Family Tree DNA is one of the divisions of an organization i.e., ‘Gene by Gene’ which was founded on the idea formulated by Bennett Greenspan along with his business partners Jim Warren as well as Max Blankfeld. When Bennett Greenspan tried to do some research on his mother’s lineage, he realized that academic labs did not provide DNA testing services directly to the public. This discovery led to the foundation of Family Tree DNA. The company was officially launched during the early months of the year 2000 in Houston, Texas. Family Tree DNA was the first ever company to provide commercial DNA testing services to the public in general. Currently, it provides Paternal Ancestry Tests (Y-DNA Test), Family Ancestry Tests and Maternal Ancestry Tests (mtDNA Test) which ranges between 80 USD to 200 USD.
Variety of tests and tools
Family Tree DNA provides you with lots of testing options. Instead of just one test which can suit all they have provided clients with Y-DNA Tests, Mitochondrial DNA Tests, and Autosomal DNA Tests. In these tests, you again have options of choosing a number of markers, Full DNA tests or just partial ones depending upon your specific requirements. Family Tree DNA is the only company who provides clients with separate tests on Y-DNA and Mitochondrial DNA. They provide very good Y-DNA and Mitochondrial DNA matching tools. Family Tree DNA actually matches the DNA with other peoples DNA and explains in what way you are related to them. This helps clients to search their Y-DNA or Mitochondrial DNA matches and determine the truthfulness of the provided results.
Family Tree DNA allows you to start and administer projects based on Genealogy. These projects may span from Y-DNA, Family Ancestry, Surname based analysis, Mitochondrial DNA, location groups, ethnic groups, to almost anything related to genetic genealogy. These projects help people to find specific answers and specific people. Project administrators who are looking for ancestors may even pay the person for providing DNA if the person matches their required criteria.
Privacy and Security
What makes Family Tree DNA unique
1) Family Tree DNA has a unique aspect. It is affiliated with the National Geographic’s Genographic Project.
2) Family Tree DNA has a chromosome viewer which lets you see exactly which part of DNA is common with other relatives and matches.
3) They have their own laboratories and a team of professionals geneticists which eliminates the involvement of third parties and minimizes the risk of breach of personal data.
4) In terms of data exportability, Family Tree DNA outshines others. It aids in easy downloading of DNA test results and also supports uploading of test results from other test providers.
5) Family Tree DNA has a chromosome viewer which lets you see exactly which part of DNA is common with other relatives and matches.
6) It is estimated that Family Tree DNA has around 1,000,000 in its family finder database. The exact figure is not known as it is the only organization that has not disclosed the number publicly.
7) It has a very strong community base and support.
Cost and pricing
Family Tree DNA allows you to upload matches but to access their full set of tools you need to pay a fee which is around 19 USD. On the other hand, their competitors do not charge any amount to upload DNA and access the tools.
Discounts and coupons
Family Tree DNA provides its clients with Family Tree DNA Coupon Codes to avail their various services at discounted rates. There are special discount offers available when a client takes two or more tests simultaneously.
Family Tree DNA allows you to see your matches but does not let you go through matches of your match. So this limits your search to a certain group of people. It also causes hindrance in case you are trying to do triangulation. So in order to get triangulation done, you may have to contact authorities who do this tests or get them done from other websites like ‘GEDmatch.com’.
Specializes in Y-DNA Tests
Family Tree DNA is more focused on providing Y-DNA tests as they have the largest Y-DNA database compared to other companies. On the other hand, when we compare databases of other organizations for tests like Family Ancestry, Mitochondrial Tests or Autosomal Tests, Family Tree DNA has a very small and restricted database.
Since Family Tree DNA has lots of options and tests available on their website, it becomes difficult to navigate through pages for a new user and leads to confusion. Finding the right test to suit one’s requirement is also a difficult task with so many tests offered.
Vague and unclear results
Family Tree DNA fails to explain results in a simple and clear concrete way. All it does is provides you with the result of possible matches and breakdown of different groups that contribute to one’s DNA. Family Tree DNA lacks behind as it does not offer health-related information.
Family Tree DNA is definitely better than many of its competitors in aspects of a variety of tests, cost and pricing, accountability and precision. Still, there is a lot that can be done to improve the overall experience of a user. Family Tree DNA needs to make their website easy to navigate and user-friendly. It needs to clearly specify what user should expect in the form of test results that it strives to provide and explain the derived results in simple and precise language.