Thursday, August 25, 2011

DNA Testing for Genealogy

Have you considered having a DNA test to help in your genealogical research but still have questions? FamilyTreeDNA provided two interesting options in their latest newsletter which might be of interest to you.
     First, FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA) has announced, "[w]e are pleased to inform you about the launch of a new feature "Third Party" uploads. This will allow for the upload of 33 and 46-marker Y-DNA test results from Ancestry, GeneTree or Sorensen's SMGF." FTDNA has already "absorbed" DNA Heritage so accepting results from other companies allows for more possible matches in the FTDNA database.  You can learn more about all the features offered if you "transfer" by visiting the Products page and scrolling almost to the bottom, http://www.familytreedna.com/products.aspx.
     If you've already had a Y-DNA test performed (by any company) and don't want to spend more money to transfer to FTDNA you can always use their free public resource, YSearch, http://www.ysearch.org/. If you tested with FTDNA it is super simple to join this free website and have your test results entered. If you tested with another company you will need to manually enter your results. Why wouldn't you skip the transfer cost and just do this? Different companies test different markers. This is the proverbial comparing apples to oranges. You can only match on the same markers. FTDNA says they have the largest DNA database in the world so transfering your results and then adding the additional markers not tested by your company can result in new matches.
     Make sure you learn about testing at FTDNA, including test types and projects, before deciding what you want to do.

     The other announcement from FTDNA relates to learning more. FTDNA Webinars are now available through Relative Roots. Some webinars are free but those with a fee also come with a limited time discount. If you are really serious about getting tested but need more information than you have been able to gather on your own, this might be the option for you. Learn more here, http://relativeroots.net/webinars/ftdna/.

     Archived copies of past newsletters from FamilyTreeDNA are available at http://www.familytreedna.com/news-letter.aspx. At the time of writing the latest issue sent by email (Summer 2011) had not been posted under "latest issue."