Which DNA Test for Ancestry is Best? A Detailed Guide

Which Genealogy DNA Test is the Best? A Detailed Comparison Guide to Help You Decide

Ready to take an ancestry DNA test to better understand your family’s past, but aren’t sure which one to choose? You’re not alone. Several excellent DNA tests for genealogy are now available for a reasonable cost, but picking the right one for you can be very confusing.

What are the differences between each DNA test and testing company?  Which one will tell me where my family comes from? How accurate are the results? How can I use the information to grow my family tree? Are there privacy concerns I need to be aware of? How about additional costs? Which DNA test is best?

In the following guide we have done our best to help you answer these questions and make a decision for yourself as to which test is right for you. We have also made some quick recommendations for those in a hurry.

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links. That means that if you decide to click on one of these links and buy a test Family History Daily may receive a small amount of revenue. This revenue helps us support the running of this site but it does not influence the information we have shared. Our goal, first and foremost, is to provide you with accurate information that will help you in your research. 

Make Instant Discoveries in Your Family Tree Now
Imagine adding your family tree to a simple website and getting hundreds of new family history discoveries instantly.

MyHeritage is offering 2 free weeks of access to their extensive collection of 20 billion historical records, as well as their matching technology that instantly connects you with new information about your ancestors. Sign up using the link below to find out what you can uncover about your family.

The chart on this page and associated data was reviewed and updated on 09/05/18. 

Quick DNA Test Recommendations

Below is a quick breakdown of the top 5 DNA tests on the market and our recommendations for what to choose if you’re in a hurry. Below that you will find a complete guide with detailed information on each of the top test kits.

The Best DNA Test is…

The truth is that any one of the leading DNA companies will do a good job of providing you with reports and tools that can help you understand your family’s genetic past.

It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons and decide which test best fits your needs. The guide on this page provides in-depth information about the top DNA tests on the market to help you do just that.

If you’re in a hurry and just looking to make a quick choice, we would suggest Family Tree DNA or MyHeritage DNA. Both companies are currently offering tests for $79 (before deals) and have no known privacy concerns.

Family Tree DNA (the longest running testing company) offers a well-established database of “cousins” and advanced tools for exploring your results. MyHeritage offers the ability to sync your results with your family tree research in a very unique way. Both are a good choice, but since every person’s needs are unique we suggest you read the full guide before deciding.

20 Billion Genealogy Records Are Free for 2 Weeks
Get two full weeks of free access to more than 20 billion genealogy records right now. You’ll also gain access to the MyHeritage discoveries tool that locates information about your ancestors automatically when you upload or create a tree. What will you discover about your family’s past?

For help understanding the accuracy of DNA testing read this article.

A Guide to Finding the Right Genealogy DNA Test for You

Below we have included both a quick comparison chart that looks at each DNA testing option side by side and a detailed breakdown of each section in that chart. We’ve covered Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage DNA, AncestryDNA and 23andMe in our comparison because these four companies are the main trusted providers of genetic genealogy tests in the current market.

We have zeroed in on autosomal tests only. These tests are used to give you the ancestry percentages and cousin matching most people are seeking. If you are interested in YDNA (paternal line only, for men) or mtDNA (maternal line only) you can find these tests at Family Tree DNA. 23andMe also offers limited motherline and fatherline results as part of this main ancestry test.

We hope that this guide helps you begin (or continue) the exciting journey into genetic genealogy research.

DNA Testing Comparison Chart

This side-by-side comparison chart provides a quick overview of the features of the most popular DNA tests for genealogy purposes. For greater detail on each comparison feature please read the explanations below the table.



Family Tree DNA


Sample Collection Type: Cheek Swab
Chip Used: Illumina OmniExpress
Ancestral Makeup Report: Yes
Cousin Matching: Yes
Size of Database: 1 Million+
Family Tree Integration: Yes, Limited
GEDCOM Upload: Yes
Chromosome Browser: Yes, Advanced
Other Advanced Tools: Yes
Allows Raw DNA Download: Yes
Accepted by GEDMatch: Yes
Health Results Provided: Compatible With Promethease
Known Privacy Concerns: None
Ongoing Costs: No
Additional Tests Available: Yes, Y-DNA and mtDNA
Average Time to Results: About 6-8 Weeks

MyHeritage DNA


Sample Collection Type: Cheek Swab
Chip Used: Illumina OmniExpress
Ancestral Makeup Report: Yes
Cousin Matching: Yes
Size of Database 1.4 Million+
Family Tree Integration: Yes, Advanced
GEDCOM Upload: Yes
Chromosome Browser: Yes, Simple
Other Advanced Tools: No
Allows Raw DNA Download: Yes
Accepted by GEDMatch: Yes
Health Results Provided: Compatible With Promethease
Known Privacy Concerns: None
Ongoing Costs: For Some Features
Additional Tests Available: No
Average Time to Results: About 4 Weeks

Ancestry DNA


Sample Collection Type: Saliva
Chip Used: Illumina OmniExpress
Ancestral Makeup Report: Yes
Cousin Matching: Yes
Size of Database: 10 Million+
Family Tree Integration: Yes, Advanced
GEDCOM Upload:Yes
Chromosome Browser: No
Other Advanced Tools: No
Allows Raw DNA Download: Yes
Accepted by GEDMatch: Yes
Health Results Provided: Compatible With Promethease
Known Privacy Concerns: Yes
Ongoing Costs: For Some Features
Additional Tests Available: No
Average Time to Results: About 4-6 Weeks



Sample Collection Type: Saliva
Chip Used: Illumina Infinium® Global Screening Array
Ancestral Makeup Report: Yes
Cousin Matching: Yes
Size of Matches Database: 5 Million+
Family Tree Integration: No
GEDCOM Upload:No
Chromosome Browser: No
Other Advanced Tools: No
Allows Raw DNA Download: Yes
Accepted by GEDMatch: Yes
Health Results Provided: In $199 Package Only
Known Privacy Concerns: Yes
Ongoing Costs: No
Additional Tests Available: Yes, Health
Average Time to Results: About 6-8 Weeks

Details for the DNA Comparison Chart

How much does each DNA test cost? 

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) is currently priced at $79, MyHeritage DNA has had their price set at $79 since they launched their test in November 2016 (although the full cost was technically $99 for some time). AncestryDNA’s cost is $99 and 23andMe who, in the past, charged $199 for genealogy and health information, now offers a genealogy only test for $99.

All of these companies offer regular discounts so keep an eye on their sites for even better offers.

Prices are for U.S. customers and do not include shipping charges, subscription fees for record research, or additional add-ons that may be available. Most providers also offer their services outside the USA, but prices vary.

DNA Sample Collection Type

Each testing provider uses one of two methods to take your DNA sample and neither require blood. Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage DNA both use a cheek swab method where the user gently scrapes the inside of their cheek. The swab is then placed in a vial and sealed. AncestryDNA and 23andMe use a saliva sample. Some people may have a hard time producing a saliva sample so this should be taken into consideration when deciding on which test to choose.

Processing Chip Used

Three of the companies, MyHeritage, Ancestry and FTDNA, use the Illumina OmniExpress chip and 23andMe uses the new Infinium® Global Screening Array chip from Illumina. The fact that all of the chips come from the same company may be confusing, leading some to believe that all tests are created equal. This is not the case. The chip used to process DNA samples is only one part of the process. Each company develops their own analysis of the results, references different population samples and provides different reports. In addition, each one of these DNA test providers offers different tools for you to analyze the data you receive, creating variations in results, accessibility and usefulness.

Admixture (Ancestry Makeup)

Admixture percentages are one of the biggest reasons people choose to have their DNA tested. This report attempts to accurately match your DNA with population samples from around the world to tell you where your ancestors came from. Each of these companies has strengths and weaknesses when it comes to this calculation, and in the reports it provides to users.

Unfortunately, the results from these reports are still far from being highly accurate or refined and results need to placed within the context of solid genealogical research, and further reading, comparisons and analysis, to be properly understood.

None of these tests will be able to perfectly pinpoint what country or countries your ancestors came from – but all will provide fairly accurate regions to explore. And while each test will tell you, for instance, if you have recent Native American ancestry, none can tell you what tribe or band those ancestors came from.

Finding small percentages of unexpected ethnicities may prove to be inaccurate upon further examination, and NOT finding traces of a certain group, such as Native American, may not necessarily prove that you do not have ancestors from that region or group. You can read more about that as it pertains to Native American research here. You can apply this statement to any ethnicity or region you might expect or hope to find in your results.

Even large percentages can be hopelessly misplaced (too much Scandinavian anyone?) so remember to combine your results with your research for the best results. Paired with your own solid paper trail, genetic information can be a huge help in growing, proving (or sometimes even disproving) parts of your tree. But it must be used wisely.

Still, it is fun see a visual and numerical representation of where your ancestors came from (generally speaking) and, although there are those who swear by one company or the other, all of these testing companies do a fairly decent job of giving you a report you can enjoy and use in your research. FTNDA recently updated to the much anticipated MyOrigins 2.0 and MyHeritage DNA just updated to their improved 42 population Ethnicity Estimate and offers a nicely detailed report.

You can also upload your DNA to MyHeritage for free to get this report and matches if you have tested elsewhere. FTDNA offers a similar option to upload for free to get DNA matches, but unlocking MyOrigins will cost you $19. Ancestry and 23andMe offer no upload option.

Of course, downloading your raw data and uploading it to GEDmatch for further analysis is highly recommended if you want to make sense of what you are seeing and get a much more detailed (and hopefully accurate) picture of your genetic past. We explain this below.

We talk in-depth about how to best make sense of your DNA results and show examples of ethnicity reports here.

To see what each test’s ethnicity estimate looks like you can see a visual comparison right here.

Cousin Matching

Each one of these testing companies will provide you with a list of those people you are related to in their database, and we often refer to this as cousin matching. The database size, criteria for matching, responsiveness of matches and tools you need to make sense of these matches all vary greatly.

FTDNA has the most advanced tools for easily analyzing cousin matches as of now, although it is possible that MyHeritage DNA may catch up. They seem very eager to please customers at this point. FTDNA does fall short when it comes to the ability to sync with developed family trees however. This is certainly not intentional on their part, they have developed some great tools for this purpose, but FTDNA (unlike Ancestry and MyHeritage) does not provide record searches or an online family tree program for the purpose of genealogical research. For this reason they are inherently limited in this regard.

MyHeritage and Ancestry both provide ways to explore your DNA matches as they relate to your family tree, which is a lot of fun and can help you connect with family members and discover shared ancestors more quickly. See a further explanation below.

Size and Quality of the Database for Matching Relatives

AncestryDNA has the largest database to compare your results to when making matches, with 23andMe coming in second and FTDNA in fourth. MyHeritage DNA, although newer than the others, is catching up fast and numbers now surpass FTDNA. Current numbers can be seen in the chart above and are estimates based on available data. Each of these databases is growing, some of them quite rapidly.

Generally speaking, those people who have tested with FTDNA, AncestryDNA or MyHeritage DNA have done so for genealogical purposes (even if it is only curiosity about their family’s past) so the response rate from contacted matches is fairly decent. Oftentimes matches are open to being contacted by relations and are eager to compare trees. This is, of course, not always the case, but we have found it to be true for the most part.

23andMe is a bit different in that many people have tested with their company for the health results and are not necessarily interested in genealogy or matching with relatives, even if they opted into this feature. That doesn’t mean you won’t get a good response when reaching out, but it may be less common than with the other testing companies. Recently 23andMe has been placing more focus on genealogical testing, however, so this is may be shifting.

Data from all four testing companies can be uploaded to GEDmatch for additional comparisons.

Family Tree Integration and Additional Costs

FTDNA has, by far, the most advanced tools built-in for easily analyzing cousin matches and it does have a family tree feature that has been recently improved, but most people have not taken advantage of this feature and the family trees found on FTDNA are, when present, generally underdeveloped.  However, because FTDNA also provides a host of advanced featured that can provide invaluable data to dedicated researchers their cousin matching system still stands apart from the crowd, drawing in those who are interested in more deeply analyzing their results.

Both MyHeritage DNA and AncestryDNA have countless pedigrees built into their system already and your DNA results can help you make connections with these trees – but the tools required to make this happen may cost you and the results are not to be taken at face value.

Ancestry offers cousin matches for free as part of your DNA purchase but charges an additional monthly fee for access to its trees and some additional features. They recently added Genetic Communities and have numerous other features to help you connect via your tree to genetic matches. This makes research very easy for those who are already using Ancestry and are holding a paid subscription.

MyHeritage shows cousin matches as part of your DNA purchase for free and has some really wonderful tools to connect your research to your DNA matches. Using smart matching features to see how your tree is connected to others, and adding records you discover this way, may cost an additional monthly fee however. Still, MyHeritage is generally less expensive than Ancestry. You can also try their record collections for free here.

23andMe no longer offers any sort of tree service. They have worked with MyHeritage in the past to provide this service but that relationship is no longer active.


Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage DNA and AncestryDNA all allow uploads of GEDCOMs, and for MyHeritage and Ancestry these trees are the same as would be used for genealogical research. 23andMe does not offer a tree and, therefore, does not allow uploads of family tree data.

Chromosome Browser

While FTDNA is currently the only company to offer an advanced and full featured chromosome browser (the ability to analyze your results and compare matches by chromosome), MyHeritage now offers a nice integration of a simple chromosome browser right on each match page. 23andMe does not offer a browser but does show your ethnicity “painted” on your chromosomes and Ancestry does not offer this service at all.

Allows Raw DNA Download

Yes, each company allows you to download your raw data to be used elsewhere.

Accepted by GEDmatch

GEDmatch is a service where anyone with raw DNA data can upload it, see a list of cousin matches and use a powerful selection of advanced tools to analyze their data. The service is free and powered by donations (extra tools are provided to those that donate). From parental phasing and triangulation, to a variety of admixture calculators and a robust database of people from all testing companies, GEDmatch is the best place to go to explore your genetic data in detail. The system accepts raw data from any one of the main testing companies and has a proven track record of properly managing user information.

Health Insights

Only 23andMe provides health insights when testing, and only if you choose their Health + Ancestry Service for $199. Data from all four companies is compatible with Promethease, however, and the cost is $10. See this article for more information.

Known Privacy Concerns

It is very important that you take the time to read the privacy policy, terms and conditions and consent forms associated with any DNA test you take or any site you choose to upload your data to. While FTDNA has a proven track record of protecting the privacy of its users, there have been serious concerns over how AncestryDNA and 23andMe have used data in the past, as well as how they may use or sell your data in the future. Please read this article from Roberta Estes for more information on this issue. MyHeritage states that their consent form (that would allow sharing or selling of your results in aggregated data) is optional.  You can read more about that on The Legal Genealogist, who compliments MyHeritage DNA on their policy and openness.

Ongoing Costs

FTDNA has no additional costs associated with testing, although they do offer a variety of additional tests that you may want to explore.

23andMe also has no additional costs, unless you decide to upgrade to add health results.

Both AncestryDNA and MyHeritage DNA either require additional memberships to take full advantage of some features (like tree matching) as discussed above. Neither require these ongoing subscriptions, but you may feel compelled to use these tools.

Also note that testing with any of these companies may cause a bad case of GGTA (genetic genealogy testing addiction) which could occur once you get your results back and realize that testing your entire family would be both fun and a great addition to your research. GGTA can get very expensive.

mtDNA, Y-DNA and Health Tests

FTDNA offers Y-DNA (y chromosome, fatherline, men only) and mtDNA (mitochondrial, motherline, everyone) tests. These are separate offerings from the Family Finder test and can be very detailed, depending on the test and option you choose. 23andMe offers mtDNA and Y-DNA as part of their main Ancestry offering, but the results are more limited. Read more about these types of tests here.

23andMe also offers a health report with their Ancestry + Health option ($199).

Neither MyHeritage DNA or AncestryDNA offer additional tests at this time – but both of these companies excel in providing tools for combining genetic and genealogy research.

Average Time to Get Your DNA Test Results

Every company on this list promises test results in 6-8 weeks after they receive a sample, except for MyHeritage DNA which claims 3-4 weeks. This can vary however and is influenced by demand and other factors. It is generally a good rule of thumb to anticipate that it will take 2-3 months for results once you order a test. This accounts for the time it takes for you (or your recipient) to receive the test, provide a sample, mail it back and for processing of your results.

So which DNA test for ancestry research should I choose?

As stated at the start of this guide, each one of the main tests will provide you with easy-to-use reports and cousin matching that you can use in your genealogy research. You will need to carefully review the information provided in this guide to make a decision about which test is best for your particular needs. You may also choose to test with (or upload your results to) multiple companies.

Here’s a quick recap of the main highlights and weaknesses of each test to help you decide.

Family Tree DNA has the longest track record of responsible user management, a well-developed database of (mostly) enthusiastic matches and the most powerful in-house tools for serious research. However, family tree integration is weak and their database is not as large as some of the others.

AncestryDNA is appealing to many because the results can be matched (to some degree) with many well-established family trees, but major privacy concerns (about how your data is used and sold) have been present in the past. For many, this is a deal breaker. They also offer the fewest advanced tools for analyzing data, although their database is very large.

23andMe has also been the target of concerns over how they handle user data. Their tools are more advanced than what AncestryDNA offers, and the International Society of Genetic Genealogists claims that they have the most accurate admixture results – but many in their database are health testers and may not be receptive to matching for genealogy purposes. They also offer no family tree integration at all.

MyHeritage DNA is the newest kid on the block and, while their database is still growing, it is comprised of people who have tested from all of the other three testing companies (this is thanks to their free DNA upload offer). In addition to this, they have shown a clear commitment to concerns and requests by their users by promising to provide advanced tools in the future and by creating an open and optional consent policy for use of DNA data. They also offer the ability to tie in with a large database of family trees and records. We think this test has a lot of promise if they continue to respond in this positive way to users.

Remember, all of tests are compatible with GEDmatch for additional tools and analysis. Read our guide to using their site here. 

In the end, you must decide what test is best for you. Ask around, read posts online and explore the features and privacy policies of each company in detail. Whichever route you choose, it’s bound to be an exciting journey!

Our online genealogy course offers an entire section on using DNA for genealogy research. The lessons take you step by step through testing, understanding your results and using the advanced tools you need to really understand them. Find it here.

You might also like to take a moment to read some of the excellent blogs and resources linked below for more help on your genetic genealogy journey. The information they provide is invaluable and fascinating. 

You might also like:

DNA Testing Does NOT Have to Be Expensive, Here’s How to Save

Why You Might Be Reading Your DNA Results All Wrong

The Top 4 DNA Test Ethnicity Reports Shown Side by Side: See How One Person’s Results Compare

68 thoughts on “Which Genealogy DNA Test is the Best? A Detailed Comparison Guide to Help You Decide”

  1. Nat, I found descendants from my great grandmonther through MyHeritage. My great grandmother left Spain in 1906 and moved to Brazil. Because of MyHeritage I was able to find that she had a sister whose descendants still live in the same area (Almeria). I would say that it is not a scam, I think your points are valid, because it is all about statistics and correlations. Just my two cents on the subject. Regards from Brazil.

  2. No scam. May not be “exact” however for those of us enjoying DNA connections is a journey.

  3. Rachel, it’s been a year since you posted your query. Perhaps you have your answers? In case not, here are a few suggestions. Since you are an adoptee, perhaps with no knowledge of your biological family, you probably are most interested in details there, while your ethnic makeup is a very minor concern and where most DNA services give similar results anyways. Maybe your goal is to locate your birth parents? If that’s all true, then buy an AncestryDNA kit, as they have 10 million DNA profiles in their database, which is more than all competitors combined. The more profiles to DNA match against the more matches you’ll get to your biological relatives. Next download your raw Ancestry DNA data, and then upload it for free into MyHeritage (2.5 million DNA profiles), FamilyTreeDNA (1 million DNA profiles), GEDmatch (1 million DNA profiles), LivingDNA (unknown database size), and DNA.land (0.15 million DNA profiles). That’s almost 5 million more DNA profiles to match against. Combined with AncestryDNA that’s about 15 million profiles. If lucky you may match to a 2nd cousin or closer relative which with luck could lead to your birth parents, definitely will match to a few if not many 3rd cousins and 1000s of 4th or more distant cousins. If you change your mind and decide purchasing a second DNA kit is worth the expense, then buy a 23andMe DNA kit, which adds 5 million more DNA profiles to match against. Hope these suggestions were useful. Good luck.

  4. The DNA test thing is a scam as the results cannot have precision. I know where my recent ancestors came from and wanted to “test a DNA test”. My ancestry is 3/4 Spanish Valencian and 1/4 Spanish Ibizean (Ibiza): I have family papers and village names for my recent ancestors: they all have typical Spanish/Catalan names and I expected this to be reflected in my results.
    The results came out as half French, 40 % Spanish, some Italian, 1% Sardinian, 1% scottish-Irish. The major problem is that ancient Ibiza DNA has evolved to resemble that of modern French, same thing for Spanish-Valencian DNA: which is shared by modern French people. So if you do have French ancestry, it may show as Spanish and vice versa… THIS GOES FOR EVERYTHING ELSE: IT’S WILL BE VAGUE!
    The “embark on an amazing discovery” motto is highly laughable; all in all it is a great way to separate people from their money.

  5. The DNA test thing is a scam as the results cannot have precision. I know where my recent ancestors came from and wanted to “test a DNA test”. My ancestry is 3/4 Spanish Valencian and 1/4 Spanish Ibizean (Ibiza): I have family papers and village names for my recent ancestors: they all have typical Spanish/Catalan names and I expected this to be reflected in my results.
    The results came out as half French, 40 % Spanish, some Italian, 1% Sardinian, 1% scottish-Irish. The major problem is that ancient Ibiza DNA has evolved to resemble that of modern French, same thing for Spanish-Valencian DNA: which is shared by modern French people. So if you do have French ancestry, it may show as Spanish and vice versa… THIS GOES FOR EVERYTHING ELSE: IT’S WILL BE VAGUE!
    The “embark on an amazing discovery” motto is highly laughable; all in all it is a great way to separate people from their money.

  6. I second your comments Lisa. I searched fruitlessly for a date at the top and bottom of the article, before looking at comments to establish the time frame. I didn’t want to waste my time reading a totally out-of-date article.

  7. I just received my results from Anestory DNA and it is very interesting. It is just as I thought it was.t

  8. Correction to my previous post: 23&me uses only 31 geographical regions, not 80.

  9. I think what a LOT of people don’t know about the results, is what is causing most of the confusion, (and in some cases anger) and speculation in regards to questioning the accuracy of the information that you get back compared to the information you thought you knew about your own history.

    None of there companies can tell you what specific countries your relatives hail from. This is because territories change geographically over the course of time, and regions belong to different countries throughout history. Migration also has to be taken into account.

    Don’t get mad, get informed.

    Each DNA processing company divides the world into regions. One company has divided the world into 24 regions while another company has divided the same world into over 350 regions. This is why there is a noted disparity in the results that people are getting who have happened to use more than one company. results you have received are not necessarily wrong, just perhaps are not as finely sorted as you were maybe expecting.

    I used 23&me, (who has around 80 geographical regions) and while I was disappointed with the nationality results, it was only because I thought they were a bit vague – but in all honesty, I didn’t really know what to expect, so there’s that. Now understanding a little more about the limitations of results from any company, have no problem with what I received.

    I am glad I did 23&me because they are the only company that provides all the health and wellness information. I do plan on using the AncestryDNA service next, because they have the largest database for finding dna relatives.

  10. I used MyHeritage and I’m confused…. my mother and aunts used the other services and they have a large amount of Spanish in them , yet mine came out with absolutely non? How is that possible? And yes I’m positive I’m not adopted lol

  11. My daughter and I did 23andMe. Love them problem being, I was adopted and have been told all my life I have indian (Cherokee) in me. It showed nothing no indian in me. My daughters father side said they have Mohican and Italian it showed nothing for her. Is there another site that can help. I have talked with my bio family and they say my father had indian in him.

  12. My grandfather was adopted, my father’s father. I have found FamilyTreeDna (FTDNA) was the best when it came to test results. Ancestry was great for research. I tested with both. They say fish in all of the pools and I have. I highly recommend testing with both Ancestry and FTDNA. I found my great grandfather who was born in 1884. 23andme was no help at all. MyHeritage works with FamilyTreeDna (FTDNA). HOPE THIS HELPS. Gary

  13. My heritage does not respond to email inquiries and doesn’t answer the phone. Its been 4 months and have yet to receive our results.

  14. I’m adopted and have been debating on which one of these DNA test to buy. Without having to buy more than one, please give your honest opinion on which one you recommend.

  15. Can I ask was this MyHeritage.com because I had the exact problem with my results with them. I’m furious they seem like they couldn’t be bothered to read the results properly and just threw my german and French ancestry in to my English pile.

  16. FTDNA warn that DNA uploads from companies that use different chips from theirs (e.g. Ancestry from mid 2016, maybe 23andMe) will not produce the more distant or speculative matches you would see using the same chip – somewhere I read typically only about 200 which agrees with my experience.

  17. I have tried Ancestry and 23 and me.Ancestry is great for their database and forming a family tree and their DNA matches are good.I liked 23 and me the best as I thought the results on my heritage matched more what I know to be true of my Northern European background.They gave me 10% more Scandinavian which my father was .I have found no one from the Iberian peninsula going back to the 1400’s on the Ancestry database yet they tell me I have 9% from that arena ,but 23 and me says only 2% which I believe is more accurate.

  18. If you want to know Native American DNA results, get a kit from Viagard Accu-Metrics in Canada.
    ancestry DNA did not show any Native American for me, but up my mother’s line they are Cherokee. My gg is full blood Cherokee.

  19. Monica, it sounds like AncestryDNA might have done a very good job. What we think of as Irish included and influx of people from Eastern Europe and from Northern Spain (Basque region in particular.) Read a bit more history before condemning the results of the test. I’ve included a link to an article that discusses the Eastern European migration.

  20. Last month I did the Heritage DNA , because of one of my cousins did the test ,but hers was done by Ancestry ,I was very surprise by the result , we have nothing in commune , i was very concert concern with my result , just because it shows nothing from my family side, supposedly I’m 79.7 % Central American , 13.9% Iberian and 6.4 Scandinavian My whole family is from South America ,so why 79.9 Central American ,any way I was so intrigue that I did the Ancestry Test now , I’m waiting for the result and I’m dying to see the results

  21. I’ve had the same experience, and so have many others. My mother’s family is all from Italy, and yet my results came back with NO Italian whatsoever. Another said there was. None of them report German as a result, which is quite strange since Germans are definitely a people! These DNA tests are subjective and based on human analysis. As we all know, humans make mistakes. At the end of it all, I’ve decided that I’ll just stick with the ancestry my grandparents told me about when they were alive.

  22. Keep drinking the kool-aid, Brian Hart. It does a body good. Remember, no one ever has ulterior motives.

  23. As someone new to your site, it would be very helpful to know the publish date and author(s) of your articles.

    This article contains the sentence “Data in this chart is current as of January 2018.” However, it is confusing to note that there are comments regrading this article from January 2017. It would appear that this article was re-written or republished. Is the original article still available?

  24. The trace results are just noise. I’m totally Ashkenazic Jewish; the FTDNA listed 2 percent Scottish-Irish. This is totally implausible. It’s just noise from the sample populations used. Suddenly Jewish groups have been flooded with messages from people whose tests said they were 1% Jewish.

  25. I had two tests . One FamilytreeDNA said I was Notrhwestern European – mostly British Isles on the mothers side but then 45% Non-northern Euro. – Greek and Turkish, etc. But 23 and me said nearly all Northern European with 1% Askanazi. Huh/ Same sipt in the old jar. Somebody’s wrong! Since I know nothing about my father’s side the autosomal test was all I had for any clues at all. Kind of worthless at this point.

  26. Right. The scientifically-proven method of testing DNA must be wrong since you “know” you’re 100% German. Must have got the test by accident since there was no real reason to test your certified-pure Germanness (that you already knew about). Glad you stopped by to tell everyone, though.

  27. The results are off in that they way over report ancestry from the British Isles, whereas, in fact, the British Isles were settled by waves of immigrants from other parts of Europe. In other words, when they tell me that my dna is 54% British, but I know that I am 100% German, what they are really saying is that 54% of the Brits have Saxon dna.

  28. the beauty of a y-DNA test is that it tracks the paternal y-chromosome…..yes, even indicating a surname change but not when the surname changed [does not match known male descendants]. In all DNA testing, it really helps to have researched about 5 generations back on all lineages……that way you can find common surnames in the autosomal tests. The y-DNA tests go back for centuries…..and the autosomal testing really only goes back about 5 generations…….

  29. I just got my dna results from MyHeritage and am disappointed as well. My ancesters were 50% italian and 50% Slovak. You would never know that from the dna test. I got much better results from Ancestry dna test, as well as cousin contacts that proved to be helpful, for no additional cost. My heritage requires expensive upgrades. Live and learn.

  30. Monica, the test does not show what countries your parents came from, but what genetic backgrounds your ancestors (that is, your parents’ ancestors) had. How do you know that your ancestors did not migrate to Western Europe then to the British Isles from Eastern Europe in the early middle ages?

  31. Which test gives the most specific results? For example, my test with FtDna says I am 39% Southern European but doesn’t break it down between Italian & Greek.

  32. Rona, I was thinking the same thing. Geographically it would not be crazy. Plus, in ancient times the sea/ocean was like a highway. So nothing is crazy in terms of ancestry. Many people would probably be surprised by results after taking a test.

  33. I believe my ancestry is Irish. Scottish. English and possibly French.
    I’m contemplating doing a DNA test just to see if it can confirm my beliefs and conclude if there is any other nationality in my origins but I’m totally confused as to which is going to be the best one
    Any advice would be great

  34. My parents are 1st generation in the US. My father’s family came over from Ireland and my mother’s family came over from England. I did AncestryDNA and my results came back Eastern European. For me, it was a waste of money.

  35. Article ssys: {Paired with your own solid paper trail, } – How’s a paper trail solid? Through the ages 1 in 4-6 children in a marriage is NOT from the man the woman is married to. So people can never be certain if the paper trail is correct. The family tree is coming down for some people like a card house.

  36. I can’t help you with your question Robin, but you make a good point. I have had my DNA tested (only with MyHeritage so far) and the “North and West European” part is so broad (it could be anything from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany etc but it would have been important to have more detail as it is really what I would have loved to know more about) and then 0.8% Middle East…

    Also I am actually VERY surprised by the MyHeritage result and I’m thinking of doing the 23 and Me test too in the near future.

  37. I have had my DNA done at ancestry.com & 23&me, ancestry.com & 23 are basically the same until it gets to the trace regions… ancestry says I am 1% Euro Jew which made since with my haplogroup K1a3a, but 23andme gave me .08% African, changed date when it occurred 2x went from East to West, then settled on “Sub African”, none of which I believe occurred due to my own research but if in fact I am either Euro Jew,(I think it is non-mixed Israelite/Hebrew, but whatever), and or if their is this .08 African, I’d like to know why ancestry did pick up on it, how sure they are at 23&me,(they can’t tell Irish from Brits or German from French but can go on & on about some supposed .08% makes no sense), BUT now that it has been said, I want to put it to rest… If either occurred can I confirm using the raw DNA I have from both? Shouldn’t both be able to say I am or am not Jew or African? I don’t care either way, but want to know what site would be able to answer this the best…. again I have raw data/dna from both ancestry.com & 23 & me. HELP 🙂 Thank you in advance.

  38. Hi Upload your data to GEDMatch. First create profile. They give you a Kit Number which you can copy. Then go to Adminixture with Oracle. Then click on Oracle or Oracle 4 to give you detailed breakdown of locations.
    Best wishes

  39. What is the best DNA testing sit, i.e., 23 and me, etc., for a 16 year old adopted from Russia 10 years ago

  40. I am just starting out with this.
    Although I am still not sure which test is better than the rest. My grandmother said there was Native American in us , I just want to see what I am and what my true DNA is. Any answers to the best???


  41. Marcianena L Sessions-Osborn

    do the testing samples stay useable if unopened – I got one from family tree Dec 2016 and DNA-23 may 2017?
    I plan on doing the process within this next month Sept 2017 – Thank you
    Marcianena Sessions -08-28-17

  42. This is very interesting…thanks for sharing—regarding you husband’s results– the Somali 1% might not be so crazy at all—look at the map– horn of east Africa to Yemen area (had a large Jewish population long ago)…to Palestine-Israel…to Europe in the centuries long diaspora..actually your comments made me more inclined to try this newer company. I am grateful to you.

  43. If you have British ancestry it is outstanding, it breaks down the areas your ancestors came from in the UK.
    However if you have other ancestry it may not work as well, ie German dna may show up as East Anglia.
    You can also transfer data to Genesis Gedmatch, for autosomal matches.
    Also included is ydna and mtdna for your fatherline and motherline.

  44. Went the Southern California Genealogical Society’s June Jamboree, signed up and tried MyHeritageDNA. I know I am Italian and Ukraine/Polish. The Balkans and Baltic showed up but my eastern European ancestry didn’t although Irish, Scottish and Welsh did. No specific location in Italy on my Mom’s side though we still have family there. Their matches weren’t true matches and when I tried to look at the matches’ family trees I would have to spend more money between 3 upgrades. Is this how all these things work? I’m really disappointed in MyHeritage and can’t recommend it for anyone on a fixed income. This is the only one I’ve done but it has left me discouraged.

  45. MyHeritage just “upgraded” its ancestry algorithm. My husband, who we know is 99% Ashkinazi Jewish based on history and other genetic testing services was told by MyHeritiage that he is more than 1% Somali. I don’t think so. LOL.

  46. I have also tried 23andMe, My Heritage (taken from the 23andMe test) and have recently taken one from Ancestry, waiting for their results.

    None so far have even come close to the results and reports I have received from 23andMe. Lots of communication from them. With the same test, “MYHERITAGE” gave me what I think are largely erroneous results in my ethnicity. I can’t wait to find out what comes from Ancestry.

  47. I’ve been a customer of FamilyTreeDNA since 2004 and I wouldn’t do business with anyone else. They’ve been leading the research and they developed the field of DNA research for genealogical intent. Bennett Greenspan, Michael Hammer, and Max Blankfeld are the best in the business (period). Go look at who developed most of the emerging haplotypes.

  48. Thanks for the overview. I decided to take the Living DNA test and am now looking forward to getting the results 🙂

  49. I have tried Ancestry, my heritage and family tree dna.
    Ancestry and My heritage gave similar results but FTDNA was really weird and totally wrong. I wouldn’t suggest FTDNA if you don’t have a European background.

    I am mainly Caucasian and one quarter Greek. FTDNA said i am from Minor Asia only. Which is not true. Therefore i don’t find FTDNA reliable as far as autosamal DNA results.

    However, ancestry.com and my heritage gave very similar results with very tiny percentage difference but at least the results were correct.

  50. Carolyn Hathaway

    I already have my D.N.A. done by ancestry. I was looking for a free site where I didn’t have to pay more money to get more information. I know a lot about my father’s side of the family and I learned a lot .Mainly why I took the D.N.A. test is to see it I could be have some Jewish in me because my mother maiden name was Sandusky. The
    test didn’t even show that I had Polish genes in me which Sandusky is Polish. Also my father had native American blood in him and that didn’t show up . I wasn’t happy with the out come of the D.N.A. test. I think all of the test are like that If yours is not the same. I took mine though ancestry.com. I am on a fixed income and I can’t afford paying a lot more of money.That is why I signed for you site.

  51. I have done 3 DNA tests. FTDNA was the slowest to return results. I was ready to give up by the time they came. Also when I did it, theirs was a saliva test like the others.

  52. I uploaded to FTNA from 23andMe, and paid the $19 to unlock. BIG disappointment!
    On 23andMe I had 1300+ matches. In FTDNA only 54. Not worth the effort or money!

    Can you FIX THIS? or do I need to (continue) to tell people about this shoddy service?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend