Search for content in message boards

23&Me Comparative Value

23&Me Comparative Value

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 6:10PM GMT
Classification: Query
I'm contemplating adding 23&Me to my tests and would appreciate any thoughts. (Hope this is not inappropriate for this board!)

I have done Family Tree DNA Y-67, Deep Clade, and Family Finder; Geno 2.0; and Ancestry autosomal. I've transferred my Y data to Ancestry and my autosomal data to Gedmatch. To date, my results have provided further evidence of my paternal ancestors' place of origin, confirmed the name of my paternal ggm and 2xggm and identified a few 3-4 cousins. However, the percentage of confirmed autosomal matches is very low--fewer than 10 out of nearly 2400 on Ancestry and 200 on FTDNA.

With the new price of $99 for 23&Me, I'm wondering what it would add to my body of knowledge. I am only mildly interested in the medical information, but intrigued by their goal of expanding their data base. My principal goal would be to find matches related to my family's Anglo-Norman Irish, Scots-Irish and German ancestry. (All branches of my family originate with 19th century immigrants from Europe.) So I would be particularly interested if, now or in the future, 23&Me could include participants from those populations.

Any comments welcome. If you have tested with 23&Me, how did it add to your information? If not, why have you chosen not to purchase the product?

Jim

Re: 23&Me Comparative Value

Posted: 23 Dec 2012 6:20PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 23 Dec 2012 6:26PM GMT
I am very curious about this also. But I did go ahead and order the kit from 23andme yesterday. It will be awhile before I can do any comparisons.

I have not tested anywhere else, other than the autosomal on Ancestry - so it seemed like a reasonable thing to do.

Like you, I have the majority of my ancestors still in Europe sometime in the 19th century, so I am not getting many matches on Ancestry, so far.

Barbara

Re: 23&Me Comparative Value

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 11:12AM GMT
Classification: Query
I have no regrets about testing at 23andMe, but that's because I was interested in the health information and raw data. In the long term, I absolutely almost-sorta-kinda totally hate it for genealogy.

I do think I got good value for what I wanted, and I'm very pleased to have found one solid match there who wasn't already on GEDmatch. So there's that.

The new ethnicity analysis is cool, but you get the same info via GEDmatch.

About the participant demographics, I've only had about six non-American matches there, but my most recent immigrant ancestors were ~200 years ago (with most further back), so that may well be just me.

The thought of lots of new customers coming in *seems* like it would be great, but it's not because 23andMe caps your matches at ~1000. I *started* at 987 the day my results came in, so I hit the limit very quickly. You do get new matches, but only at the expense of losing old matches who are not quite as close as the new match.

Apparently the "trick" is to request genome sharing from your lowest matches first, since they won't be replaced while the invitation is pending, but you'd have to madly send out 1000 invitations before new matches come in or else some *will* be lost.

Speaking of pending invitations, that's what my match list is full of: people who never respond. Many people at 23andMe are only there for the health report, so they ignore requests to compare chromosomes, and unlike FTDNA, the only way you can make comparisons is by individually messaging each match and hoping they respond favourably. I read an article about 23andMe where the reporter completely dismissed the genealogical aspects, saying something like, "Only royalty regards 4th cousins as being related." I think many of 23andMe's customers echo that sentiment.

GEDcom capability is pretty new at 23andMe, and pretty awful. (I can barely navigate my own tree on the site, regardless of browser, and I know what I'm looking for.) I know trees are bad at FTDNA, too, but this somehow manages to be worse. If you're lucky, people will put surnames in their profile. I highly recommend the Google Chrome add-on for 23andMe that makes shared surnames stick out.

My matches who have responded have been friendly and generous, but again, almost all of those who have responded have been on GEDmatch, too.

But! I did get that one match who wasn't, plus the health info and haplogroup, plus raw data to play with (and transfer to FTDNA), so I'm happy. I can't see how it's the right choice for most genealogists, even with the new price, but I do hope the new price somehow drives 23andMe to make a better site for genealogy.

Re: 23&Me Comparative Value

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 11:41AM GMT
Classification: Query
Shari, thanks for the detailed description - very helpful. As I said above, I have only tested at Ancestry, and have not gotten any raw data or haplogroup info, so 23&Me will provide that for me.

I had previously read about both FTDNA and 23&Me, and realize that both are awkward to use for processing matches. That, to me, is the benefit of Ancestry - it makes it so much more direct to look into your matches. And if the match tree is public, you don't need to deal with sending emails back and forth, until you determine that there is a likely match.

But I did want to see the medical info and the additonal data that 23&Me provides, and it is currently very reasonibly priced.

Re: 23&Me Comparative Value

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 12:28PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks, everyone for the advice and information. I have decided to order the test. In part, it's for completeness. I think the day is coming when the genealogical proof standard of "reasonably comprehensive research" will include an examination of all available DNA information. So this is about not leaving any stone unturned, especially at a fairly reasonable price.

I'll post results in due course.

Jim

Re: 23&Me Comparative Value

Posted: 2 Jan 2013 12:47AM GMT
Classification: Query
My opinion would be to test at 23andMe, then for nominal fee, transfer the results to FTDNA. I have tested here and the other two places I mentioned. I like FTDNA for many reasons the best, but it has the least matches. That said, I have found verifiable cousins (with docs to prove relationship) only here and FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA).

Here are my autosomal results, with average of new matches per day or hour:
______________
FTDNA (380 days; 1 new match every 14.07 days )

18 Dec 2011 - 18 matches
1 Jan 2013 - 45 matches
______________
23andMe (312 days; 1 new every 2.29 days)

24 Feb 2012 - 304 matches
1 Jan 2013 - 440 matches
______________
Ancestry (156 days; 1 new every 6.82 hours)

29 Jul 2012 - 275 matches
1 Jan 2013 - 824 matches
______________

I am not sure if these were all the starting figures on the first day I had my results, but this gives an indication of how often results come in.

Re: 23&Me Comparative Value

Posted: 8 Jan 2013 8:57AM GMT
Classification: Query
I tested with Ancestry first and then tried 23andme. I have over 1200 "matches" on Ancestry with no tree hints. I only have four matches with 96% confidence and even with the extensive trees that we all have, no matches have been found. Add to that my confusing ethnicity of 90% British Isles/10% Persian/Turkish - all members of my family are from Germany-speaking countries immigrating to US between 1818 and 1850.

23andme has a more balanced breakdown of my ethnicity; mostly Northern European. I also learned of a previously unknown 2% Ashkenazi which makes the blank spots in my tree all the more interesting.

I have had more matching names on 23andme. I have 650 matches and my sister and brother both have over 950 each. I like working with the raw data and am compiling a list of the people who are sharing with me based on each chromosome match - eventually it could lead to a common ancestor.

I'm very happy with my 23andme results and am hoping that I'll get more results/clarity from Ancestry.com in the future.

Enjoy!

Re: 23&Me Comparative Value

Posted: 9 Jan 2013 3:18PM GMT
Classification: Query
I wanted to order the 23andme test, but was disappointed to find that they do not sell to kit to people in the state of Maryland. I've done the Ancestry autosomnal test, so why would MD have a problem with 23? Any thoughts are appreciated!

Re: 23&Me Comparative Value

Posted: 9 Jan 2013 3:29PM GMT
Classification: Query
It has to do with laws regarding medical information. Only entities licensed in MD can collect or maintain such information and 23 and Me is not authorized to do so.

There are also restrictions in NY.

Jim

Re: 23&Me Comparative Value

Posted: 10 Jan 2013 5:55AM GMT
Classification: Query
Currently Ancestry is best for people with Colonial American roots. Since they are only selling kits in the US at this time, you are unlikely to find ancestors living in the old country. Unless a large extended family immigrated together, your matches will be limited.

23andMe has a larger worldwide database. That is the good news. Many of the customers have no idea who their grand parents are and few bother to upload a gedcom. That is the bad news. It does give you raw data and health information so is worth considering if you have a spare $99 sitting around.
per page

Find a board about a specific topic