Family Tree DNA - Family Finder - 23andME - Relative Finder
- Right now if you have already been tested at Family Tree DNA you can order a Family Finder upgrade for $289.00 .
At the same time 23andME offers for people who have never tested two different packages. One is an ancestry package which tests all of your chromosomes as well as your mtDNA and gives you enough information to participate in their Relative Finder. This kit is $399. They have another kit that tests for DNA related health issues. They presently cover 175 diseases and tell you if you might have a risk or if you are a carrier. There is a lot of health related information. This kit costs $429. Or you can get both tests for a total of $499.
The 23andME ancestry package includes telling you your yDNA and mtDNA Haplogroups.
Family Tree DNA says they test over 500,000 SNPs for their Family Finder. I believe 23andME says they test over 600,000 SNPs.
What the Family Finder and Relative Finder do is look for strings of DNA that are exact matches with strings of your DNA. They check all the chromosomes and not just the Y. Since the chromosomes from the mother and father mix with each other every generation the theory is that during after 5 generations of mixing there are hardly any large chunks of duplicate DNA strings.
The theory is that the longer the exact matching strings and the more long matching strings on many different chromosomes the more closely you are related.
Thus the testing companies will give you a prediction that someone is either a close family member, e. g. sibling, parent or child or a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th cousin. Beyond 5th cousin is meaningless.
At 23andME they match your chromosome strings will everyone in their database on a no-name basis. You can offer to connect with a close match but they are under no obligation to respond. It is my understanding there are presently about which is about 35,000 people of which they say about 10% are Jewish. At Family Tree DNA they match you with others who are participating in the Family Finder program, which is a few hundred people.
As of today I have 1,052 matches in the 23andME Relative Finder database. I have yet to link up on paper with these people.
Another thing 23andME does that helps a lot is that they let you put up all your surnames and any additional information you want if you want to connect with others. You can search on those surnames. I have found two relatives from the surname searches.
On the other hand. At Family Tree DNA you can search for surname projects. You can communicate with those groups and try to connect.
I must say that the Family Finder and Relative Finder is much more fun and interesting than merely having exact yDNA or mtDNA matches. A close match on your yDNA might mean you share an ancestor within 6 generation, i.e. 150 years. But when they test all your chromosomes they will find 3rd cousins galore as well as 4th and 5th.
This makes you realize that your yDNA is only linked to your father's, father's, father's, . . . . and leaves out all your other relatives. You will find people much more closely related then merely your Q1b1 cousins.
If you have lots of money spend $289 at Family Tree DNA. However, their database is small right now and the test will be much less expensive and much more extensive in a few years. You will want to do the test again a couple years from now as this technology develops.
If you are curios about health related issues and would like to know the truth you might find the results at 23andMe to be fascinating. Others may not want to know what problems you might have coming your way or the problems you might have passed on to your children. You could choose just the ancestry package for $399.
There are other problems and issues but I will put those in another message.