Genetic Genealogy DTC DNA-Tests overview Q1 2020


Find relatives (autosomal & X-DNA)

Statistically everyone inherits at least a DNA piece from every great-great-grandparent (4th generation, 16 ancestors). Beginning with the 5th generation the genetic ancestors diminish: 8th generation 220/256 ancestors, 16th generation 1018/65536 ancestors (Source).

This means usually it is possible to find all 2nd cousins trough widespread autosomal DNA testing; most of 3th to 4th cousins, some of 5th to 6th cousins and in exceptional cases even further (Link).

If your goal is finding relatives by entering the biggest autosomal/X-DNA database for matching the suggestion is to Direct to Consumer (DTC) SNP chip test with:

AncestryDNA @ Ancestry.com ($99 US, €69+10 DE/AT, + 31 countries/no IT/CH). The second option is 23andMe ($99 US + IT/DE/AT/CH + 49 countries). Third option is FamilyTreeDNA FamilyFinder ($79+10 IT/DE/AT/CH) or MyHeritage (€79 IT/DE/AT/CH).
According to ISOGG Autosomal DNA testing comparison chart the tested SNPs for MyHeritage (700k) are higher then for the others (Ancestry 637k, 23andMe 630k, FTDNA 612k).

As soon as you have results, download raw-data and for additional matches consider uploading to:
FamilyTreeDNA (start free), MyHeritage DNA Upload for Free, GEDmatch (basic free). Possibly interesting to upload: BorlandGenetics, DNA.Land, Geneanet. Unfortunately the at/X-DNA chip tests do not test for the same SNPs (Genome positions) so comparison between companies become less accurate caused by down to only 23% shared SNPs of the ca. 600k (MyHeritage and possibly LivingDNA are the top performers).

Discover Paternal Line (Y-DNA matching for males)

If no known male surname cousin has tested yet at FamilyTreeDNA with the biggest DTC Y-STR database, do so by ordering the Y-37 STR-Marker test ($119) to see if you have matches. You can join Projects and order upgrades like Big Y 700 ($449). Experts might consider the alternative YSEQ STR Alpha-Beta 37 Marker Panel ($85) and doing a WGS to be able trough accurate Y-pedigrees to reconstruct paternal line relationships and make migration hypotheses.

Modern advanced Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS)

If you have an expert to support you a WGS 30x or better is the future to get the most comprehensive data for Y-, mt- and autosomal/X-DNA. Unfortunately no company with a big matching database of Y/mt/at/X-DNA included in the service does provide an interesting WGS 30x test. So you need to go with those providing the WGS raw data and analysis results (ancestry/haplogroups, health):

Dante Labs WGS 30X (€499, with sales 299 and lower)
YSEQ WGS 15x $740 / 30x $1340
new untested Nebula Genomics WGS 30x $299 + Nebula Explore $10/month Subscription

Y-Upload/Services for WGS: YFull ($49 incl. mt), ydna-warehouse (free), mitoYDNA;
mt-Upload/Services: YFull ($25), mitoYDNA;
Autosomal/X-Upload/Services: various conversion tools like useGalaxy, WGSExtract (Manual), samtools/Linux or services like YSEQ FASTQ Mapping $25; Links: ISOGG Raw DNA data tools & Autosomal DNA tools, Genetic Analysis Tools; suggested upload to services listed above under “find relatives”.


About Chris Rоttensteiner

Chris Rоttensteiner. Population Genetics: Phylo-Genetics & Haplogroups, Population Admixture & History, Family and Genetic Genealogy, South Tyrol, Alps, Central Europe.