GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-05 > 1115058883
From: "robert mclaren" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Newbie: National Geographic, Relative Genetics, DNA Heritage,Family Tree DNA etc
Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 14:34:43 -0400
I see that you have had a number of replies, with some differing advice --
and some strong opinions! Companies such as Family Tree DNA and DNA
Heritage offer similar services, but there are differences. I chose Family
Tree DNA for my Surname Project based on a number of factors, but I
couldn't argue against you selecting DNA Heritage (for example). (biotix
GmbH is another one you may want to consider.) However, before we really
get into that I would like to know what your objectives are. What do you
mean by "fullest genetic picture"? I can take this several different ways.
For example, if you are interested in your haplogroup (deep ancestry), then
a 12-marker test may be enough (for some haplogroups). In some cases, once
you get your 12-marker results you may need (want) to upgrade to more
markers (25 or 37 in Family Tree DNA's case).
If you are interested in using the DNA information to assist in your
genealogy, then more markers than 12 will be needed. However, you will
need to have others who may be related to compare to. The answer to this
is to start a Surname Project with one of the companies (with Family Tree
DNA you would also get a discount over the normal price as a member of a
As for mtDNA, this is useful only for deep ancestry or to disprove
relationships (right now).
My advice? Check out the websites of the companies you mentioned. Things
to look for are (1) cost and number of markers tested, (2) do they have
Surname Projects and do they offer a discount; and (3) do they store your
sample so that you can do future upgrades. If you are interested in your
genealogy, set up a Surname Project. Then you will need to recruit
members to be tested (and welcome the the wonderful world of Surname
Another thing to consider is the markers tested. Each of the companies
offer a slightly different set. Which set is better? I think you will
find differing opinions on this. Again, I felt that Family Tree DNA's
panels appear to be better suited, but this opinion can change as more
research is done (or companies expand their markers being tested). I
believe that evidently each of the companies will expand the number of
markers being tested in response to the demand from the genetic genealogy
community. Others do feel differently as which company offers the best
panels being tested.
Another thing to consider is what the company offers to help the Project
Administrator. Here again, I feel that the tools offered by Family Tree
DNA are very helpful. I am not as familar with what the other companies
offer, but from what I can gleam from their websites it is less. While
some may call these tools bells and whistles, they are helpful.
What have I done? After researching several companies, I selected Family
Tree DNA and set up a Surname Project with them. I went with the 25-marker
test and subsequently upgraded to 37 markers. I also had my mtDNA tested
with Family Tree DNA (HVR1 and HVR2). I have just signed up for R1b SNP
testing with Ethnoancestry.
Hope this helps.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <mailto:>
> To: <mailto:>
> Sent: Monday, May 02, 2005 10:06 AM
> Subject: [DNA] Newbie: National Geographic, Relative Genetics, DNA
Heritage,Family Tree DNA etc
> Okay, I am a Newbie to this DNA/genetic/genealogy thing (piqued by the
> recent WSJ article), and to this list (introduced via serendipity by
one of your
> thoughtful members).
> My quandary, due to my unfamiliarity, is: What test(s) to do I do?
> company(s) do I use?
> I don't mind ultimately spending what I figure is @$500 to get what I
> understand is the fullest genetic picture possible for BOTH paternal
> lines -- I just don't want to expend time and other resources
> nor increase my confusion.
> To the best of my knowledge, no one in my family (maternal or paternal
> lineage) has done any of these DNA/genealogy tests. I am somewhat
optimistic I may
> be able to get some on both sides of the family to join after I take
> I recently signed up for the National Geographic Genographic Project.
> just told by them, however, that there is backorder delay of 2 to 4
> hence they have given me the option to cancel. I may do that if I can
> some guidance or understanding as to whether I should cancel National
> option/venue and just get the fullest test possible directly from one
> four reputable firms that I heard of (Ancestry by DNA, DNA Heritage,
> Relative Genetics, and Family Tree DNA); OR should I go ahead with
> Geographic (in affiliation with FTDNA), piggyback more tests on it from
one of the
> Big Four, cobble the results together and try to make sense of it (as
> acknowledged genealogy newcomer)?
> With all these options and avenues available as of today, what would
> advise a Newbie to do?
> Thank you in advance for your help.
> -Robert Birnbach
> Search Family and Local Histories for stories about your family and the
> areas they lived. Over 85 million names added in the last 12 months.
> Learn more:
> Search the US Census Collection. Over 140 million records added in the
> last 12 months. Largest online collection in the world. Learn more:
|Re: [DNA] Newbie: National Geographic, Relative Genetics, DNA Heritage,Family Tree DNA etc by "robert mclaren" <>|