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Family Tree DNA Review

Sunday, February 5th

2023 DNA Testing Kit Reviews

Family Tree DNA Review 3.5 Star Rating

Family Tree DNA

3.5 Star Rating
  • Tests available for family, paternal and maternal ancestry, along with DNA wellness insights
  • 2 million people in the DNA network
  • Upload your raw DNA data from three other services to get matches here
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB

Family Tree DNA is owned by parent company Gene by Gene and is based in Texas. Created in 2000, this service was one of the first to offer direct-to-consumer DNA testing kits.

New partnership with myDNA

There was a huge sale going on when we visited the Family Tree DNA site most recently. The biggest "score" was the Family Ancestry + myDNA Wellness kit for just $59. You may already have seen that myDNA is one of our favorite picks for getting gene-customized diet and fitness recommendations, and their service alone is regularly priced at $99. Why not get everything they have to offer PLUS your ancestry results - for $40 less? You can read more in our myDNA review to see how that part of the service works (and pay close attention to the monthly membership component).

Several tests focused on ancestry alone

Not looking for health and wellness info? No problem. Family Tree DNA also has several ancestry-only options:

  • Family Ancestry: normally priced at $79, this kit was on sale for $49 at the time of this review. You can connect with up to five generations of relatives (up through fourth cousins) among the 2+ million people in the Family Tree DNA database. Their newest enhancement is ancientOrigins, which will compare your DNA with samples found on archeological dig sites throughout Europe.
  • Paternal Ancestry: on sale for $99 and typically priced at $119, this test is available for biological males who want to explore their paternal line, connect with relatives in their Y-DNA database, trace their surname to its roots, and follow the migration paths of male ancestors.
  • Maternal Ancestry: for $159 (not on sale at the time of this evaluation), you can see your maternal-line relatives and explore your female ancestors' migration paths.

You can also transfer your data from AncestryDNA, 23andMe or MyHeritage to Family Tree DNA and get your matches at no cost.

Smaller DNA database, no family tree tool

How many matches might you find here? This is one of the smaller testing databases among the ancestry-based DNA services we evaluated, with just two million people included so far. Also, despite the name, Family Tree DNA doesn't have a tree-building function and you'd need to use a different platform if you're trying to create and research your family tree.

Best DNA Testing Kits

Costs

  • $79 for Family Ancestry kit
  • $119 for Family Ancestry + myDNA Wellness kit
  • $119 for Paternal Ancestry kit
  • $159 for Maternal Ancestry kit
  • $9.95 shipping fee on the first kit, $4.95 for every additional kit

Customer reviews aren't always positive

The Better Business Bureau gives Family Tree DNA their highest rating and accreditation, so we're not overly concerned about how the company handles problems or operates in general. Customer reviews are a little less consistent: in some places, they average less than 2 out of 5 stars, while in others the average skyrockets to 4.2 out of 5. In all of those places, though, the recent feedback is almost entirely negative. Clients report that tests take months to return results, that information is vague or inaccurate, and that customer service is hard to work with.

Some room for improvement

We give Family Tree DNA a slight bump in our ratings over their last evaluation here, almost entirely because it may give you a way to access the health and wellness features of a higher-rated service for less money. But, if you're primarily interested in DNA test kits for exploring your ancestry, you'll almost certainly get more accurate and detailed reports from a different provider.

Where Can You Get the Best DNA Testing Kits?

Direct-to-consumer DNA testing has exploded over the last decade. From popular TV shows that document the ancestry of celebrities to clickbait articles describing the latest "she almost married her long-lost brother!" scandal prevented by a DNA test, it seems like everyone is pretty familiar with the appeal and power of these kits.

There are three main reasons why people buy a DNA test these days. The most common is to explore their heritage. Am I really related to royalty? Did my great-great-grandparents actually come from a small town in Italy? DNA tests can often reveal the answers to such questions. These tests also help people connect with living relatives, from distant cousins overseas to half-siblings and even previously-unknown parents.

The Best DNA Testing Kits Compare DNA Testing Kits Compare DNA Testing Kit Reviews What are the best DNA Testing Kits Best DNA Testing Kit Reviews

DNA Testing Kit FAQ

The two most common reasons for testing DNA are to determine one's ancestry and to identify underlying health conditions or predispositions. DNA testing may also be done to determine a child's paternity or detect infidelity.
Fortunately, no. A simple cheek swab or vial of saliva that can be returned by mail is usually all that's required.
That depends on the testing service you select. Some companies deliver your results in 1-4 weeks, while others have been known to take a month or longer.
Not necessarily. You'll probably pay somewhere between $59 and $649, depending on how comprehensive your selected test is.
Most of the time, no. DNA test kit prices usually include the cost of delivering the test to your home or office, the return shipping fees to the lab, and the cost of analyzing your sample.
DNA testing protocols are constantly evolving, especially with respect to tracking one's ancestry. Many of the companies use the company Helix to sequence your DNA. The individual companies are then responsible for interpreting the DNA results. You will see some differences between the different testing providers. Also, you may also want to share your results with your healthcare provider, so he or she can confirm any of the health-related results and request additional testing as needed.
Possibly, but that will depend on several factors. Not only will your relatives have to choose the same DNA testing platform as you, but both of you will have to set your account permissions to show DNA matches and to allow messages. That being said, thousands of people have connected with previously-unknown family members using many of today's most popular DNA testing providers.
That's an important question. Most DNA testing services promise to maintain your privacy by requiring your consent to share your results for matching or research purposes. You'll have to determine your own risk tolerance when it comes to concerns about data breaches, court subpoenas, and other ways your data could be accessed.
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Continued from above...

Most DNA testing services allow you to keep that information private, though, if you just want to see your ethnicity breakdown without disclosing yourself to any relatives who might be in their database.

The second reason many individuals choose to buy a DNA testing kit is to get information on health and wellness. Depending on the provider you choose, your results may include basic traits like cleft chin or sensitivity to caffeine, or they may go so far as to tell you if you're a carrier for certain hereditary diseases. These tests can help you be proactive with your health, give your physician more details to guide your treatment, and maybe even prolong your life.

If you've ever watched The Jerry Springer Show, you already know the third reason people buy DNA tests: to prove paternity. That's easier to do when the alleged father is a willing participant in the test, but some companies also offer sibling, half-sibling, grandparent and avuncular (such as aunt/uncle) options that can give you a percentage of likelihood that the individual is related.

You've got lots of options for DNA testing kids. Which one should you buy? These are the factors you should keep in mind as you decide:

  • Purpose. Why do you want to test your DNA: ancestry, health, or paternity? The answer to that question will automatically narrow down your choices.
  • Value. What will you get for what you spend? Will your results come in a detailed report or just a vague summary? Are there any other services included with your purchase, like a family tree builder, dietary recommendations, or other guidance?
  • Additional Costs. Some DNA testing kits have ongoing membership or subscription fees. Be sure you understand what you're getting when you click the "order now" button: many people are angry when they find "unexpected" charges on their credit cards because they didn't read the part that explained the monthly or annual service fees.
  • Reputation. What do other customers say about their experience with using the DNA test provider? Did they have any issues with getting results in a timely fashion? Does the test deliver what the company promises?

To help you choose the right service to learn more about your health and heritage, Top Consumer Reviews has evaluated and ranked the most popular providers of DNA testing kits on the market today. We're confident that through these tests, you can discover everything you've wanted to know about your genetics!

Compare DNA Testing Kits

Select any 2 DNA Testing Kits to compare them head to head

best-dna-testing-kits
  • 23 and Me
  • Ancestry
  • My Heritage
  • myDNA
  • Family Tree DNA
  • Living DNA
  • Home DNA
  • Dynamic DNA Labs
  • American Screening Corporation
  • Nebula Genomics
23 and Me vs Ancestry 23 and Me vs My Heritage 23 and Me vs myDNA 23 and Me vs Family Tree DNA 23 and Me vs Living DNA 23 and Me vs Home DNA 23 and Me vs Dynamic DNA Labs 23 and Me vs American Screening Corporation 23 and Me vs Nebula Genomics Ancestry vs My Heritage Ancestry vs myDNA Ancestry vs Family Tree DNA Ancestry vs Living DNA Ancestry vs Home DNA Ancestry vs Dynamic DNA Labs Ancestry vs American Screening Corporation Ancestry vs Nebula Genomics My Heritage vs myDNA My Heritage vs Family Tree DNA My Heritage vs Living DNA My Heritage vs Home DNA My Heritage vs Dynamic DNA Labs My Heritage vs American Screening Corporation My Heritage vs Nebula Genomics myDNA vs Family Tree DNA myDNA vs Living DNA myDNA vs Home DNA myDNA vs Dynamic DNA Labs myDNA vs American Screening Corporation myDNA vs Nebula Genomics Family Tree DNA vs Living DNA Family Tree DNA vs Home DNA Family Tree DNA vs Dynamic DNA Labs Family Tree DNA vs American Screening Corporation Family Tree DNA vs Nebula Genomics Living DNA vs Home DNA Living DNA vs Dynamic DNA Labs Living DNA vs American Screening Corporation Living DNA vs Nebula Genomics Home DNA vs Dynamic DNA Labs Home DNA vs American Screening Corporation Home DNA vs Nebula Genomics Dynamic DNA Labs vs American Screening Corporation Dynamic DNA Labs vs Nebula Genomics American Screening Corporation vs Nebula Genomics
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