Wednesday, February 17, 2010

An explanation of Autosomal DNA

Here is a video from Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation that explains autosomal DNA.

Family Finder, Relative Finder, deCODEme, SMGF

In my capacity of running 9 DNA studies and advising people on testing, I have been looking at the information on Family Finder from FTDNA in comparison to 23andMe's Relative Finder Ancestry Edition.

Family Finder is only looking at the non-sex chromosomes and it does not include mtDNA testing. If we include the minimal testing of Y dna and/or mtDNA at the Genographic Project (to get the lowest price) a female would undercut the price of the 23andMe Relative Finder Ancestry Edition test, but would still not have the X chromosome tested, and a male would pay more than Relative Finder Ancestry Edition and still not have the X chromsome tested.

My ancestry is mainly Colonial American from the British Isles with some French, German, and Norwegian. My experience with Relative Finder is that of the 30,000 plus people in the project, I have matches with 307. I have sent out 106 sharing requests with 5 declines, 69 contacts accepted, and 32 contacts with sharing. Of the 32 sharing I have found the common ancestor for 6 of them. 3 of them share on the X chromosome. Hopefully as the database grows I'll have more matches and shares.

I think the companies should require a 5 or 6 generation pedigree chart from the people testing which would be shared with their matches. I think that would really help with the process of finding common ancestors.

This also brings up the question of what happened to the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation's plans to release an autosomal database which would be linked to the pedigrees they collected. Does anyone have any information from SMGF?

While I am getting the Family Finder testing, and have done the 23andme complete edition, exchanged with deCODEme, and the SMGF testing, I am somewhat disappointed in the results so far, and will have to really see some improvements before I can recommend these tests to any but the most dedicated genetic genealogists.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

FTDNA announces Family Finder

FTDNA will be starting an autosomal test called Family Finder in mid-March. Some details are available at this link: Pricing information is not currently available nor do we know if new samples will be required. Pricing has been announced as $249.00 and new samples will be needed if you do not have an unused sample on file.

At this time the only other comparable product is Relative Finder from 23andme: