I RECOMMEND

COMPANIES I USE AND RECOMMEND


For DNA Testing:


AncestryDNA << Click Here

The AncestryDNA autosomal DNA test's strength lies in its vast collection of family trees that are attached to your matches' DNA results. Their excellent system automates searching for common ancestors by comparing your family tree with your matches' family trees and identifying the ancestors who may be responsible for the DNA match. Although I feel that the fact that they do not provide the underlying matching segment data is a serious drawback to their product, I definitely recommend "fishing in all three ponds" for meaningful matches. AncestryDNA raw data can also be uploaded into the Family Tree DNA's Family Finder ($39).

FamilyTreeDNA.com << Click Here

Family Tree DNA's autosomal DNA test Family Finder ($99) is also a good option. For Y-STR and mtDNA testing, FTDNA is the only company that I currently recommend. I generally recommend testing, at least, 37 markers for Y-DNA and the full sequence for mtDNA*. If finances are an issue, then start with one of the lower resolution tests, like HVR1&2 mtDNA* test, and upgrade at a later time. Family Tree DNA guarantees storage of the DNA, so testing any elderly relatives at FTDNA is strongly recommended. 
*Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing is usually not genealogically informative, so I recommend that women, instead, start with autosomal DNA testing and men test either their Y-DNA or autosomal DNA (or both).  

23andMe.com << Click Here

For autosomal DNA testing, 23andMe ($199) offers the most comprehensive look at your ancestry. The features include a highly regarded ancestral breakdown or "ethnicity" estimate, haplogroups and a cousin matching feature.



For Genealogy Research: 

Ancestry.com << Click Here

 


For People Search:

People Search by Spokeo << Click Here

Spokeo is very helpful for locating living people once you have narrowed down your search.  




Disclosure of Material Connection 
Ordering through these links or those found in other locations throughout this blog will result in "Your Genetic Genealogist" receiving a small commission from your sale which helps defray the costs of my extensive volunteer work. It will not increase the price that you pay. These relationships do not affect the opinions stated in my blog in any way. I exclusively recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

For Straight Donations:


 

84 comments:

  1. Today I attempted to do the autosomal test with 23andMe. They are currently not offering that test to Maryland residents, due to restrictions in the state requirements for clinical testing. Perhaps I should just go ahead and use Family Tree DNA?
    I am somewhat baffled by the many software choices for organizing and publishing/sharing digital data. Suggestions for articles/books to read? And organizing paper data? I am going to join ISGS, as per your suggestion. Thanks, scyounts scyounts@gmail.com

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  2. what would anyone recommend for native american ancestry? My sister had AncestryDNA done in January 2014 with the new test they provide for females, and it came back with no Native American, all European. We are most CERTAINLY at least 8% native American. We were shocked that didn't show up in the test.

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    Replies
    1. I find 23andMe to absolutely be the best for picking up small amounts of Native American. Although at 8% - all of the companies should be picking it up. 23andMe will also provide your haplogroups, which could confirm Native American ancestry on one of your direct lines (mtDNA = mother's mother's mother's line and/or Y-DNA = father's father's father's line). Possibly, your recent ancestor who was traditionally full Native American may have already had some European or African admixture from earlier intermarriage with non-Natives who assimilated into their tribe.

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    2. Membership in a Native American tribe is usually determined either by blood quantum or by some specifically defined type of ancestry. (For example, the Cherokee Nation doesn't use blood quantum, but goes by whether you have an ancestor on the Dawes Rolls. There may be other criteria as well for the CN that I'm not aware of.) They do not do a genetic test on you to see how Native you are. So if you have someone in your background that's legally Native because they met the minimum blood quantum, or they're one of the nations that goes by the Dawes Rolls, they could be almost completely white from a genetic standpoint and therefore you wouldn't inherit much in the way of genes.

      I just got my info back today from Ancestry and it tells me I'm 2% Native by estimate. Having already investigated the putative tribe my mother's line supposedly comes from, those people are already mostly European by genes, and then my mother's line married into Cajun French people mainly. So... I hate to use the phrase "watered down," but that's what I am.

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  3. I've been looking online and haven't been able to find an answer... does FamilyTree DNA's Y-STR also use saliva? Thanks!

    And, I' watched a recording of your seminar at Jamboree & really enjoyed it! I'm now digging in deeper to DNA & how it can help me in my genealogy research.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dana,
      No, Family Tree DNA uses a cheek swab. It is very simple and painless. (I prefer it to the saliva kits.)
      I'm glad you enjoyed my presentation. Thank you for letting me know!
      Best of luck with your research!

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  4. I'm curious which site you'd recommend for testing Jewish ancestry? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. What are you trying to determine? W Which ancestral lines are you interested in?

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    2. Hi Ccc! I'm from Canada! I tested with FTDNA, Family Finder, and I have found my Paternal family, I'm so happy!! Now, I'm looking for my Maternal family! I did the mtDNA test, but the matches I got, it's really distant matches!!
      I'm waiting for someone who would test, and would be very close match! I was adopted in 1945, I was born in 1944 in Montreal Canada!! My origins with the mtDNA are more Polish, German, Jewish, Lithuanian names?? My fater was Irish, he was born in Pennsylvania, Oil City it's called!! I don't know what to do now?? I need help, thanks, Nicole

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  5. Hi, I wrote a post that didn't post for some reason, it bounced me back to Google login..... I apologize in advance if it posts a duplicate later on! Technology, gotta love it!

    Anyway, I have a couple questions I'm hoping you can help me with...... I just received my Ancestry DNA results. Do you have any recommendations for reading I can do to understand them better? The regions are broken down pretty broadly (i.e. W. Europe may cover France, Belgium, Germany and several other countries). Secondly, if I want to get results from 23andMe or Family Tree DNA, do you recommend uploading the raw data or is it better to re-take their tests? I have a lot of early European (Virginia territories North Carolina) and Native American intermarriages. Several lines of my family have been in the South since early/mid 1600 and on into the 1700s. Oh, one more question, I am asking several members of my family to consider taking the DNA test to get a broader picture. Would you recommend they do 23and Me? Do the men need to do the Y-DNA test or should they all do the autosomal? Thanks, Thea

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  6. I am unsure of whether to test myself or my father (or brother). I know my mother's ancestry as she was Amish and I have books on her genealogy. I doubt a DNA test would tell me much of anything that I don't know in regards to her side of the family. My father's side is more of what I am interested in. Would it be smarter to test myself, my father, or my brother? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I would recommend testing your father in that case.

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  7. Hi: My brother and I have a 20-yr roadblock finding our grandfather's father that we're trying to solve w/ autosomal DNA. We found someone on Ancestry and Gedmatch who comes up as 2.8, 3.0, and 3.1 MRCA matches, respectively, with my brothers and me. Their tree is well developed and shows their g-grandfather as having the same last name and small family town as our g-grandfather. However, his first name (John M Hall) doesn't match our oral family history (William E Hall) and there's no record of John having a son with our grandfather's name, Frank. Oral history said William died young and he was adopted out to an aunt or uncle. John did not die young, but did adopt out some children. So our specific question is, could the MRCA results be skewed because of cousin intermarriage? John M married his 1st cousin once removed, who was also a Hall. Could this supercharge the Hall DNA so that in fact the true MRCA is actually one generation up, ie, we share a g-g-grandfather with this person instead? In that case, Wm. could be a missing brother of John instead of his son. With the answer to this, we can finally move on. Thanks so much for your help!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, that could be the case. What is the total number of cMs in common on Gedmatch?

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    2. To recap: We suspect that our grandfather was the son of either John M Hall (JMH) or his father, Stephen Hall (SH).

      JMH married his first cousin once removed, also a Hall.
      JEH (new individual) is the confirmed g-grandson of JMH.

      Both my brother and I show strong genetic ties to JEH. The Gedmatch results are as follows:
      My brother to JEH: Largest segment = 64.5 cM, Total of segments > 7 cM = 289.9 cM, Estimated number of generations to MRCA = 2.8
      Me to JEH: Largest segment = 51.6 cM, Total of segments > 7 cM = 205.1 cM, Estimated number of generations to MRCA = 3.1

      Normally with such results, we'd feel comfortable saying that JMH is our g-grandfather, despite the family history being slightly different. But we're concerned that the first-cousin marriage between Halls has skewed the results. Any light you can shed is appreciated.

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  8. On one of the Henry Louis Gates episode, Anderson Cooper was discussed. He was determined to be a small part Chilean Indian. What test determined this? 23andMe says they cannot determine anything more than you have some Asian/Native American ancestry.

    Thanks.

    David

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    Replies
    1. Hi David, The tool that we used is Countries of Ancestry from 23andMe. We would not have drawn that conclusion on CoA alone, however. The episode didn't mention it, but it turns out that Anderson has a 2nd great grandmother from Chile. That knowledge plus the Native segment and the match on CoA from Chile is what led us to confidently conclude what was shown on the episode. Thanks!

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    2. Thanks for the reply. I am assuming the same is true of Jessica Alba's Sephardic Jewish ancestry - that there was some documentary evidence to augment the genetic study. 23andme tells me that they look for certain haplogroups that are associated with Jewish ancestry (E1b, G, etc.) but have no definitive test. I believe I have some Sephardic ancestry but it doesn't look like I am going to find that with a genetic test alone. Is that correct?

      Thanks again.

      David

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    3. No, her case was different. Her father's mtDNA belongs to a subclade that was specifically identified as Sephardic in origin in a newly published paper. Unless you can identify Y-DNA and mtDNA subclades that are strongly associated with Sephardic ancestry, it is extremely difficult to categorize Sephardic DNA. I'm sure our ability to recognize it will improve as we progress.

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  9. Hello Cece,

    My name is Nehemia and I have a question for you, which company has the largest DNA database from Ancestry.com or 23andme? Where can I expect to receive more matches? what company is experiencing a fasting growth? which company is expected to have the largest and more solid autosomal database?
    I am Latino and so far I have tested three members of my family, but want to test four more members and want your advice, but don't know which company will give me a better experience. We trying to discover meaningful matches because my grandparents are unaware of their family background and my grandfather never even met his family.

    All the best,
    Nehemia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nehemia,

      AncestryDNA and 23andMe have about the same database size now, however AncestryDNA is experiencing much faster growth than 23andMe at this time. 23andMe caps your matches at 1000. AncestryDNA does not cap matches, but uses a different algorithm to determine DNA matches, so it is difficult to say which one will give more matches for any one individual.

      I like both companies for different reasons. I like that 23andMe allows us to see the underlying genetic data. AncestryDNA does not. I also like 23andMe's admixture predictions better ("ethnicity"). On the other hand, I love AncestryDNA's DNA match interface with the family trees attached and right there at your fingertips for review. For genealogy, AncestryDNA offers more for most people since many of the testers at 23andMe tested for health purposes and do not respond to genealogical inquiries.

      As I always say, testing at all three companies (+FTDNA) is really the best way to get the most out of your DNA research. If this isn't possible, try testing a member of your family at the company that you haven't used yet to see if you like working with it and if you get more meaningful matches. Some prefer 23andMe and some prefer AncestryDNA. Many also prefer FTDNA's Family Finder for atDNA testing. (The atDNA database is smaller there, but is specifically geared toward genetic genealogy research.) If you are testing elderly relatives, FTDNA is good because they are the only company that guarantees DNA storage at this time.

      Best of luck with your journey of discovery!
      CeCe

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  10. Hi,
    I have taken the 23andme test as well as uploaded results to Gedmatch. on 23andme I as well as a great aunt and her daughter show no Native American however, my younger sister has a very small %. We were always told we had it through maternal line. I also have quite a few of 3rd-distant cousins who have Native American that shows through 23andme. Now, when i uploaded through Gedmatch, n a few different areas it shows anywhere between 0.17-0.95% Amerindian. I was wondering if the unassigned amount from 23andme could be Amerindian ? i just thought it was strange that my great aunt didn't show any either. This sane great aunt (maternal grandmothers sister) also showed up as a 1st cousin with 6.12% shared with 38 segments? this seems like a small percent to share with a great maternal aunt. If you have any ideas for these I would greatly appreciate it!
    Thank you kindly and Happy New Year!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Barbara,
      It is possible that the unassigned DNA could be Native American, although it is also possible that you and your great aunt just didn't inherit any of that DNA while your sister inherited a small amount that your grandmother had and her sister did not, which could be because...
      6.12% is only about half of what is expected for a full great aunt. The most likely explanation is that she and your grandmother only share one parent instead of two and she is your "half" great aunt. .
      Happy New Year to you too!
      CeCe

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. Hi CeCe,
    I'm going to try and dip my toe into the DNA testing process. I thought I'd start with my brother for a Y-DNA test from Family Tree. He is the last male I know of with the family name. I've gotten back to mid 1600s in Scotland using the Old Church Parish Records. I'd like to know where we came from - Norse, Pictish. . .would Pictish DNA show up? I'm just nervous to make the jump.

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    Replies
    1. That sounds like a great start! For some people with Scottish Y-DNA they get a very detailed result, but you never know what you will get until you test. Once you get your results, you can join the appropriate haplogroup project where the experts are for each individual subclade. They will be able to tell you more and may recommend specific SNP testing to try to determine a more specific origin. Nothing to be nervous about - there is lots of assistance out there for Y-DNA results. Good luck!!!

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  12. Hi CeCe, I need a recommendation from you as to what DNA test would be best suited for my situation. My Dad (passed away) never knew who his Father was. I have always wanted to know anything about his Father. Is there a DNA test that would give some insight to this?

    Looking forward to your recommendation

    Thank you

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  13. Hello, I need some expert DNA advice. What would be the best DNA test to take. My Dad (passed away) never met his Father. Is there a certain DNA test you recommend that would give a little insight to my Grandfather? My Family tree is a little bare o my Dad's side

    Looking forward to your recommendation

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    Replies
    1. Hi Brett,
      If you are especially interested in your surname, then the Y-37 test would be my recommendation from Family Tree DNA since it focused specifically on that ancestral line. If you want to know about all of your paternal grandfather's ancestral lines (like his mother's side), then I recommend you take an autosomal DNA test like AncestryDNA and/or 23andMe. (details above)

      If you decide to order the Y37 test use my link above and then enter the coupon code FTDNA5 to get $5 off.

      Best of luck with your research!
      CeCe

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    2. CeCe, thank you so much. I joined the Facebook page also. Good Information

      Thank you

      Delete
  14. Dear CeCe,

    What a wonderful blog you have! I've been reading it for the last few months, and you were the first person to come to mind to ask this question I've been struggling with.
    My family is Ashkenazi Jewish on every side I can trace, but I decided to take atDNA tests via Ancestry, FTDNA, and 23andMe to see if there was anything else lurking around. And all three tests found some minor percentage of non-Ashkenazi DNA—which was kind of cool—but the origins of said DNA varied wildly among the three tests:

    ANCESTRYDNA
    European Jewish: 94% (range 85–99%)
    Italy/Greece: 5% (range 0%–12%—trace)
    Scandinavia: 1% (range 0%–5%—trace)

    FTDNA
    Ashkenazi Jewish: 84%
    Southern European: 13%
    Middle Eastern: 2%
    Eastern European: 1%

    23ANDME (speculative)
    Ashkenazi: 96.3% (92.9% standard, 77.5% conservative)
    Broadly European: 2.6% (5.9% standard, 20.3% conservative)
    Eastern European: 0.4% (0% standard/conservative)
    Broadly Southern European: 0.4% (0% standard/conservative)
    Iberian: 0.1% (0.1% standard, <0.1% conservative)
    Finnish: 0.1% (0% standard/conservative)
    Broadly East Asian: 0.1% (0% standard/conservative)
    Broadly Northern European: <0.1% (0% standard/conservative)

    Besides the obvious Ashkenazi ancestry, there are a few minor commonalities—every test shows a bit of Mediterranean ancestry, for example—but the wide range in estimates gives me pause. I know all three companies have different algorithms and (I think) reference populations, but it seems odd to me that "East Asian" and "Middle Eastern" would appear in one test, but not the other two at all.

    In your (very impressive!!) experience, what should I infer from all this data in terms of my ancestry composition? Being Jewish, it's unlikely that I'll find any "DNA cousins" who I'm actually traceably related to anytime soon, so this ethnic origin data means a lot to me.

    Thank you so much, CeCe. I love PBS's genealogy series!

    Cordially,
    Jason

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  15. Hi CeCe,
    Both my parents are still alive and I'd like to get some genealogy DNA testing done. Is it better (i.e. more informative) to test both my father (Y and autosomal) and my mother (mt & autosomal) or will I get similarly useful information by just testing myself (Y, mt & autosomal)? I guess my question is whether there is an advantage to testing earlier generations (more diverse data, deeper reach or whatever)? If so, then it should be worth the extra cost - what do you think?
    Love your work!
    Matt

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    Replies
    1. Sorry I missed this, Matt. You may have already gotten your questions answered elsewhere, but I will respond just in case and because this is a common and important question. For the Y-DNA and mtDNA, you can test yourself because they change very slowly from generation to generation, but for the atDNA, you definitely want to test the oldest living generation. With each generation about 50% of the atDNA is lost and so testing a parent captures much more information about our ancestors. Family Tree DNA is the only company that guarantees storage of the DNA at this point, so you may want to have both of them tested there. Since they have the smallest atDNA database (Family Finder), I would suggest doing the Y-37 test on your father there and the mtDNA or atDNA test on your mother just so you have their DNA in storage for the future. (Ask the company for an additional vial for each.) Then, testing them both on AncestryDNA and/or 23andMe for autosomal DNA (preferably both if you can). Best of luck in your research! - CeCe

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  16. Hi CeCe, I have a quick question - both my parents are still alive and I'm interested in getting some DNA testing done to help sort out our ancestry. Is there an advantage in testing my father (Y and autosomal) and mother (mt and autosomal) or is it just as informative if I do the testing (Y, mt & autosomal) on myself. Is the data you can get from earlier generations more informative or 'cleaner'?
    Love your work!
    Cheers, Matt
    (sorry if you got this more than once - having trouble getting it to post)

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  17. Hello CeCe, I recently decided to get some genealogy DNA testing done because I suffer from an extremely painful disease named Dercums Disease and it seems no one in my family has anything even remotely close this this disease so i wanted to see if I have a predisposed DNA to get rare genetic disease. I used FTDNA and had a Family Finder autosomal DNA test done. I got the results back with some startling results. I was always told I am 100% Italian and I found out my origins are 52% Middle Eastern, 40% European and 9% Jewish Ashkenazi. I did some research and found out that the Ashkenazi Jews have a higher rate of rare genetic diseases. I am curious to know if there are any places I can go to that can help me with this rare genetic part of my DNA and see if I will get more diseases? Any help would be so appreciated.
    I love your work. Thank you in advance,

    John C. Russo

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  18. I have taken the Autosomnal test through 23andMe and uploaded the results to GedMatch and FamilyTree DNA. I have taken all the Autosomnal test on GedMatch and all show I have a sizable DNA contribution from Western Asia, South Asia & the Eastern Mediterranean. There is also a small amount of Native American, but all of the cMs are below 4. None of this shows up on 23andMe, but everything else they show matches.

    My questions are why this is the case? Secondly, which is accurate? Am I part Asian and Eastern Mediterranean? Am I part Native American from a very distant ancestor? I have two close relatives on 23andMe, 1 maternal & 1 paternal, and both of them have Native American DNA. Also, one of them shows a small amount of Middle Eastern DNA, that might be comparable to the Eastern Mediterranean. Neither show South Asian or Western Asian.

    I also have documentation and DNA evidence for ancestors that point toward the Eastern Mediterranean and possibly Western Asian. The Southern Asian, if true, would be a mystery.

    Thanks,

    Kelly

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  19. I have taken the Autosomnal test through 23andMe and uploaded the results to GedMatch and FamilyTree DNA. I have taken all the Autosomnal test on GedMatch and all show I have a sizable DNA contribution from Western Asia, South Asia & the Eastern Mediterranean. There is also a small amount of Native American, but all of the cMs are below 4. None of this shows up on 23andMe, but everything else they show matches.

    My questions are why this is the case? Secondly, which is accurate? Am I part Asian and Eastern Mediterranean? Am I part Native American from a very distant ancestor? I have two close relatives on 23andMe, 1 maternal & 1 paternal, and both of them have Native American DNA. Also, one of them shows a small amount of Middle Eastern DNA, that might be comparable to the Eastern Mediterranean. Neither show South Asian or Western Asian.

    I also have documentation and DNA evidence for ancestors that point toward the Eastern Mediterranean and possibly Western Asian. The Southern Asian, if true, would be a mystery.

    Thanks,

    Kelly

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  20. Hi! I have been looking at your website to get insight on which DNA test is best but I must admit, I am still a bit confused. I am an African American female looking to research both my mother and father's lineage. Will the autosomal test give me links to my father's heritage? My paternal uncle is also interested in testing for both of his parents lineage. What test is best for him?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Rashida,
      Yes, testing yourself (autosomal DNA) will give you information on both sides of your tree because you get half of your atDNA from mom and half from dad. Which company's test to order is always a difficult question to answer because there are pros and cons of each and it depends on your goals. There are aspects of 23andMe's tests that I find really valuable for African Americans like the fact that they gave away 10k free tests to African Americans several years ago which helped to establish a vibrant AA community there (for matching and on the forums). I also like that they have been testing people with recent roots in Africa to help African Americans connect with their cousins from Africa and identify the areas their ancestors may have come from. However, the downside is that it is often difficult to communicate with your matches there and many are anonymous. AncestryDNA is the fastest growing database and has family trees attached to the results which helps a lot with our research, but they do not tell us the details of our shared DNA (chromosome browser). They also have the African regional breakdown which many find valuable. As far as your uncle, if he/you are interested in your surname line, then the Y-37 test is recommended in addition to the autosomal DNA tests. Best of luck! - CeCe

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  21. Hi I have just seen you on the DNA Detectives presently showing in New Zealand with your relation Jack Tame. If I was to have DNA testing done would you recommend 23andMe.com for us in New Zealand? Regards Mary

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mary, I wasn't on the show, but they are apparently using my company/brand name. Regardless, yes, I would recommend 23andMe for testers in NZ since they have been testing internationally much longer than AncestryDNA. The other option is testing at Family Tree DNA since they also have been testing internationally for years. Thanks for writing, CeCe

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  22. I am a member of 23andMe and Family Tree DNA. The test for Family Tree DNA shows that part of my ancestry is from North Africa, but 23andMe only shows Sub Saharan African. I am descended from a free Colonial black family, so I know the Sub Saharan is probably right. Is the North African right on family tree DNA and if so, why doesn't it show on 23andMe?

    I have also tried all of the test on GedMatch and consistently it shows I am 6% Southwest Asian and 1% South Indian. Do you think those results are valid?

    Thank you for your time,

    Kelly Shockley

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kelly,
      I consider 23andMe the most accurate. So, I think it is unlikely that you have North African, Southwest Asian or South Indian ancestry.
      CeCe

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  23. Dear Cece,

    What test do you recommend to find out if I have Jewish ancestry. 23 and me seems to be very limited with this sort of information. I saw a site called Genetic Consultants that perform Jewish marker test. http://dnaconsultants.com/our-tests/jewish-dna-ancestry-test.
    Thank you so much,

    Christopher Espinosa

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    Replies
    1. Hi Christopher,
      23andMe is the best for detecting Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. My experience is that DNA Consultants will often predict Jewish ancestry where there isn't any.
      CeCe

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  24. Dear CeCe

    Both of my elderly parents are still alive and would like to test their DNA for many reasons. They are both from India and one is of Indian heritage, but born in the Fiji Islands. could you recommend which test should be most helpful and accurate? I've also been looking at the latest tests from national geographic - would this be most accurate?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ani,
      Sorry I didn't see this over the holidays. From my experience, 23andMe has the most Indian testers and is the most accurate as far as admixture predictions (ethnicity). You should keep in mind though that there are not very many Indian testers in any of the databases at this point. I would love to see them test!
      Another thing to consider is that Family Tree DNA is the only company that guarantees storage of our DNA, so if you want to ensure that you have their DNA samples for possible future testing, you will want to consider testing them there (preferably additionally). You could test your father on the Y-37 or Y-67 there in order to learn more about your direct paternal line's origins.
      Good luck!
      CeCe

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  25. Hi CeCe

    Thanks for your site and information you provide! My elderly parents are both still alive, and we would like to test their DNA. They are of Indian heritage from northern and southern India. Which tests would you believe to be most accurate?

    Thanks! Ani

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  26. If I had to pick one person on my mother's side to have tested with the Ancestry.com autosomal test should I have my mother or her brother tested? Is there a benefit of one over the other?

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    Replies
    1. I hope you don't have to choose since it would be great to have both. However, if you have to choose, it doesn't really matter which one. I think I would test your mother since I assume you are more interested in her genetics than your uncle's.

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    2. I know I have a lot to learn, but I thought there was something about the male line being significant. I guess that is a different kind of test?

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    3. That is only for the Y-DNA testing. The AncestryDNA test is an autosomal DNA test.

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  27. Hello, like many people our oral family history says we have native american blood on my mother's side. my paper trail seems to support this although some of the info seems to be weak. 23andme shows no NA,0.6 sub sahara, 0.1 middle east and north african, and 0.1 other. Most of the gedmatch tests show some NA and siberian. Your thoughts and how many generations back does the autosomal test capture. thank you!

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  28. I have done the Y-37 test from FamilytreeDNA. In my results for 37 markers I have 5 matches with GD of 4. But all have different surname. I am trying to find my grandfather on the paternal side. My father is passed and my grandmother took the name to the grave. Does the GD of 4 mean that we share a common ancestor 4 generations back? Or do you know of any material that I can look at that will help me to understand all of the Y-DNA data?

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  29. I just finished watching this evening's show. Fascinating and amazing as every single one has been. I would love to know more about my roots and construct a family tree...but that won't be possible as I was born and raised overseas in India, but I still want my DNA analysis done; which is the best place for that?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, I am glad you enjoyed the show and you are inspired to research your roots, even if it can only be done through DNA in your case. My son is half Indian and his best matches are at 23andMe. FTDNA has an India/Pakistan DNA Project so they are a good option as well. AncestryDNA would likely have the least information/matches for you, but testing there first would get you into the FTDNA database for only $39 ($60 off through the transfer program) so it might be worth doing all three if you have the funds. I don't know if you are male, but if so, a Y-DNA test might also be worth your time/money. Best of luck with your research!

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  30. Next lifetime I want to be a DNA genetist. Wait, I can't even spell it correctly. Lord. Anyway, my teen son has to do gene test for his science class. At the same time I would finally like to do mine. Should I do 23&Me for son and AncestryDNA for me? Or the other way around? Or does it matter? I have done a lot of geneaology but am excited to finally do this step.

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    1. What a great project for him! Yes, I think that is the way to do it. 23andMe will give him his paternal haplogroup and his (and your) maternal haplogroup which Ancestry will not. (23andMe will also provide some health related results for him which might be good for his project.) Ancestry will be good for you since it has a lot of genealogy information attached to the DNA results. Just be aware that 23andMe doubled their price awhile back so it is twice as much as AncestryDNA. Good luck!

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    2. Thank you. I saw the price leap on 23&Me...but I think I will follow your advice. Will order now. Thank you!

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    3. I can't believe I'm back again. Many apologies. I ordered the 23&Me kit for my son and the whole family is excited to see what is going on with the genes. My husband asked me a question if his mother's father's line will show up in the genes? Or will it only be my son's, my husbands, and my husband's father...just the male line?

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    4. No problem. :-) Yes, all of his great grandparents contributed about 12.5% of his autosomal DNA, so he will get matches to any of those lines in DNA Relatives and his Ancestry Composition percentages will be from all of them as well. You will also receive his paternal haplogroup which is just from the direct paternal line. These are two different types of DNA.

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    5. We got our test back. My son turned out to 97 Western Europe. Boring. But we did get two surprises. 2.9 Native American and 2.5 Ashkenzi. Very exciting. Question...in the report it lays out the chromosomes and uses color for the different ethnicities. What I don't understand is how they describe...over lapping means both parents contribute the ethincity. I think. but something the color is on a couple of lines...what does that mean? /Users/tracyabbott/Desktop/Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 10.33.41 PM.png

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  31. Hello, my sister was tested on Ancestry a few years ago. My mother's paternal grandfather's mother on his birth certificate that is not his mother that raised him. I am at a road block because I can not find any information on this birth mother. Would the DNA test that my sister did be able to unlock this information, or should I have my great uncle (son to the grandfather in question) take a test. He is 88 and the oldest living relative in the family. If so which test would be most beneficial.

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    1. Her test may be helpful if it was the autosomal DNA test and not the older mtDNA test they offered, but testing him would be so valuable! Family Tree DNA is the only company that will store his DNA for future use, but if he can produce the necessary salvia you really need to test him at AncestryDNA since they have the largest database and provide the best chance of helping you with this brickwall. Optimally, you would test him at AncestryDNA and also order a (least expensive?) test from Family Tree DNA just so you have his DNA in storage for the future. You could order the Y-37 since that may be of interest since he carries your grandfather's Y-DNA also. Good luck!

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  32. I had my DNA tested at Genebase a long time ago. I had the H subclade done as well. How can I transfer that genetic information to Ancestry without repeating all this . If I am an H1 what exactly does that mean?

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  33. I would love to have the Y-Dna tested for my paternal side. Would testing my grandson give me good results? My cousins are unwilling to do this.

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  34. Hi CeCe -- Thank you for your presentation in San Diego last year. I learned so much and have shared your website with many family members. A friend just asked me a question that I haven't seen addressed here so far. She has a child with autism and is wondering if it is possible to trace any genetic traits linked with autism to see if there is a link to a branch of the family. Thanks for any information you can provide!

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  35. Hi, CeCe
    I don't see my question so I'll try again. Today is March 3, 2016. Ancestry DNA tests: me, son, daughter, two grandsons, MY sister, and our maternal female first cousin.
    The two grandsons share one biological mother (NOT my daughter, N/A)- one grandson thought to my son's child, the older grandson thought to be another man's child.
    Our daughter (son's half-sister) has raised both children.
    At ANCESTRY, both grandsons have matches to their BIOLOGICAL maternal lineage, and some of MY family tree ancestors.
    Neither match to my son or to me on Ancestry.
    At GedMatch, by lowering the segment requirements, BOTH grandsons match my son, my daughter, and me on various chromosomes, specifically 15, 16, and 17.
    No Y-dna tests have been done yet.
    Your thoughts on this? Could autosomal DNA tests fail to show true father/son relationships?

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    1. Hi Hera,
      I am very sorry to tell you this, but if your son was the father, then you would not need to lower the threshold at Gedmatch to find shared DNA with him. As your grandson, he would share about 25% of your atDNA and show up near the top of your AncestryDNA match list results. AncestryDNA would never miss a parent/child relationship outside of a sample switch, which is rare. That very small possibility can be ruled out in this situation due to the fact that he is matching his mother's side. Your son may want to perform a legal paternity test to confirm, but I do not believe it will show any different results. I am very sorry.
      CeCe

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  36. Hi,

    I am interested in purchasing an autosomal test, but I can't decide between Family Tree DNA and AncestryDNA. Which do you recommend? I would like to see my ethnic makeup, but I'm also interested in finding other cousins, and I like the fact that the Ancestry test links to the website. Can you tell me which one would be better or most accurate? I will eventually purchase both, but I'm a college student on a limited budget!

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Chance,
      They are both worthwhile, but I think it makes more sense to order AncestryDNA first. This is because after testing there, you can then upload to FTDNA for only $39. So, it will be much cheaper to do it in that order.
      Good luck with your research!
      CeCe

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  37. I'm interested in locating branches of my ashkenazi Jewish family, which we have lost touch with. On one side, we lose the branch at my grandparent's siblings; on the other side, it's my great-grandparents' siblings. Although my parents are living, I'm the only one who is amenable to testing. Which service might be the best? I'm thinking 23andme?

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  38. Hi! Pls, which is the best option for testing my matrilineal lineage for sephardic jewish ancestry? Thks!

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  39. I have been trying to figure out what AncestryDNA can do for me. In my research, I have determined that the Y-DNA could best break down my brick wall on the Surname Lewis.

    My brother was diagnosed with MS in 1975. For the next 27 years he was in several major research hospitals, including Mayo Clinic. In 1999, he died in an accident, and he was the last son of the Lewis family.

    Here’s where I am going with this. I am wondering if any of these hopitals would have done a DNA test for research purposes. If they did, would they have a record of the test results? Could I get and use this record for a Y-DNA test? What companies do the Y-DNA test?
    Thanks!

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  40. I had my DNA tested on 23 and me because my son had an illness. We needed the medical info and for that this 23nme is awesome. It opened up genetic research that I never would have anticipated! That said--now everyone wants to get DNA checked for non medical reasons. I plan to get kits for my mom and uncle--and I'll be happy to pay for them. I'm trying to get more information on my great grandmother's line. I thought maybe I would get one from Ancestry (as you suggest) and the other on FTDNA so I can have access to the family finder. I downloaded my DNA to FTDNA. paid $39 got the great spreadsheet of info, however they don't offer the family finder page unless you bought their kit. Then I need advice for four others who want to get DNA--my sister, daughter, son (adopted, but I have his birth cert.) two cousins and a niece! Just want to spread out our chances of tracking down our common grandparent's elusive lines! ANy help is appreciated ANd ps found a relative on that elusive line thru 23nme but he's adopted!! AT least he is part of our little search group now!

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    1. Sounds great! I am not sure what you mean about FTDNA not offering the Family Finder page unless you bought their kit. If you paid the $39 then you should have received everything you would have if you purchased the test from them originally. If you don't then there is a bug and you need to contact them. Good idea to spread out the DNA across the databases. With Ancestry's huge database and vast network of family trees, I think everyone can benefit from being tested there. As you probably know, 23andMe gives the most comprehensive info and has the best "ethnicity" predictions, but they are much more expensive. You may have received the sale email though which is a significant discount.

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  41. Hi. You have a great blog and I watched the "Finding Your Roots" segment where you helped LLCoolJ identify his family lineage. I am trying to decide if I should use the services of FTDNA or 23andMe. Can you provide insight on the pros and cons of each service?

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    1. Hi Jim, Thank you. It depends on what your goals are and which part of your family tree you are investigating.

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  42. Ms. Moore,

    I am researching the Quinn family and the story is that 5 brothers and/or cousins came from Ireland and settled in the St. Anicet region of Quebec. Thomas, Peter, Michael, John & Terence. We know that Peter and Michael were the sons of Terence Quinn & Mary Bryne as this is stated on their marriage record. We do not know the parents of the other three, if they were brothers or cousins.
    We have contact with a descendant of Peter’s (a 4th generation descendant of Peter Quinn) and a descendant of Thomas, (a 5th generation descendant of Thomas Quinn) We don’t know who the father of Thomas was. What DNA test would tell us if Thomas and Peter were brothers or cousins, if that is possible and what company would be best to use. I see there is mention of markers, can you tell me how many would be best.

    I know you mention that 23andMe might be best but that seems to be mostly medical. I am having my own done by 23andMe (waiting for results) and I was fed up answering medical questions on their questionnaire.

    Hoping you can help, Thank You,
    Rhoda Ross

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  43. Hello, I am hoping you can steer me in the right direction. I'd like to take a DNA test, but am unsure which one would be best for me. My maternal grandmother was Bohemian and I'd like to find out more. What test would you recommend? Thank you! Kelly

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  44. I was sold at birth. After 52 years I was revealed to this fact. None of my adopted parents wishes to reveal any information to me. After one and a half years of investigating I am still at zero as to my mother or real family. Where do i start?

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    1. So sorry to hear that. I would start with AncestryDNA, as discussed above. A Y-37 DNA test would also be a great start.

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    2. PS - Please join my Facebook group DNA Detectives for guidance: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DNADetectives/

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