Wednesday, August 31, 2011

FTDNA confirms two NFL players are half-siblings

I received this news release from FTDNA today. It involves a heartwarming story of genetic families coming together thanks to DNA testing. As newsworthy as this tale seems today, I believe that this type of discovery will become almost commonplace in the near future:

Houston, TX – August 31, 2011 - Family Tree DNA, the pioneer and largest DNA testing company for genealogy purposes, through its Family Finder test, provided the conclusive proof that two NFL players are half-siblings.

Until a few months ago, Xavier Omon, from the San Francisco 49ers and Ogemdi Nwagbuo from the San Diego Chargers did not have a clue that they were related. Early August, at the request of ESPN, Family Tree DNA performed the Family Finder test on both, and the result was unequivocal: definitely half-siblings. More of the story can be found at the ESPN website, under the “Brother’s Tale” story.

The Family Finder test allows connecting with family members across all ancestral lines [test performed on Xavier and Ogemdi]. While the Y-DNA matches men with a specific paternal line [this test also performed on the brothers] and the mtDNA finds potential relatives only along the maternal line, Family Finder can look for close relationships along all ancestral lines. Anyone, regardless of their gender, may confidently match to male and female cousins from any of their family lines in the past five generations. The science is based on linked blocks of DNA across the 22 autosomal chromosomes that are matched between two people. Based on this concept, Family Tree DNA bioinformatics team has worked extensively to develop the calculations that would yield the closeness of the relationship.

The possibilities to find matches abound: grandparents, aunts and uncles; half siblings; first, second, third and fourth cousins; and, more tentatively, fifth cousins.

About Family Tree DNA

Founded in April 2000, Family Tree DNA was the first company to develop the commercial application of DNA testing for genealogical purposes, something that had previously been available only for academic and scientific research. Almost a decade later, the Houston-based company has a database with over 345,000 individual records – the largest DNA database in genetic genealogy, and a number that makes Family Tree DNA the prime source for anyone researching recent and distant family ties. In 2006 Family Tree DNA established a state of the art Genomics Research Center at its headquarters in Houston, Texas, where it currently performs R&D and processes over 200 advanced types of DNA tests for its customers.

Media contact

Sharon Weisz, —tel: 323-934-2700; e-mail:

[Disclosure - My company StudioINTV has an existing production agreement with FTDNA that has no bearing on the opinions I express. I also receive a small commission from FTDNA on non-sale orders through my affiliate link, which I use to fund DNA tests. I receive no other compensation in relation to any of the companies or products referenced in my blog.]

1 comment:

  1. This is a fascinating story.

    It will be interesting to see if this story gets airtime tonight when the teams of the brothers face off on the FOX Network at 7:00 PM PDT.