Genealogy / Best DNA Test Kits

Best DNA Test Kits

How to Choose the DNA Testing Kit That’s Best for You
Marc McDermott

If you’ve read all the DNA test reviews, and are still confused, read on. What is the best DNA test? This guide will break down everything you need to know. But first, here’s a quick comparison of the best DNA testing kits:

Comparison of important features

AncestryDNA MyHeritage FamilyTree DNA 23andMe LivingDNA
Website Ancestry.com MyHeritage.com FamilyTreeDNA.com 23andMe.com LivingDNA.com
Best for Genealogy, matches, ethnicity regions Global matches, tools for advanced genetic genealogy Distant ancestry, YDNA, mtDNA Genetic health testing British Isles ancestry
Price See latest price
See latest price
See latest price
See latest price
See latest price
Ethnicity results Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ethnic Regions 500+ 42 24 1,000+ 80 (in depth for UK)
Family Matching Yes Yes Yes Yes Limited
Database Size 15 million 3.8 million 1 million 10 million None
Y-DNA Test No No Yes Broad haplogroup, no matching Broad haplogroup, no matching
mtDNA Test No No Yes Broad haplogroup, no matching Broad haplogroup, no matching
Collection Method Saliva Cheek swab Cheek swab Saliva Cheek swab
Chromosome Browser No Yes Yes Yes No
Raw Data Upload No Yes Yes No Yes
Health Info No For extra fee No For extra fee No

Best DNA testing kits reviewed

AncestryDNA

The best testing kit for genealogy, AncestryDNA has the most extensive database (15 million customers) so you’ll find the most DNA matches there.

Ancestry DNA test kit

What we like:

  • Database of over 15 million customers for matching
  • Strong genealogical community
  • Connect with matches through anonymous email and message boards
  • Link your DNA results to your online family tree
  • No subscription required

What we don’t like

  • Viewing family trees of your matches requires a subscription
  • Does not allow raw data uploads from other sites

Read our complete AncestryDNA review.

Note that you do not have to have an Ancestry subscription in order to take their test or see your results. You also do not need a subscription to build your own family tree.

A subscription allows you to view genealogical records, view the family tree’s of your matches, and compare your tree with your match to find common ancestors.

There are of course many other features on the research side of your genealogy. Get a 14-day free trial here.

MyHeritage DNA

The best DNA testing kit if you’re looking for matches outside the United States, MyHeritage has the largest database of international customers. They also offer some pretty neat tools such as auto clustering and a chromosome browser.

MyHeritage test kit

What we like:

  • Largest database of international customers to be matched with
  • Link your DNA results to your online family tree
  • Allows free upload of raw data from other sites
  • Covers 42 ethnic regions

What we don’t like

  • Relatively small (but rapidly growing) database compared to other sites. Currently 3.8 million

Read our complete MyHeritageDNA review.

23andMe

23andMe is the best test kit for dedicated genetic testing for health. Since most people who test there aren’t as interested in family history or communicating with DNA matches as compared to sites like Ancestry, 23andMe would probably not be my first choice for genealogy.

23 and me DNA test kit

What we like:

  • The best company for health and wellness reports
  • Has a large database of more than 10 million customers
  • Includes a chromosome browser for comparing results

What we don’t like

  • Very limited genealogical community compared to other sites
  • No Y-DNA or mtDNA matching
  • Does not allow upload of raw data from other sites

Read our complete 23andMe review.

You may also be interested in our complete comparison of 23andMe vs Ancestry.

FamilyTreeDNA

The best for distant ancestry (beyond 6-8 generations), and paternity testing. One major perk is, even if you do get your testing done by a different company, FamilyTreeDNA lets you upload your raw data into their system as well.

FamilyTreeDNA

What we like:

  • Only company to offer all three tests separately
  • Only company to offer Y-DNA and mtDNA matching
  • Cheek swab DNA collection (much easier for babies and elderly)
  • Allows free upload of raw data from tests run for other sites
  • Has a chromosome browser, which lets you compare two or more sets of DNA results to see segment overlap
  • Surname, haplogroup and other group projects you can join

What we don’t like

  • Has a smaller database of people than sites like Ancestry (since it’s not as popular to the mass market), so you might miss some matches
  • Very broad ethnicity regions

Read our complete FamilyTreeDNA review.

Living DNA

If you have any British or Irish ancestry, you’ll definitely want to do an ancestry test with LivingDNA. Based in the UK, LivingDNA specializes in “high definition” genetic testing in the British Isles and can narrow into the exact regions of your ancestry in the British Isles.

Because of the lack of a customer database (and matches), I would also test with another company in addition to LivingDNA.

LivingDNA

What we like:

  • Divides the UK and Ireland into many more, smaller regions than other services

What we don’t like

  • No separate autosomal DNA only test, so highest overall price
  • Almost no database for matches

Read our complete LivingDNA review.

DNA testing buyer’s guide

In this guide:

Types of DNA tests

There are three main types of DNA tests used in genealogy.

Each one works a little differently, and tells you different things.

Naturally, that means that each one has its advantages and disadvantages.

Autosomal DNA tests (atDNA)

autosomal DNA inheritance chart
Autosomal DNA tests are the most popular and look at the DNA you inherited from every line in your family tree. This test provides an estimate of your ethnicity – or the regions of the world where your ancestors lived within the past few hundred years. This test also matches you with distant relatives.

Autosomal DNA (atDNA) is that DNA that does not contribute to gender; in other words, the first 22 pairs of chromosomes. It is inherited from both your maternal and paternal ancestors.

Because it does not rely on the 23rd chromosome, atDNA tests can be done in both men and women with the same results.

What is an atDNA test?

atDNA tests are by far the most popular for consumers. This is the test that gives you ethnicity estimates as well as family matches.

This test examines single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), or the different “shapes” of individual nucleotides, small chunks of DNA.

Genealogical atDNA tests examine about 700,000 SNPs to determine how closely related you are to someone else.

Remember that half our DNA comes from our father and half from our mother.

Going back in generations, that means that roughly one-fourth of our DNA comes from each of our grandparents, one-eighth from each of our great-grandparents, and so on. These percentages are never exact since DNA inheritance and recombination is completely random.

The further you go back, the less DNA you have inherited from a particular ancestor, and the harder it is to prove that you are related.

So autosomal DNA tests are only useful for about 6-8 generations.

What It Tells You

Most people who do an autosomal test do so for ethnicity estimates. Autosomal tests will give you a set of ethnicity results based on how your DNA compares to reference populations created by the testing company.

For genealogical purposes, the main use of autosomal DNA testing is to find relatives and determine how closely related you are to someone else.

This can be especially useful if you know very little about your parents or grandparents and are having a hard time locating living relatives.

Many times, relatives located by the test are researching the same family lines as you, and you can share research with them.

Every company mentioned in this guide offers autosomal DNA tests. Again, it is by far the most popular test for consumers.

Mitochondrial DNA testing (mtDNA)

mitochondrial dna inheritance
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is passed down from a mother to all her children (both male and female) and examines your direct maternal line only. Like Y-DNA, mtDNA changes very slowly over time so you can trace maternal lines back thousands of years. This test should not be confused with X-DNA analysis.

mtDNA is genetic material inside mitochondria, small components found inside every cell and which have their own separate DNA strands.

mtDNA is passed down exclusively from females. Both males and females inherit their mtDNA from their mothers, therefore anyone can take this test.

Because mtDNA does not include a combination of DNA from both parents, it does not change with every generation.

In fact, mtDNA changes extremely slowly – it might remain exactly the same for dozens of generations!

How It Works

While autosomal DNA testing looks at the 22 pairs of autosomes inside the cell nucleus, mtDNA testing looks at the DNA inside the mitochondria which exists outside the cell nucleus.

Among other things, that means the test only has to examine about 16,500 genetic base pairs, instead of the 3.2 billion base pairs found in our DNA.

The test normally looks at only specific portions of the mtDNA and compares them to established samples.

What It Tells You

mtDNA gives very precise and accurate ancestry results, but only for the maternal line.

results, but only for the maternal line.

That is, it tells you about your mother’s mother’s mother’s mother, and so on, back through time.

But it can’t tell you about any of your other ancestors, such as your mother’s father or any of your father’s ancestors.

An mtDNA test will also identify how closely related you are to a haplogroup.

A haplogroup is basically a group of people with a single common ancestor.

Historically, everyone living in the same region might belong to the same haplogroup, or very closely related ones.

This means that your haplogroup can identify where your maternal line originated.

It could also help you locate distant relatives, but some of them could be very distant (thousands of years).

In some cases, mtDNA can remain nearly identical for 50 generations or more. This makes it difficult to use mtDNA matching for genealogical purposes. A perfect match means you are related, but you might be 48th cousins!

The only company to offer individual mtDNA kits is FamilyTreeDNALiving DNA  and 23andMe bundle very basic mtDNA testing with their autosomal DNA test.

Y-DNA tests

Y-DNA inheritance
Y-DNA Tests look at the Y-chromosome (only found in males) which is passed from father to son and changes very little over time. This allows you to trace the direct line back thousands of years. Females don’t have a Y-chromosome so they cannot take this test. However, they can ask a male relative (i.e. brother, father, uncle, etc.) to take the test for them.

The 23rd human chromosome has two versions, the X and the Y.

Women have two X-chromosomes, while men have one X and one Y.

Y-DNA testing kits examine only the Y-chromosome, therefore only males can take this test. If you’re a woman who wants to test your father’s Y-DNA male line, you’ll need to test your father, uncle, brother, male cousin, etc. Basically any male on your direct paternal line. Testing the oldest generation possible is always best.

Because you can only get a Y-chromosome from your father, and he from his father, that means it tends to change very little over time.

How It Works

There are actually two sub-tests with Y-DNA testing.

The first is a short tandem repeat (STR) test. The STR test categorizes sections of the DNA according to how often a certain genetic pattern repeats.

The second is a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) test. It works the same way as in autosomal DNA testing, but it only tests about 30,000 SNPs instead of 700,000.

What It Tells You

The STR test produces a summary of your haplotype. This can be compared to someone else’s results to determine how far back your most recent common ancestor might have lived.

An STR test is often used to determine how closely two people with the same surname are related, if at all.

The SNP test is more detailed, and among other things assigns you to a haplogroup.

A haplogroup is a group of people with one common ancestor and who lived in one or more specific regions.

Both Y-chromosome tests can help you locate relatives.

But like mtDNA, because the Y-chromosome changes slowly, you might be related many generations back. Although Y-DNA tests are much more useful for genealogy than mtDNA.

And because the Y-chromosome is only passed down through males, the test can only tell you about your direct paternal line.

The only company to offer individual Y-DNA testing kits is FamilyTreeDNA, which has three options depending on how detailed a test you want.

Y-DNA testing is especially useful for adoptees. It’s also a great ancestry test if you think you have jewish ancestry.

Living DNA and 23andMe bundles very basic Y-DNA testing with their autosomal DNA tests, but provide much less detailed results than FamilyTreeDNA.

Choosing the test that’s best for you

With three tests to choose from, how do you decide which is best for you?

It all depends on what you want to know.

Autosomal DNA

For most people, the autosomal DNA test is the clear winner, and it is the one test that every testing company offers.

Because your autosomal DNA comes from all of your ancestors, this test is good for finding a range of ancestors and living relatives.

It can also provide you with reasonable estimates of the ethnicity of your ancestors, or the regions of the world where they lived.

The main drawback to autosomal DNA is that it gets so jumbled together after a few generations that it becomes unreliable the further you try to go back.

Most of the time, an autosomal DNA test is only useful for about 6-8 generations.

Autosomal DNA can provide some great leads on finding others who are researching the same family tree as you.

mtDNA

Because mtDNA comes to you only from your mother, and from her mother, it only helps you trace one line.

You can use it to prove a common ancestor with someone else, but only in a direct maternal line.

It can, however, trace that line back a very long way – sometimes 10,000 years or more.

That can provide evidence that your mother’s maternal line came from a very specific region or ethnicity.

But it is less useful when finding living relatives.

Y-DNA

The Y-DNA test is sort of like the mtDNA test, but it follows a direct paternal line instead.

That means a Y-DNA test can tell you about your father’s father’s father’s father, and many generations before that, but not about any of your other ancestors.

Y-DNA is most useful if you want to prove a connection to a certain ancestor.

Say that you have a common surname, like Smith, and want to know if you are related to someone else named Smith.

A Y-DNA can prove (or disprove) that the two of you are related.

Like the mtDNA test, Y-DNA may let you trace a line back for dozens of generations.

It can also tell you the ethnicity or region of origin of your paternal line.

One major drawback to a Y-DNA test is that only males have Y-DNA, so only males can take the test.

However, a woman can still find Y-DNA results by having a close male relative take it for her, such as her brother, father, paternal uncle, or cousin by a paternal uncle (but not her son, since he got his Y-chromosome from his paternal line, not hers).

In the same way, you can trace other paternal lines by asking an appropriate family member to take the test and share the results with you.

Ethnicity testing

All three of the DNA tests can provide you with information on where your ancestors lived.

But the information they provide varies from test to test.

  • Y-DNA and mtDNA tests will link you to very specific genetic lines, but keep in mind, they represent only a fraction of your family tree.
  • Autosomal DNA testing is what’s used for ethnicity testing of your entire family tree.

The companies that provide DNA testing divide the world up into regions in different ways. Each company has different ways of doing this.

That means that two different testing companies may give you different ethnicity estimates for the exact same DNA.

As more and more genetic data is collected, companies update their regions, too.

Some companies have had problems with their ethnicity estimates in the past. AncestryDNA, for example, used to be well-known for overestimating Scandinavian ancestry.

But the accuracy of estimates is constantly improving as more genetic data are collected, and there’s no clear indication that one company is more accurate than the others.

When a company does improve its ethnicity estimates, your profile will automatically be updated, too. You won’t have to retake the test to get the new results, but you will have to visit their site. Chances are they will not email you with the update.

Regions versus countries

It’s important to keep in mind that any DNA test will typically give a region of origin, not a country.

That’s because countries have changed many times throughout human history, and even within your lifetime!

Consider the case of Alsace-Lorraine, a 5,600 square mile region on the border of France and Germany.

Before the 17th century, the area was entirely Germanic (even though Germany as a country didn’t exist at the time).

During the 17th and 18th centuries, it was annexed by France.

In 1871, following the Franco-Prussian War, it was annexed by Germany.

Following World War I, it was returned to France.

So how can you say if your ancestors from that area were German or French using only DNA?

You can’t.

You can only say that your ancestors came from that region.

And because of all the migration and intermarrying across borders, the results you get aren’t going to be that specific, anyway.

Chances are they’ll bundle Germany and France together, and simply tell you those ancestors came from continental western Europe.

Native American ancestry

​Can DNA testing determine Native American ancestry?

Many people in the United States want to know if they have any Native American ancestry, and if so, from what tribes.

The good news is DNA testing can, in some cases, tell you if you have Native American ancestors.

Read our full guide to testing for Native American ancestry.

Which test is best for you?

It depends on your goals…

Is it worth it?

So is genealogical DNA testing right for you?

In the end, is it really worth the cost and bother?

Absolutely.

Even if genealogy is only an occasional hobby for you, these tests can provide you with some very enlightening insights into your family history.

And for the serious genealogist, it is getting to the point where they are nearly essential.

Genealogical DNA testing is finally accurate enough, inexpensive enough, and useful enough for connecting with your family. I recommend it to everyone interested in learning more about their roots.

External references & citations

About the Author

Comments (835)

  1. Nancy

    I would like to order a dna test for my Father but Ancestry.com only let you order a test for yourself or a child, not for a parent. Will Family Tree let you order a test for a parent after you did your own test? My father is almost 100 percent German and like to find out how much German he really is.

    Nancy

    • Marc McDermott

      Yes I believe so but I’d double check with the company.

  2. Marlena

    Hi Mark,

    Do you have any information about GPS Origins DNA? My sister picked this one but I am thinking of Ancestry for me. Also, do these tests really determine percentage of Neanderthal? Just wondering how an Autosomal DNA test can really go back that far. Thank you.

    • Marc McDermott

      Hi sorry but I’ve never used GPS Origins DNA. An autosomal test will not tell you if you’re a Neanderthal since they only go back 4-5 generations. But the 23andMe autosomal test also tests your ydna and mtdna broadly and would show it.

  3. Marie

    Thanks for your article! I’m purchasing this as a gift for my parents who have limited knowledge on navigating computers. Is one company more user-friendly for seniors?

    • Marc McDermott

      I’d probably say ancestry.

  4. alexis espinosa

    Hi Mark.

    Both my grandparents came to US from Cuba. I would like to know a detailed history of origin, region, ethnicity, maybe past relatives – from both parents. How detailed is the autosomal testing compared to the mtDNA in regards to that information? What information can mtdna/ychromosome give me that autosomal cannot?

    • Marc McDermott

      YDNA and mtDNA is essentially the ancient origins of your direct paternal and maternal lines. But it sounds to me you need to combine an autosomal test with some genealogy research using Ancestry.com then maybe test your ydna and mtdna down the road with FTDNA.

  5. Jeff

    Hi Mark,

    My elderly mom wants to confirm where she is from (Spanish, French, German etc) and wants me to order her an DNA test. Her parents died when she was very young. She does not own a computer and does not live near me. Would it be better if I took the test and told her the results? Would I basically have the same results as if she took the test? Would Family DNA be over kill and just do Ancestry DNA or would I have to do Family DNA to have the mtDNA done to achieve the results my mom is looking to confirm. Neither one of us is interested in using it to connect with any new or additional family members. Thanks

    • Marc McDermott

      Hey Jeff. The tests won’t tell you which countries she’s from, just regions. I would have her take the test. For the most accurate results, I’d do the autosomal test with FTDNA.

  6. Nancy

    Your article is very helpful. I did the Family Tree DNA and it was very accurate. Except it says I am 5% Middle Eastern- Israel. Does that means I have a ancestor from there? I do have a 4th great grandmother with a first name that is Arab and don’t know where she was from.

    Thank you, Nancy

    • Marc McDermott

      Hi Nancy. Yes that’s probably the connection. Generally speaking, if your 4x great grandmother was 100% Arab, and she was the only middle eastern blood you have, then the DNA report would show around 6.25% middle eastern (50% diluted by half for 4 generations).

      • Nancy

        Thank you for your respond. It is worth joining Family Tree DNA Surname, Lineage and Geographical Projects? or allow genetic matches? I thought it would give me clues who some of my ancestors are, I’m concerned about my privacy.

        I did the Family Tree DNA and the Ancestry DNA. Don’t they ask for a feedback and ask what I think of my results?

        Thank you, Nancy

        • Marc McDermott

          Yes, I would definitely join the FTDNA projects – they can be super helpful.

  7. Camilla nielsdn

    Hey I have wanted a DNA test for a very long time now, some years ago, I found out that my grandfather’s father was not biological, my grandmother on my dads side was adopted. My grandmother was very dark (dark eyes and brown almost black hair) which of the suggested tests would be the best. I do not need to find relatives. I’m only curious about whether I’m 100% Danish or not

    • Marc McDermott

      Hi Camilla. FTDNA will be the most accurate, however it will not tell you if you’re Danish. No test will tell you a country. But it will tell you if you’re 100% Scandinavian.

  8. Michelle

    Thank you. After 20 years (on and off) of researching the family history, LivingDNA it is. You have really helped.

  9. Mike

    Hi Mark, thanks for your article – would be able to help me. My father was adopted, I am an only child and sadly neither of my parents are with us anymore. I’m after the best test(s) that will tell me most accurately where in the world my parents come from. My second question is if there are any other tests than help me know of genetic conditions. Thanks in advance for helping me, Mike

    • Marc McDermott

      Hi Mike. I would do the 23andMe autosomal + health test. The autosomal test will also give you general haplogroup info for your ydna and mtdna which will tell you generally where each of your parents come from. For more detailed info of your ydna and mtdna though, I would test with FTDNA. Hope this helps!

  10. Michele

    Thank you Mark! Having all this information delivered so well is very much appreciated. Today my son asked for 23andMe for a Christmas gift. His father was adopted and has never been interested in finding his biological parents. My mother was from Costa Rica so he knows he’s got that in his mix. My father was Irish American. After reading your article, it looks like FTDNA might be the better choice starting with the basic test. He turns 20 in February so I might get the yDNA for him later. What do you think?
    Thank you!

    • Marc McDermott

      Hi Michele. Yes if you want to find his father’s biological parents, a yDNA test from FTDNA is what you want. I would also do the autosomal test with FTDNA or Ancestry – not 23andMe. Good luck!

      • Michele

        I got my son the autosomal test for Christmas and my brother and sister upgraded his kit to add yDNA. His results should come in the middle of February which will be like a birthday present. He is very excited!

  11. Sandy

    Thank you for sharing so much useful & informative information in one place.

  12. Sarah

    Hello,
    This is a great article. I was wondering….If just receiving the autosomal dna test, are the companies results the same? Is it better to have the autosomal DNA test without the mtDNA or Y-DNA? Also looking at your comparison chart, it looks like the best bang is with 23 and me as they test for DNA in all 3 areas and have a large database, not as big as ancestory.com. I could then download the raw DNA results to 23 and me. I noticed on your chart also that the database is listed as none for the LivingDNA site, is that right? Thanks in advance for your feedback

    • Marc McDermott

      Hi Sarah. No the results will not be the same between companies. It all depends on what your goals are. If you want to find and connect with family members, then 23andMe is not recommended.

  13. Rhonda Wells

    Mark,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to share all of this information. It was extremely helpful and saved me a lot of time! Happy Holidays to you!

  14. Donna

    Hi, Mark…….I was wondering if I could get your advice on which kit you think might be best for my Dad (I’ve been thinking about getting him one for Christmas). His mother, my grandmother, was adopted at birth and basically the family knows absolutely nothing of her heritage. Which kit do you think would be best to find the best information about his mother?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Marc McDermott

      Hi Donna. Are you looking to find his mother’s family or just basic heritage info?

      • Donna

        I think my Dad would just like to know some basic info about his mother’s heritage.

        • Marc McDermott

          Gotcha. I’d have him take an mtDNA test from FTDNA which would track his direct maternal line.

  15. Sarah April

    Hi..l am of mixed race black and white and know nothing of my black biological father. Since l don’t know any male siblings to contact from his side to take the yDNA test is there any way to get any info on my paternal side or am l only left with the basic DNA autosomal test of where my roots come from??

    • Marc McDermott

      Hi Sarah. I assume you don’t have any brothers either? If not then your only option for yDNA is to find a male cousin on the direct paternal line. If you don’t know any, take an autosomal test with Ancestry to potentially locate some. You can also upload your results to FTDNA and if you’re super lucky, could find a male cousin on your direct paternal line whose already taken a ydna test. Hope that helps!

  16. Ralph Bailey

    Awesome site….but of course I have a question.
    Pop’s father was orphaned (during the flu epidemic early 1917/18) and only remembers a nice dark haired lady taking him to the orphanage telling him he would be living there from now on. Pop knows more about his mother (family was all from Lithuania) but has been disconnected from that family when he was a young man and the women from that line that he knew are passed away with a loss of his cousins (only one other had a child and pop is an only child – he’s 85).
    He has been watching PBS Finding Your Roots and has for the first time decided he would like to try find his roots and connect with others that he might be related too — especially finding out more about his fathers lineage. He was believed to have come from England.
    Having read your site/comments I would do both of the paternal & maternal tests – and would appreciate your suggestion. (by the way your family tree link is not working)
    I appreciate your suggestions. Trish for pop.

    • Marc McDermott

      Hi Ralph. I would definitely go with FTDNA. Get one of the bundle deals for all 3 tests. Good luck!

  17. Kim Kleeman

    I could never pin my parents/grandparents down for information on my an ancestry. Maybe English, Irish, Native North American or ???
    Which would be best for info paternal AND maternal? Or a combination with a male sibling? Thank you very much.

    • Marc McDermott

      Hi Kim. Try the autosomal test from FTDNA.

  18. Debra

    Since my father is deceased and my sister and I want to know if we have the same biological father, what DNA test will be right for us?

    • Marc McDermott

      Hi Debra. I’d go with basic autosomal tests from either FTDNA or Ancestry.

  19. Josh

    Hello and thank you for your article! I simply want to know what the heck I am with as much detail as possible lol! Pretty sure my dad’s side comes from eastern europe (but where specifically I don’t know) and my mother’s side comes from western europe with a high likelihood of that being ireland. Which would you recommend for the most detail in this regard?

    • Marc McDermott

      Hey Josh. I’d get the basic autosomal test from FamilyTreeDNA

  20. Luke

    Thank you as well for writing this article. Thank you too for taking the time to answer all these questions.

    Like many others on here, I’m a bit torn between which test and company to choose. I’m not interested in connecting to relatives or determining a genetic link to a specific person. I mainly want to find my ethnicity. However I’m also interested in the health genealogy. My family is pretty healthy with very little disease and age-related maladies, but I thought it may be good to know for sure what to watch out for.

    Additonally my maternal side seems to be pretty “pure” while my paternal side seems to be more mixed, so I’m thinking if there are some uncertainties in the results of the autosomal test then I could use the other testing methods on one or both of the maternal/paternal lines. However those according to you are considerably more expensive, so I would only want these separate from autosomal just in case.

    That being said, which company and testing method would you recommend I go with? Again, autosomal with health genealogy for the sole sake of finding ethnic background and health tendencies with separate maternal/paternal line tests (sorry can’t remember technical names) as a possible option later.

    • Marc McDermott

      Hi Luke. I’d probably go with the 23andMe test that offers health screening.

      • Luke

        Will that come up with the optional maternal/paternal tests? And I believe you said in the article the autosomal tests are all the same excellent quality, correct?

        • Marc McDermott

          Yes ydna and mtdna are included in 23andme but the results for those are broad and not nearly as detailed as you would get with a company like FTDNA.

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