About six weeks ago I posted my experience transferring my DNA test from 23andMe to Family Tree DNA. I bought the Family Finder transfer for $89, about half the price of the full test. As I understood the process, I could double my databases by first purchasing a test from 23andMe for $99 and then uploading to FTDNA. As I mentioned in my previous post, I learned after I purchased it that it was going to be a long wait. I also eventually learned that what I bought was not what I thought I bought.
Since I have never gotten any email from FTDNA about my test results I decided to check on the status. Today I logged into my FTDNA account and found that my test results were posted 2 days ago. Great!! Don’t know why I didn’t get an email, but there you have it. Right off the bat I found someone who looks like a relative from my maternal grandmother’s side (St Lucia). I’ve sent them an email to see if they are related. Unfortunately there were no other close matches. Oh well, the science is still new and that may ultimately change.
As I looked around the site I made another, unexpected and somewhat unwelcome discovery. While the $99 23andMe test covered yDNA, mtDNA, and autosomal DNA, the FTDNA test only does the autosomal. I would have to upgrade to get the others. Those tests could run to $399 for a full test. Way more than the testing at 23andMe.
Now I’m sure it is my own fault since I’m sure I got what I paid for, but it really isn’t easy to tell from the website what the tests cover. Being new to DNA testing, I had naively assumed that I would get all 3 tests just like I did at 23andMe. Sadly, it was not true. Here is the description from the FTDNA site for the test I ordered:
It’s my own fault for not understanding DNA testing enough to be able to understand the differences among the host of tests that they supply and understanding what is meant by their names “Family Finder” and “Relative Finder”. I guess I would have been happier if it said anywhere that this was an autosomal only test. I didn’t know that “Relative Finder” = “Autosomal”. Wouldn’t you think that my great grandfather (yDNA) or grandmother (mtDNA) were relatives? I did.
So, while I’m not saying FTDNA did anything wrong, and they certainly appear to have given me the results of the test I ordered, and I did find a possible relative, I am somewhat disappointed. I may have ordered the test anyway. I just would have preferred to have known before the fact. It would appear that I can order additional tests from my already uploaded genome for my yDNA ($19-$58), I don’t imagine I’ll do it until I understand DNA testing a little better. I don’t want another surprise.
So, if you are planning to go the 23andme –> FTDNA route like I did, just understand that the testing that you will get from DTDNA is not the same as that from 23andMe. No Haplogroups, No maternal/paternal breakdown, just potential matches.
And not many matches at that. Of course, I didn’t get even one from 23andMe. I don’t think many island people have had their DNA tested. We need to work on that.
Somebody said something about a free site? Maybe that’s where I need to go next.