We offer three basic types of tests: Family Finder (autosomal DNA), Y-DNA, and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).

Family Finder

Our Family Finder test focuses on autosomal DNA, which is inherited from both your mother and your father, your four grandparents, your eight great-grandparents, etc. This test is designed to find living relatives on all of your ancestral lines within the last five generations and can also give you a breakdown of your ethnic makeup by percentage

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We call our ethnic breakdown myOrigins.  Since country borders change over time and DNA predates these artificially constructed borders, myOrigins provides percentages by region rather than country.

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These broad regional affiliations, such as European or African, are further refined into primary population clusters.

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Family Finder Matches

Family Finder matches are other individuals in our database who have also taken the Family Finder test and who, through autosomal DNA comparison, are found to share a common ancestor with you from ANY of your ancestral lines within the past five generations. The names and emails of your matches, an estimate of how closely related they are to you, and any genealogical information they have uploaded are provided to you in order to collaborate on genealogy and get past genealogical brick walls.

This list of matches is optional. You can choose whether or not you would like to share your information with matches, likewise, you will only be provided with matches who have opted in to sharing. At anytime, you will be given the ability to change your mind and opt in or opt out of sharing your information.

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Important: While the Family Finder test provides a list of ethnic percentages and genetic matches, this test does not distinguish between maternal and paternal ethnicities or matches. In addition, ethnicities need to be 1% or greater to appear in myOrigins

Chromosome Browser

Another tool to help with your matches is our Chromosome Browser. This allows you to see where on your chromosomes a match shares DNA with you. The dark blue in the background represents your DNA, and the gray sections are the regions in which we do not look for genealogical matching. You can select up to five of your matches at a time to compare with your chromosomes. When you select these matches in the left hand column, the chromosome segments they share with you will display in different colors overlaid on top of your dark blue chromosomes. For further analysis, you can use the links at the top of the browser to download the raw data of your matches or view the data in a table.

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Y-DNA

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As this test traces the paternal line with no influence from mothers, instead of an ethnic breakdown, it provides an ancestral migration route of the genetic population of your paternal line. Each specific genetic population is referred to as a haplogroup and can provide deep anthropological information about the story of mankind as well as help refine your genealogical search. With a Y-DNA test you will see a visual representation of this journey, as shown below:

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Y-DNA Matches

In addition to providing this deep ancestral migratory route, a Y-DNA test also provides a list of people in our database who share with you a common direct paternal (your father, father’s father, father’s father’s father, etc.) ancestor within the past 25 generations. If a person relates to you through a father’s father’s mother’s line, Y-DNA will not connect you to them. As surnames are traditionally passed down the direct paternal line, Y-DNA testing is particularly useful in surname studies to see how all living people of a certain surname are genetically related.

There are different levels of Y-DNA matches available. Picture Y-DNA as a puzzle with 111 pieces to it. Whatever level of Y-DNA you have, it compares that number of puzzle pieces, or markers, to another person’s to see how many markers you have in common. The number of markers you do not match with another person is called a genetic distance. Generally speaking, the higher the genetic distance, the more distantly related that person is to you. The more markers you test for, the more complete a picture of the puzzle you look at, and the more accurate the genetic distance is. In addition, higher level testing helps refine your matches to those most closely related to you. In the example below, this person started at a 37 marker level and later upgraded to a 67 marker level. His matches were narrowed from 76 to the 24 closest matches at this higher level. Whatever level of test you get, you can always upgrade to a higher level for the difference in price between the levels.

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The names and emails of your matches, genetic distance, and any genealogical information they have uploaded are provided to you in order to collaborate on genealogy and get past genealogical brick walls. This list of matches is optional, and you can decide to be removed from this list at any time.

mtDNA

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As this test traces the maternal line with no influence from fathers, instead of an ethnic breakdown, it provides an ancestral migration route of your maternal line. This migration route is called a haplogroup and can provide deep anthropological information about the story of the human race as well as help refine your genealogical search. With an mtDNA test you will see a visual representation of this journey, as shown below:

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mtDNA Matches

In addition to providing this deep ancestral migratory route, an mtDNA test also provides a list of people in our database who share a common direct maternal ancestor with you within the past 52 generations. Direct maternal matches (your mother, mother’s mother, mother’s mother’s mother, etc.) with you. If a person relates to you through a mother’s mother’s father’s line, mtDNA will not connect you to them.

There are two levels of mtDNA testing: mtDNA Plus and mtFull Sequence. The mtDNA Plus test provides basic maternal information and is more useful for deep anthropological information rather than genealogical information. The mtFull Sequence test significantly refines your matches and haplogroup to provide the closest possible living relatives to aid in genealogy and is much more useful for genealogical purposes.

The names and emails of your matches, genetic distance, and any genealogical information they have uploaded are provided to you in order to collaborate on genealogy and get past genealogical brick walls. This list of matches is optional, and you can decide to be removed from this list at any time.

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Note: The three tests each have separate matching databases, and you can only compare your DNA to matches who have taken the same DNA test type. For example, if you have taken a Family Finder test, you can only compare your results to other people who have taken a Family Finder test and cannot compare your Family Finder matches to another person’s Y-DNA results.

For more information on our three basic tests follow the links below: