Y-DNA Test | Which Y DNA Test is Best?

Y DNA tests can be taken by genetic males to learn more about their paternal roots. Y-DNA testing works because YDNA is directly paternally inherited. Living men have the same (or very similar) YDNA as their father, grandfather, great grandfather, and so on. If you match with someone on a Y DNA test, then you likely share a ancestor with that person along your paternal line.

Which Y DNA test should you take?

Genealogically valuable Y DNA tests are only available from Family Tree DNA.* They offer three testing levels: 37 markers, 111 markers and Big Y.

  • In general, you can start with the 37 marker test, as it is usually enough to tell you if you are (or are not) related to someone. (FTDNA used to sell a 67-marker test; that has been discontinued.)

  • The 111-marker test can then help to further refine your relationship. You can always upgrade later without resubmitting a sample (you’ll just pay them more money later).

  • Got big questions? Here’s when to consider the Big Y test.

Learn more about YDNA testing in this short video tutorial with Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard:

YDNA Testing—What about the Women?

If you’re not a genetic male, but you want to use YDNA to explore a specific part of your lineage, you’ll have to use your powers of persuasion to get the right man on your family tree to take this test.

YDNA: Free Mini-Course!

You can DO the DNA—and we can help! Learn more about the value of YDNA in our FREE mini-course, “Why the YDNA.”