Which DNA tests does FTDNA offer? Family Tree DNA offers three different DNA tests: Family Finder autosomal DNA, YDNA, and mtDNA, which can all help you connect to your DNA matches.
Founded in 2000, Family Tree DNA is the oldest DNA testing company in business. FTDNA is different from other DNA testing companies in that it offers three different types of DNA tests for your family history. Let’s take a look at the three different DNA tests.
Which DNA tests does FTDNA offer?
Family Finder (autosomal DNA) test at FTDNA
FTDNA’s popular Family Finder test* is an autosomal DNA test, the most popular DNA test for family history. It explores connections on your maternal and paternal lines as far back as your 3x great-grandparents. Autosomal DNA tests are affordable and you’re more likely to find DNA matches because millions of people around the world have taken this kind of test. These tests also provide information about your ancestral ethnic groups.
The Family Finder test also includes an XDNA report. XDNA has a unique inheritance pattern, which can be helpful when you’re trying to figure out how you’re related to one of your DNA matches.
YDNA test at FTDNA
FTDNA is the only DNA testing company that offers YDNA tests, which explore your paternal lines. YDNA changes slowly over generations, so men share the same (or very similar) YDNA as their father, grandfather, etc. YDNA connections can go much further back in time than autosomal DNA tests, but this test can only be taken by genetic males. FTDNA offers three testing levels for YDNA: 37 markers, 111 markers, and Big Y.
You can generally start with the 37 marker test, as it is usually enough to tell you if you are or are not related to someone. Taking the 111 marker test can further refine your relationship. The Big Y test is good to take if you want to understand how you are related to someone that a YDNA test says you are related to.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test at FTDNA
FTDNA is also the only DNA testing company to offer mtDNA testing. Mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA, is a unique piece of DNA that’s found inside the mitochondria of the cell. You receive only one copy of mtDNA from your mother, which is passed down from mother to mother. mtDNA provides you with haplogroup information, migration paths for your maternal ancestral line, and a list of genetic matches which can occasionally be useful for genealogical purposes. Unlike YDNA, an mtDNA test can be taken by anyone.
It is important to note that mtDNA testing is relatively expensive and has limited application for genealogy, but when used appropriately, it can be worth it.
But other companies DO sell autosomal DNA tests. So you may want to see how FTDNA’s Family Finder test stacks up against your other options.