Originally there was one direct to consumer DNA company who stood out, namely Family Tree DNA. Then came 23andMe and finally AncestryDNA. These were the three major DNA testing companies for the genealogist and other interested parties for years. However, new kids are moving to the block, and with a new focus on bio-geographical comparisons (admixtures) and one of those players is Living DNA!
Living DNA, a British company, does have an office in Louisville, Kentucky. You order a test kit with two swab samples (no fluid) and mail it back to Eurofins Genomics (a partner) in Kentucky. The testing is done in Denmark.
Testing results is an admixture (those “ethnic” percentages based on your autosomal DNA). The company also provides the mitochondrial haplogroup and the Y-DNA haplogroup. Although there is currently no matching feature nor chromosome browser, those will be provided in the near future.
What is unique about this company is that they provide testing to 80 world regions, and their focus is to test enough customers so they can pin-point locations within a country for your ancestors. It allows you to see percentages and map locations for just your mother’s line, father’s line or both as well as some information on your haplogroup, a migration map and phylogenetic tree for each parent. Of course, this means it will be fine-tuned as more people test. This test is especially helpful with those who have ancestors in the British Isles and Ireland. You can view these 21 regions (so far) on their website going back in our ancestor up to ten generations.
I know 38 of my 64 fourth-great-grandparents (which is 6 generations from me), and I only know about ten of those who are immigrants prior to 1800. As all but one of my KNOWN ancestors were in the US by the early 1800s and that one arrived in 1838, I know a few general locations from where those immigrants came. This type of test can help me determine where to search outside the U.S., but there are no guarantees that my ancestor lived in the specific area listed by any company’s bio-geographical comparison until I find that ancestor in the location. However, it is interesting and may be most helpful to see what detailed variety my DNA sample can show. I know my admixture will vary over time as more people test and more analysis can be made.
Know that this admixture (being compared with bio-geographical populations) has been the very reason some people test; that is, many who are not necessarily genealogists, but who may become interested in their lineage. The more detail that a company can provide for the customer, the greater the interest by the public. The more testing, the more advances we will see in the genetic genealogy field and that will benefit us all.
I always recommend that everyone test with a variety, if not all companies, in order to find matches in different databases. As soon as this company gets its matching feature and its chromosome browser (to view the individual segments we share with our matches), the more this company will be able to compete with the others.
Click here to order a test.
Jump in the new gene pool! You may be my cousin!