Family Tree DNA (FamilyTreeDNA) Review

Posted on October 8, 2021

For centuries, people understood their family history as much as their relatives could tell them. Stories about ancestors were passed down orally, major events were kept as newspaper clippings, and most secrets went to the grave. The most recent technology has changed everything.

Family Tree DNA is part of the movement to objectively and scientifically analyze where we come from and who we are. Just by ordering a simple swab test, you can send a sample of your DNA in the mail to a lab. Scientists can then use advanced methods and sturdy research to compare your DNA to one of the largest DNA databases in the world. 

Not only will you find out where your family is from, but you'll also learn about relatives you never knew you had. Using DNA evidence, you can also improve and back up your own genealogical research.

Interested in learning more? Read this guide on Family Tree DNA.

Family Tree DNA Login

When you first visit the Family Tree DNA website, you'll find a wealth of resources and information about their services and how to use them. If you're interested in using their services, you'll first have to sign up for an account. Once you have an account, you can order the tests that you'd like to take.

Their DNA test options are:

  • Family Finder - A full breakdown of your family's ethnicities and how they compare to ancient populations found in DNA samples from archaeological digs
  • mtDNA Test - Insight into your maternal ancestry using analysis of your mitochondrial DNA
  • Y-DNA Test - Several different options for insights into your paternal ancestry
  • Tovana Health Report - An add-on DNA test to check for 1000+ categories regarding health conditions, traits, and medication effects like a predisposition for diabetes

Once you order your test with your login, you have access to your own personal profile. In this profile, you'll be able to include information about yourself so that you can connect with others in the community. You'll be able to access an inbox for messages and see your whole dashboard displaying your DNA test results.

Family Tree DNA Coupon

A key part of research on your genealogy is a family tree. Researchers will start a chronological timeline complete with family members and their relations called a family tree to better visualize and organize their findings. The tree starts at the person who wants to learn about their family and branches out first to their parents, then grandparents, and so on.

Immediate relations are easier because they are either still alive or only very recently gone, and documentation on people's lives is much more accessible than it used to be. You'll likely be able to talk to your ageing parents about the family history they remember.

The further back you go in your research, the less likely you are to be successful. It's easy to hit roadblocks like missing documents or dates.

Family Tree DNA can help you break down those roadblocks. Using DNA testing, you can find out if you're searching in the right regions of the world for information on your ancestors. If you are particularly struggling with your maternal or paternal side, you can narrow down DNA evidence to one side of your lineage. 

In addition, DNA matching with other members of the community will open up new doors for finding information about your family. You could find a relative you never knew about who is also doing research. They might have been able to find part of your family tree that you couldn't, and you could trade information.

If all of this sounds amazing, but you're not sure you can afford it, then a coupon will help you get a discount. You can find Family Tree DNA coupons online or wait for promotions.

My Family Tree DNA

Once you have gotten your test results back and have begun your research, there are many tools that Family Tree DNA offers to help you. Using your DNA, the service can help you improve your research:

  • ancientOrigins
  • myOrigins
  • Family Matching
  • Chromosome Browser

To get a deep understanding of your family history, you can start with the dawn of time. The service "ancientOrigins" shows the migration routes that your ancestors most likely used throughout time. This is done by analyzing the autosomal DNA known to be carried by ancient European groups and how much is still left in you to this day.

In addition, you can use the "myOrigins" tool to see your ethnicities mapped out across the globe. This interactive map lets you zoom in and out on the globe and see where your DNA has come from. The service will highlight specific sections of the globe that represent your ethnicity and how your family most likely obtained this DNA. 

The "Family Matching" tool connects you to the large community of other DNA researchers looking for their family history. Using your family tree and your DNA data, the service will make connections with other community members and show you how they most likely relate to you. Then, you can speak with them to learn more.

Finally, you can use the "Chromosome Browser." This tool allows you to see what the scientist see when they analyze your DNA sample. You'll be able to see your DNA and what each segment tells us about your genetic background and matches.

FamilyTreeDNA FAQ

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on Google searches about FamilyTreeDNA.

How Long Does Family Tree DNA Take?

How long the process will take will depend on which test you order and how quickly you can receive and send mail. Family Tree DNA explains that it will typically take 5 to 7 business days for your test to arrive at your doorstep. Once you send it back, you'll have to wait for an email explaining that the lab has received your sample and will start testing.

Once you've received the confirmation email, you can expect that the testing will take several weeks.

If you ordered the Family Finder test, results might take between 2 to 4 weeks to be uploaded onto your account. If you ordered the mtDNA test, expect it to take much longer. You could end up waiting between 6 to 8 weeks.

If you ordered the paternal Y-DNA test, your results might take around 3 to 6 weeks. Thankfully, you won't have to wait for them to mail anything back to you. Once your results are in, you can immediately access them on your profile's dashboard. 

What Is An X Match on Family Tree DNA?

If you receive an X match on Family Tree DNA, it means that at least one of your DNA segments has matched with a female in the community. If you are female, then your DNA match could be linked to either your maternal or paternal side. If you are male, then you could only have possibly matched with that person on your maternal side because your other chromosome is a Y.

How to Read Family Tree DNA Results

Family Tree DNA test results are presented in user-friendly reports for people who have never looked at DNA analysis before. Instead of weeding through text and jargon, you can look at highly visual charts and interactive maps.

Click through each tab in your dashboard to see different presentations of your DNA results. Looking at the map, you can see a table to the left that ranks your DNA results from most prominent to least prominent. The top results will show you the ethnicities that dominate most of your genetic makeup. 

These results might not be so surprising, but the bottom results might be new to you. The percentages listed to the right of these results will tell you how much of your DNA sample consisted of these ethnicities. There is also a section for trace results, which will show you very small representations of ethnicities but with less confidence in their accuracy. 

These ethnicities are also colour-coded, so you can see where on the map these ethnicities most likely derived from. For example, one of your results might say East Asian, which is an extremely vast category. The East Asian area will be highlighted on the map with darker sections of that colour showing where most of the population with your same DNA results lives.

Family Tree DNA Privacy Policy

Many people are very worried about giving labs and companies access to DNA information. It's true, it can be risky to give out any personal information, and it is still a new area where cybercrime is possible. However, Family Tree DNA offers reassurances that your DNA will be kept confidential, safe, and never sold to third parties.

You can learn more about the Family Tree DNA privacy policy here.

The Reviews

Family Tree DNA is a well-known and reputable company for DNA testing. They have about 2 million or more monthly visits from their 1 million+ users. The online conversation surrounding Family Tree DNA, such as on Reddit, is mainly a positive one.

Users are saying in general that Family Tree DNA is the best deal for the price and serves regions where AncestryDNA and 23andMe do not.

However, Family Tree DNA reviews suffer in comparison to other DNA testing services like AncestryDNA and 23andMe because of their less-developed website and history of helping law enforcement solve violent crimes with DNA results.

Make Family A Priority

Family is so important, and that's why so many people turn to DNA testing like Family Tree DNA to learn more about their ancestry and make connections with relatives. However, DNA isn't the only way you can prioritize family.

Insurdinary is a financial comparison platform that helps you find great deals on mortgages, banking services, and insurance plans. Whether you need to protect your family with health insurance or life insurance, Insurdinary is here for you. Compare insurance rates with us today!

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