Top positive review
some advantages over other testing companies
November 13, 2017
I've done DNA testing with all of the major companies now. And I've been at this DNA stuff for almost 15 years now.
* I found the ethnicity estimate to be just about equal to everyone else. You can get more detail running your own models via gedmatch but for the curious or beginner, this is the easy result. If you just want to know whether you need a kilt or lederhosen or green beer for the next holiday seasons then this works as well, with many particular limitations, as any of the others.
* There's no medical interpretation - most don't anymore. You can get good medical results running your raw download through Promethease for a few bucks. If you want to know medical propensities then Ancestry won't help much on its own.
* The relationship calculations are pretty accurate and the database is huge. Compared to my other tests, this one returned far more and much closer connections. If you're looking for birth parents and such, this is the place to start. Just remember that the calculator is an estimate and other possibilities exist.
- The sampling process was simple "spit in a tube, mail it in" - I much prefer cheek swabs but this gets the job done.
- Time was super fast for me - 4 weeks from mail-in. I have a test out with one company that is nearing 3 months to process.
- The user interface is pretty simple for newbies but doesn't offer much in the way of analysis tools for those who have DNA experience. Gedmatch can makeup for the shortfall in analysis tools if you can get your matches to upload there.
- The ease of creating an attached tree makes for some particularly easy genealogical research to confirm/refute family connections.
- The ease of creating an attached tree makes for some particularly prevalent errors in family trees.
- yDNA and mtDNA predictive markers are hidden in these results if you want to make an effort to dig them out.
- The marketing of this tester has created a large database of folks who were only interested in ethnicity and admixture estimates who have no interest in and won't reply to genealogy queries. Many haven't logged back in since they got their results back.
There seem to be a lot of customers who forgot that molecular biology, human origins and migrations geography, and world history weren't their best subjects in school and were expecting this to return an easy result to "grasp it all" in a few minutes. The more you want to dig, the more complex the understanding will become. "DNA for Dummies" is a master's degree - "All You Ever Wanted to Know..." is a PhD. If you get hung up on needing to understand it all in a few short hours then you're going to get very frustrated. Take it in a little at a time.
Having spent many $1000's on this hobby over the years, I'm very pleased with this $70 investment into understanding who I am and where I came from. Your mileage may vary.