Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Foray into Family Tree DNA

Family Tree DNA had a sale last week, so I bit the bullet and recruited my family for some cheek scrapin' fun times. Drafted on my team were my dad, my aunt, and my maternal grandparents. Not wanting to be left out of the fun, I went and ordered myself a mtDNA test and Family Finder just to see what happens.

My test kit came this week:

Inside were three cheek scrapers. When you're done, the stick is used to plunge little swab into the little jar. It's an easy process.

Then you send everything back.

Yes, they're right down the road from me. That's one of the reasons I chose this company. Shop local, they say.

What do I expect from this process? I have no idea. I'm still trying to grasp the possibilities and scenarios that arise from having this DNA information. I do know that I couldn't wait until I learned everything before getting my family samples done. Test now, figure it out later.

Special thanks to my parents for funding this adventure and for my family members for being the guinea pigs. I honestly can't tell you what we're going to learn about ourselves from this exercise, but the possibilities make it necessary to take the step.

I sent my own test back today. I'll let you know how it goes....


  1. Good luck with your results. I did the Family Finder test about a year ago and have over 100 matches. It can be difficult to make connections (I've only made three and they are all 6 cousins removed-x-times) but the ones I've made have helped me extend my tree.

    Also, you might get your results back faster than predicted. My family finder came back two weeks early and my uncles came back three weeks early.

  2. Valerie, I appreciate your insight. I've taken enough classes to understand the basic concepts of DNA tests for genealogy, but I'm clueless as to what happens on the other side when you get the results back. I will definitely share my experiences here and no doubt have more questions for you.

  3. I just picked up the 23andMe for 9$ (a month) so about 109$, for me, and my parents. Will be interesting to see what thiers brings to the table so to say. I sent it in on monday and will have to wait 6-8 from what the site told me.

  4. Having your Dad and grandparents tested, should make a huge difference in narrowing down connections! I've only had myself tested so when it comes to my matches I've got my whole tree to choose from. I've not figured out any of my cinnections yet, but I'm in it for the long haul. I just think the idea of being able to point to your DNA and say that part of it came from [insert name here] would be amazing. If you notice a Shelley in any of your match lists, be sure to say hi!

  5. That's so quick, Amy.

    I wonder how long it will take my kits to come across the seas to Sydney.

    Please keep us posted.

  6. Hi Amy you are a match to my "cousin" Sara from Washington. Actually she's not really a cousin as her Godwin line and mine are not genetically related via Y-DNA but we've been working together a couple of years now trying to separate the various Godwin lines in NC. How cool is that!