Which Test?

Here are the simple rules:

  • a man you are testing with yDNA must be directly descended from the (male) ancestor you are interested in researching - with no females between them (yDNA cannot pass through a female ancestor)
  • a person testing with mtDNA must be directly descended from the (female) ancestor you are interested in researching - with no males between the test taker and ancestor being researched (mtDNA cannot pass through a male ancestor)

Which Surname (yDNA) Test?

  • If you are trying to match to a different surname without a paper trail - we recommend 37 markers as a minimum.   67 can be helpful

  • If you know the surname you should match, you can probably get by with 25 markers, but many folks want 37 or 67 to get the clearer insight.

  • If you are only interested in your "deep ancestry" (haplotype) or in proving that you don't share a common ancestor with a specific family, 12 markers are adequate.

  • We also tell folks that if they are serious about their genealogy - that they will end up with at least 37 markers – and probably wind up at 67

You can go in steps, upgrading a bit at a time - or buy the markers all at once.  Prices:

12 markers
25 markers
37 markers
67 markers

Upgrades from one test to the next are $49.  (37 to 67 is a two step increase and is $99)

Which mitochondrial (mtDNA) Test?

  •  If you are seeking information on your deep ancestry (1000s and 10,000s of years ago) the mtDNA test is sufficient.  (This test is sometimes called HVR1)

  • If you wish to use your mtDNA result to confirm a maternal ancestry (you and another person share a common maternal ancestor) then you will gain by taking the mtDNA Plus test (This test is sometimes called HVR1 + HVR2)

  • If you wish to test your entire mtDNA sequence, then you’ll want the mtDNA Full Sequence test.   (FTDNA calls this test “Mega”)  FTDNA suggests this for anyone who doesn’t wish to be upgrading when they need more info – as this will give you the entire sequence.

 You can go in steps, upgrading each time – or buy the entire sequence at once.  Prices:

mtDNA Plus
mtDNA Full Sequence

 An upgrade from mtDNA to mtDNA Plus is $75 and the upgrade from mtDNA to Mega is $460, while the upgrade from mtDNA Plus to Mega is $450.

 What if I combine my yDNA and mtDNA test orders?

 If you going to ultimately order both yDNA and mtDNA tests for one person, you will save time by ordering them together.  However, there are some oddities in the pricing structure - so check the pricing.  You may want to order one test, then immediately order an upgrade for the second.

  • YDNA 12 + mtDNA is $199
    (Actually $11 more expensive than a 12 marker for $99 and then $89 to add mtDNA)
  • YDNA 37 + mtDNA Plus is $339
    ($9 less than $189 for 37 and then $159 to add mtDNA Plus)
  • YDNA 67 + mtDNA Plus is $409
    ($9 less than $269 for 67 and then $159 to add mtDNA Plus)
  • Super DNA (yDNA 67 + mtDNA Full Sequence) for $764
    ($20 more than $269 + $475 to add mt Full sequence)