QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: GENETIC GENEALOGY
Here are a handful of Q & A's from the International Society of Genetic Genealogists (ISOGG) website (www.isogg.org) – see the "For Newbies" tab for a lot more (it doesn't have its own URL).
- Which test should I take?
That depends upon your goals and your finances. If your goal is to obtain the closest genealogical match possible, especially in the case of a "brick-wall" ancestral line, then begin with the test with the most markers available. If your finances won't allow for a test that may cost several hundred dollars/pounds/euros, then begin with the most markers that you're able to afford, and upgrade later.
- If I had a blood transfusion in the past, would that alter my DNA?
No. But if it was recent, then it's suggested to wait at least a month.
- Can my DNA sample be used to clone me?
- How can I preserve my DNA for future testing options?
Many genetic genealogical DNA companies offer long term storage of your samples. Another option is "DNA Banking/Archiving" where donors donate samples accompanies with directives (Source)
- What is the difference between markers and genes?
Markers are essentially junk DNA filling space between the actual genes.
See also How Long to Receive Results?, UK (& Ex-US Residents), Ethical Considerations and Genetic Genealogy.
How Much Do the Tests Cost?
See How Much? which also includes details of previous sales.
FAQs at Family Tree DNA
Family Tree DNA has a comprehensive list of FAQs:
- FAQs by Topic
- Understanding Results: Autosomal DNA ("Population Finder"): How does it work? What do the results mean?
- Understanding Results: mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA): What do your mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) results mean? What should you do next? How recently are you related to your matches? Should you upgrade?
- Understanding Results: Y-DNA: What do your Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) results mean? What should you do next? How recently are you related to your matches? Should you upgrade?
What About UK-Based Testing Companies?
See Notes for UK Residents, which covers a few other companies.
Should I Test at More then One Company?
For autosomal DNA testing in order to find more cousins/relatives, it is better to fish in as many "DNA ponds" as possible. So if you can afford it, the answer is YES, test at Family Tree DNA (the Family Finder Test), 23andMe, and AncestryDNA – all cost $99, but see How Much? (as shipping charges are very variable, depending on where you live) and Notes for UK Residents. See also Baiting the Hook (Legal Genealogist, 16 Feb 2014).
IMAGE DETAILS (DNA Double Helix): This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Apers0n at the English Wikipedia project. This applies worldwide. This image is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the National Institutes of Health.
Page updated 16 February 2014