Sunday, November 30, 2014

Commercial Break.... Autosomal DNA end-of-the-year (2014) Sales...

Well I can't pass up making sure these savings get air time...

There are three major DNA services. I've had my Autosomal DNA done with all 3. Each has their benefits. First off, this test is really inexpensive compared to just a few years ago. The technology has improved so dramatically to create the data used for this type of testing. It also appears to be pretty darn accurate. Three test houses, and three sets of results, and they match exceptionally well.

Family Tree DNA ( announced their price drop for Autosomal, they call it Family Finder from $99 to $89 - good through December 31st

Ancestry DNA ( announced their priced drop for Autosomal (it's the only one they do these days) from $99 to $79 - only good through Monday night December 1st at 11:59PM/ET

The third service is - I haven't seen a price drop from them yet (still $99, which is still great)

The sample they submit is either a cheek swab or "spit" into a small tube. Either way eezy-peezy.

All three provide estimates (which change with additions to the database they keep, as they become more refined) of your percentages of ancestral locations. Some just give major ethnic groups, while others try to refine to regions. The latter is much more speculative, but interesting.

The benefit for Ancestry DNA is a longer track record of family trees that can be easily linked to the DNA connection page. Drawback is so far not much in the way of tools to display results.

FTDNA is only just now inviting participation with family trees.

23andMe has the largest database but it's appeal early on was looking at health risks, so a large segment isn't interested in genealogy. Unfortunately the FDA stepped in awhile back and shut that operation down for any new clients. I'm sure they were pressured by the medical profession concerned that in some way 23andme was offering "medical" advice. That's a shame. Not sure when that might be resolved. I would have loved to see what they would come up for risk factors for me.

Last note I'll make is to a free website called you can upload results from all 3 services (and there are instructions on their website how to get the raw data from each service). This has helped me significantly because not all those that I have to help in my DNA comparison were done on one service. What's great about gedmatch is their tools. An amazing array. Great visual tools comparing the 23 chromosomes. Helps you identify which segments may be the common element from a specific ancestor. What's important is that you don't stop just at yourself for a DNA sample. You should strive to get the oldest relative you can, as well as cousins and siblings. Not all of you get the same "pieces" of your ancestor. My brother has a different mix than I do. He's actually more "Irish" than I am!