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Difference between Ancestry DNA and Family Tree DNA?

Difference between Ancestry DNA and Family Tree DNA?

Posted: 20 Sep 2008 2:52PM GMT
Classification: Query
I am curious about the DNA testing that is offered on Ancestry and have also found Family Tree DNA.

1) What is the difference between the two test groups?

2) Do they share any information ... or are the results limited to the people that have specifically chosen their test?

Thanks,

Jeff

Re: Difference between Ancestry DNA and Family Tree DNA?

Posted: 21 Sep 2008 11:15AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Jeff,
As a volunteer project administrator for several surname and geographic projects at Family Tree DNA, I will try to answer your question. I'm sure others will add their thughts too.

FTDNA was the first company to do genetic testing for genealogy. As such it is the largest with the largest database. It is highly regarded in the field, has an in-house staff of scientists on its board and in executive positions, offers the greatest number and variety of tests, and is "always there," providing outstanding customer support to customers and P.A.s alike. The prestigious National Geographic-IBM Genographic Project chose FTDNA to perform all its testing, which alsp makes it easy for customers to join in that effort as well.

Ancestry DNA began its DNA testing earlier this year, so it has a rather short track record. I do not have direct experience with it other than to try to integrate its test results with those done at FTDNA. The problem for project administrators, and therefore customers, is that there are some differences in the markers tested and in the way they report results so it is not easy to compare results between the two companies. Also, there is no opportunity to upgrade. They offer just one test. As a result, if you find a near match who has tested more markers, you do not have the option of refining your own results. FTDNA retains your DNA sample for 25 years or more, thus allowing for future upgrades any time.

I'm sure others can add to this.

Regards,
Doris

Re: Difference between Ancestry DNA and Family Tree DNA?

Posted: 22 Sep 2008 1:47AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 10 Jan 2009 2:14PM GMT
Surnames: Allen
Doris, I had my maternal line DNA tests done at Ancestry. Is there any way that I could still register my results at other sites to find maternal matches.

I guess I don't really understand that much about the testing, but was hoping to obtain more information about my ancestry. Example, if one of my material surnames was Allen, wouldn't that match up to an Allen ancestor even if he was male? Could you not determine you were related to that male by your DNA?

Re: Difference between Ancestry DNA and Family Tree DNA?

Posted: 22 Sep 2008 10:14AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi. The kind of test that Ancestry does would not match you with an Allen. There are other advanced tests that are now being done by companies like 23andMe that test your entire genetic makeup, not just the Y-DNA (for men only) and mtDNA (for males and females), that may one day be able to do that, but only after the data base is large enough to have representatives from other parts of your family. Even then, there will be no guarantees because any Allen DNA would have to have survived the splitting that comes about in every generation. When a baby is conceived, he or she gets approximately half of his genes from his mother and half from his father (except for the Y chromosome, which does not split). Since this halving occurs in every generation, your Allen genes may have been lost in this generational shuffle. The mitochondria (mtDNA) remains intact from female to female down through the ages and from mother to son for just one generation. Your mtDNA can only trace your DIRECT maternal line -- from you to your mother to her mother to her mother, etc. Similarly, the Y-DNA can only trace a man's father to his father to his father, etc. A man cannot pass his mother's mtDNA to his offspring. They get their mtDNA from their mother.

If you have other questions, I'll be glad to try to answer them. Write me directly if you like: doriswh@gmail.com.

Re: Difference between Ancestry DNA and Family Tree DNA?

Posted: 22 Sep 2008 10:22AM GMT
Classification: Query
Sorry. I reread your email and realized I had not really answered your question. First, yes, you can register your results at www.mitosearch.org.

Second, you may be able to match someone who descends from your female whose maiden name was Allen or from her mother or sister or aunt, etc. Just keep in mind that anyone who matches you will also have the name Allen in his or her maternal line. In other words, a woman can trace only the bottom-most line on her pedigree chart; a male can trace either the top or bottom line on his.

Re: Difference between Ancestry DNA and Family Tree DNA?

Posted: 30 Oct 2008 1:38PM GMT
Classification: Query
Jeff, I am a project administrator of a Y-DNA project that accepts test results from many commercial test services, not just one (as most projects do).

To my knowledge Family Tree DNA's commercial test service lab is not an ISO certified one, despite being Family Tree being one of the first to offer testing to the general public. The lab we actually prefer instead of Family Tree's, has been performing test services for well over 5 years (personal knowledge) and _is_ an ISO 17025 accredited and certified labratory. They have included among their customers the commercial test services of Relative Genetics, DNA Heritage, and the newest: Ancestry DNA.

Family Tree's lab still adheres to the older NIST standard nomenclature and criteris for it's test proceedures, and has shown no evidence of wanting to convert over to the newer standards and nomenclature of the International Forensics Organization.

This can present a few minor problems for a surname DNA project administrator but they are far from insurmountable.

For the customer, the biggest differences between, say, a full test from DNA Heritage and the equivalent test from Family Tree are how many & which markers are tested, how much it costs, how fast they get the results, and how accurate those results are.

From a project leader's personal experience, Family Tree is, on the whole, more costly, slower, and has been prone to errors.

Ancestry DNA does intend to offer upgrade packages. DNA Heritage and Family Tree have been doing so for years.

Re: Difference between Ancestry DNA and Family Tree DNA?

Posted: 11 Dec 2008 2:48PM GMT
Classification: Query
Is there any sort of timeline for these upgrades? I have just received my mtDNA results and it has only whetted my appetite for more. 23andme makes a case for buying another package but it is costly, and from the above comments I dont know if it represents the best investment.

Doris and Jeff I appreciate your comments- is there somewhere else to search for more advice along these lines?

Re: Difference between Ancestry DNA and Family Tree DNA?

Posted: 12 Dec 2008 4:04PM GMT
Classification: Query
I suggest joining and posting your query at: DNA-Newbie@yahoogroups.com and genealogy-dna@rootsweb.com. You may also want to check out ISOGG.org.

Regards,
Doris

Re: Difference between Ancestry DNA and Family Tree DNA?

Posted: 12 Dec 2008 4:28PM GMT
Classification: Query
I am unaware of any timeline for upgrades by any commercial test service, it being an internal decision of said commercial service.

I will offer this thought: _IF_ the service you used retains your DNA in storage for a period of time (ranging anywhere from 5 years to indefinite), you might want to hold off just a bit.

I do know that Family Tree and DNA Heritage hold a sample of the initial DNA, but if you tested with DNA Heritage, it's not indefinite unless you request it. It is with Family Tree's service.

This has actually allowed us when donated funds became available to extend an initial 37 marker Y-DNA test to a full 67 marker one.

Our project doesn't track mitochrondal DNA, so I don't have any idea regarding the practices of those commercial services that test mtDNA. Methinks you'll need to ask a few questions of someone who works for them.

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