Saturday, January 17, 2015
DNA and the Testing Companies
I have taken the DNA test with Ancestry.com, transferred my DNA to Family Tree DNA and then uploaded my results from Ancestry.com to Gedmatch.com. So, I am well represented in the DNA field so far. I am thinking of taking the test with 23andMe as well. The purpose of transferring and testing with another company is to gather as many matches as I can. Not everyone tests or transfers to all the DNA companies. Most people are only with the one company who did their DNA I have found. I have different reasons for testing/transferring with the different companies. I was more aware of Ancestry.com because that is where I did most of my research. I quickly discovered that Ancestry does not have any analytical tools to compare and do research on your matches. The only way to connect on Ancestry is through surname matches. I started reading about Gedmatch and its vast array of tools that let you check virtually every aspect of your DNA match. The provide emails for your matches as well so you can contact them with questions regarding your match/tree. I then figured out that there are many people who only test with one company. So the only way to find out if I have matches on Family TreeDNA was to either take the test with them or transfer my DNA. I chose to transfer my DNA. On the Family Tree DNA site, I have the least amount of matches. They have a threshold that stops with a genetic distance of about 4. 23andMe does not have a transfer program with Ancestry or Family Tree DNA, so if I want to find matches there, I would have to take the full test again. 23andMe is interesting because they appear to have a more international database. That would allow me to find distant cousins all over the world, depending on what their genetic distance is.