support groups.

Groups such as DNAAdoption and the DNA Detectives group on Facebook may be able to help you. Some can teach you more about DNA testing and how to build the kinds of family trees you’ll need to identify your genetic matches. Some can help you navigate record access issues or explain the confidential intermediary process. All will help guide you when it’s time to make contact with a possible family member.

Learning the DNA Lingo

Vicki’s Note – article from Family Tree Magazine.)
Learning the DNA Lingo
4/6/2016
By Blaine T. Bettinger
Taking a DNA test for genetic genealogy research? We’ll help you understand some of the scientific terms you’ll come across.
Autosomal DNA (also called atDNA or admixture DNA): genetic material inherited equally from mother and father. It’s genealogically useful for ancestry back through about five to seven generations. Beyond that, you may not have inherited enough DNA from any one ancestor for that person to be represented in your autosomal DNA.

Centimorgan (cM): a measurement of the distance between genetic markers on the DNA based on the expected frequency of recombination with each generation. On average, one cM equals one million base pairs. In general, the more centimorgans you share with a genetic match, the closer your relationship (although individuals related through multiple ancestors also may share a high number of centimorgans).

Chromosome: a threadlike strand of DNA that carries genes and transmits hereditary information.

Genome: All the genetic material in the chromosome set of an organism. 46 chromosomes make up the human genome.

Genotype: The genetic makeup of a particular individual.

DYS (DNA Y-chromosome Segment): DYS followed by a number identifies a short segment of Y-chromosome DNA, also called a Short Tandem Repeat (STR) or a marker. A Y-DNA test reveals how many repeats of a particular nucleotide sequence are found at that DYS marker. For example, DYS390 is one of the most commonly tested Y-DNA markers, and values for the marker typically range from 19 to 28 repeats.

Genetic cousins: Individuals whose DNA test results match one another. You may have cousins who aren’t genetic cousins—that is, you and your cousin don’t match on DNA tests because you didn’t inherit enough of the same DNA from the same ancestor.

Haplogroup: a collection of related haplotypes with a common ancestor. The haplogroup (also called a clade) is usually defined by a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mutation that arose in an ancestor hundreds or thousands of years ago, and is found in all of the descendant haplotypes.

Haplotype: an individual’s set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or DYS markers. Males who are recently related through their paternal line will have similar haplotypes and belong to the same haplogroup. The more diverse two haplotypes are, the more time has passed since their most recent common ancestor.

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA): genetic material both males and females inherit from their mothers. Because it’s passed down mostly unchanged from mothers to daughters, mtDNA can tell you about your maternal line—but because this type of DNA mutates infrequently, the results reveal only “deep ancestry,” not definitive links to recent generations.

Modal: the set of most-common DYS values in a group of closely related haplotypes. A particular branch of a surname, for example, might have a slightly different modal from another branch of the name.

MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor): the most recent paternal ancestor of two males. Every male on earth shares an MRCA with every other male, although some will have an MRCA thousands of years ago and others will have an MRCA within the last few generations. Y-DNA results can reveal how many generations have passed between two participants and their MRCA.

Mutation: a usually harmless change in the DNA sequence. A mutation can change the value of a DYS marker, for example. Although mutations are random, they typically occur at a known rate and thus provide a rough molecular “clock” useful for surname studies.

NPE (non-paternal event): a break in the Y-chromosome line resulting from adoption, infidelity or another cause. NPEs (also known as non-paternity events or false paternity) can be detected by DNA testing.

Recombination: the exchange of DNA segments at conception. Due to recombination, you inherit less autosomal DNA from each generation going back in time.

SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism): the mutation of a single nucleotide in the Y-DNA sequence. One of the nucleotides, represented by the letters A, T, C or G, replaces another at that location in the sequence. Haplogroups are defined by SNPs.

STR (Short Tandem Repeat): a repeat of a short nucleotide sequence on the Y-chromosome. The DYS390 marker, for example, is an STR with between 19 and 28 repeats of the short nucleotide sequence. Closely related males will have a similar number of repeats.

TMRCA (Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor): an estimate of the amount of time between two males and their most recent paternal ancestor, calculated using differences between the two haplotypes.

Y-DNA: genetic material passed down from father to son. Because surnames also pass from father to son, Y-DNA tests can confirm (or disprove) genealogical links through a paternal line.

Planning to add genetic genealogy to your family history research strategy? Or have you already taken a DNA test with Ancestry DNA, Family Tree DNA, 23andme or another company? Visit Family Tree University to find convenient, online genetic genealogy classes to help you choose the right test for your needs, analyze your test results, and use your results to answer questions about your family tree.

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