General FAQs

Yes. We find matches for your unique DNA in forensic and genetic databases. If you take the DNA Fingerprint Test Plus 18 marker panel, we analyze your entire ancestry and determine your main countries of origin on an overall basis. Your matches reflect historical places where your various ancestors lived, such as Portugal, Highlands Scotland, Denmark and the like. If this search is done for your male or female haplotype, we calculate where the most recent common ancestor for those matches lived and what countries his or her descendants migrated from down to the present. For instance, you may discover that your male line came from Scandinavia and your female line from Spain. For a male ancestor, identified by his Y chromosomal markers, these “genetic cousins” go back to the early medieval period, about 1,000 to 1,500 years ago (i.e. 500-1000 CE). This was a time when most surnames were first being created in Europe, so your haplotype history coincides with your pedigree, or surname genealogy. For a female ancestor, the time of origin is measured in thousands of years rather than hundreds. Professor Bryan Sykes at Oxford Ancestors has assigned names like Helena to these ancient female founders.

Yes. Autosomal or non-sex-linked tests are best for this because they look at all your lines, since their markers are spread across all your chromosomes (except for the sex chromosomes). Check out the DNA Fingerprint Plus. The maternal and paternal lines can be measured with more precision by today’s state of genetics, but remember they are but two lines among many. Each generation you go back, the number of your ancestors doubles, so that for 1500 CE (the beginning of European immigration to the Americas), a person alive today has, in theory, over 34 million lines. In practice, populations go through bottlenecks and people do not marry randomly, so the number is a lot lower. Multiplexing sex-linked DNA tests cannot measure “crossover” patterns from the male to female line, only the “outside” male-male and female-female lines. In some cases, your outside lines may not be the dominant ones in your genetic makeup. For instance, a British schoolteacher was found to be the direct male descendant of a sub-Saharan male ancestor, believed to have come over as an African slave with the Romans. About 30 percent of American black males have a Y chromosome that originated in Europe and is Caucasian. Remember:  autosomal tests are most comprehensive because these work by sampling markers from across your entire genome. Read our Statement on Ethnicity.
All our tests use the strictest laboratory procedures. Generally speaking, they possess 99.99% reliability. Validity varies with the individual test and evaluation. In this sense, all results are probabilistic predictions just like any other scientific demonstration. The DNA Fingerprint Plus Test, for instance, requires an art of interpretation based on long experience to judge raw data and provide conclusions about your principal lines of ancestry and countries of origin. There is no pat formula, and we do not simply “spit out” results. For our Y-chromosome reports (male line), we use the same forensic databases that expert witnesses rely on for court testimony in paternity cases and criminal offenses. For investigation of female lineages (mitochondrial DNA), we use the standard revised Cambridge Reference Sequence (rCRS) and Our staff members are degreed professionals in history, philology and the social sciences. They can do what no geneticist can — translate the number sets into a meaningful storyline based on an extensive knowledge of world history, population studies, and genealogy sources. Our focus on information sets our ancestry reports and surname studies apart from the “data-only” approach of our competitors in genetics and genealogy.
It depends. If your ancestry is from an extinct tribe, we won’t be able to match you to that tribe. Our data base contains more than 60 populations based on present-day tribes and tribal regions. Most are North, Central, and South American. Our Native American Tests are extremely sensitive in assessing your overall ancestry and admixture. They excel at finding ancestry hidden in your family tree or hard to detect. Usually, however, matches can only indicate major regions of native ancestry, not tribes. No test can tell you what group of modern-day Indians you might belong to except in a general way. In addition, many tribal groups have never been studied. DNA results must always be combined with the testimony of genealogy, public records and oral traditions.
Our databases cover all races and peoples on earth. Please understand, however, that many Asian, African and Native American populations are undersampled. Two of our specialties are Jewish genealogy and American Indian genetics. We have excellent coverage of European haplotypes. Our DNA Fingerprint Plus Test is unsurpassed in identifying populations and subpopulations where your ancestors likely came from. The newly included 18 Marker Ethnic Panel shows if you have markers for Native American, Sub-Saharan African, Ashkenazi Jewish and other ethnicities. It is ideal for testing your overall ethnicity and may be taken by males or females. It covers equally your mother and father’s side of the family, and, in fact, all lines in your family tree.

Which test is best for you depends on which line of descent is of interest to you — or maybe you are interested in ALL your ancestry at once.

By answering a few questions in our DNA Wizard you can usually find the right test in a few moments.

Our autosomal (non-sex-linked) DNA tests yield valid results for your entire ancestry, not just the Y chromosomal or mtDNA lineages. The most popular of these is our new DNA Fingerprint Plus Test. It is sensitive enough to find relatively small amounts of  “hidden” Native American ancestry,. It can also map out the countries of Europe, Africa and Asia where you are likely to have ancestors. If you are interested in learning about Native American ancestry, you can start with our Cherokee DNA test or Basic American Indian test. You can then upgrade to the full Native American DNA Fingerprint Plus by paying the difference in price.

The technology of home DNA testing and automated sample processing has only been commercialized over the past eight to ten years. In Europe, prices for common tests are often two to three times the cost in the U.S. Pricing for paternity tests continues to fall because this is an extremely competitive field. DNA Testing is proud to be affiliated with laboratories that will not compromise quality for a cheaper product. Our reports carry the highest added value in the field of DNA testing. When you order a DNA test you are reaping the benefit of multimillion dollar scientific installations with the latest instruments, degreed professionals and the highest standards of direct-to-the-consumer technology operation.
Our ancestry reports are designed, researched and written by professional writers and historians. Each report contains references and suggestions for further reading. Unfamiliar terms are hyperlinked so you can learn about them easily. Our expertise allows us to offer the public not just data and numbers but meaningful information tailored to their personal quest for answers. The reports become your property when they are released to you. You continue to have unlimited access to help in understanding your results and learning more — that is our commitment to you. Call us at 888-806-2588 between 10A-6P Mountain time, or email your report analyst directly with your questions. Please also see FAQs about the DNA Fingerprint Plus.