FamilyTreeDNA.com (The ONLY company offering Y-DNA, mtDNA and autosomalDNA)
AncestryDNA (autosomal tests only)
23andME.com (autosomal tests only)


Several years ago I had my Y-DNA tested to see if I descend from the Corleys, It proved that my male line is 100% Corley, most probably Caniel Corley. My results showed several matches. These can be seen on THIS CHART.

With that information I was able to trace the trees of my matches. As you can see I connect to two of Caniels descendants, 3 of the South Carolina Corleys (Descendants of Valentine's brothers), one conncetion to Manoah Corley (a descendant of one of Valentine's Uncles).

The most interesting match is with R. H. V. Corley who lives in Bedfordshire, England and descends from a Wm. Corley from Hertfordshire, the next county south of Bedfordshire. That seals the fact that our ancestors came from that region of England -- pointing to Richard "The Immigrant" being from that area - son of John and Idie, Grandson of Richard). Family Tree DNA estimates that RHV Corley and I share a common ancestor between 16 and 20 generations back (or between 1365 and 1470). And THAT's how you use a Y-DNA test.



DNA TESTING
(Or SO YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR DNA TESTED?)

So, all those commercials finally got to you and you want to do a DNA test, but, you don't know which one to buy. Ancestry.com, 23andMe, one of the other companies? It's more than just the cost and all testing companies are NOT equal. How do you choose? Each company has its strengths - and weaknesses.

First you need to decide what you want to get from your test results. Why are you testing? To learn about your ethnic background? To aid you in your genealogical research? To learn more about your father's lineage? Your mother's lineage? To learn about health issues?

Be advised there are three kinds of DNA tests:

Y-DNA
(male/father's direct male lineage) - Only men have a Y chromosome so only men can take this test, but women CAN get a brother, father, uncle or male cousin to serve as her test surrogate. Since the Y chromosome is only carried by the father it is passed down from father to son with only minor change (mutations) that can extend back as far as 100,000 years or more. Used to confirm male lines/relatives. Used mainly for genealogical research.
REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS: A Y-DNA test can match you to others who descend from common ancestor of yours with an estimate of when that common ancestor lived.
LIMITATIONS: A Y-DNA test CANNOT give you the names of your ancestors.
AVAILABILITY: ONLY available from one company FTDNA (Family Tree DNA) which I will discuss later.
COST: From $169/$129 on sale for a 37-marker test ($268/$229 for 67 markers & $359/$299 for 111 markers) to $545/$445 for the BIG Y test, with periodic sales throughout the year. (The lower prices given are for the current Year-end sale)

Click here for a sample DNA results CHART of what you can learn,
and a RESULTS CERTIFICATE.

mtDNA (Mitochondrial DNA, female/mother's direct female lineage) -- Mitochondria are structures in cells that convert chemical energy from food into a form that cells can use. Mitocho=darkbluendria are found in almost all cells, but are not chromosomes in the sense that they are not one of the 23 pairs we all learned about in biology class. Mitochondrial DNA is the small circular chromosome found inside mitochondria. They are passed from a mother to her children (both male and female) and they can, theoretically, be used to trace your mother's direct female lineage for at least 180,000 years.
REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS: mtDNA is most useful in establishing the human migration patterns in your "deep" past.
LIMITATIONS: Unfortunately, the tradition of women changing their surname at the time of their marriage makes this impractical.
AVAILABILITY: ONLY available from one company FTDNA (Family Tree DNA) which I will discuss later.
COST: mtDNA+ costs $89, mtFULL SEQUENCE $169/$199 with periodic sales throughout the year. (The lower price given after the / is for the current Year-end sale)

atDNA or Autosomal-DNA is the most common and the most popular DNA tests available today. Autosomes are the "Non-Sex determinant" chromosomes, or chromosomes 1 through 22 of the 23 chromosome pairs possessed by humans. An individual's two parents provide of that individual's DNA, the 4 grandparents each provide of an individual's DNA, 8 great grandparents each provide 1/8 of an individual's DNA, 16 Great x2 grandparents provide 1/16th , 32 great3 grandparents provide 1/32 ., 64 great x4 grandparents provide 1/64 . 128 great x5 grandparents provide 1/128 and 256 great x6 grandparents provide 1/256 of an individaul's DNA. atDNA matches beyond a maximum of 8 generations (5th cousins) are not valid due to the miniscule amount of DNA involved from each relative at this level.
REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS: You can expect a list of possible relatives along with the level of relationship based on the amount of DNA you have in common. You will also receive an ESTIMATE of your POSSIBLE ethnic make-up based on a comparison of your DNA results to a pool or data-base of individuals/populations from selected regions AND the use of proprietary algorithms.
LIMITATIONS: Matches cannot be assigned to having descended from any given branch of your tree, just the degree of relationship. Ethnic estimations are just that, estimations. They are meant to "paint" a broad picture of your ethic ancestry. They can, and often do, vary from company to company.
AVAILABILITY: A variety of tests and companies are available. Companies selling atDNA tests, under various names, are Ancestry.com (AncestryDNA), FamilyTreeDNA.com/FTDNA (Family Finder), 23andME.com (Ancestry Test), MyHeritage.com, National Geographics (GENO2.0) and LivingDNA (Family Ancestry). Each company, with their pros and cons, will be discussed later. COST: Ancestry.com $99/sale price $69, FamilyTreeDNA.com $89/sale price $59, 23andME.com ancestry only $99/sale price $79 - ancestry+ Health $199/sale price $149, MyHeritage.com $99/sale price $69 and LivingDNA $159/$99 sale price.

Now you have an over-view of DNA test; types, expectations, limitations & costs.

The following is my personal opinion of which test is best for what purpose.


For GENEALOGY in general and GENEALOGY OF FATHER's or MOTHER's lineage. There is only one company marketing these tests Family Tree DNA>

For BEST COUSIN MATCHING, EASIEST TO USE, and increaslying becoming the BEST FOR ETHNIC BACKGROUND. Hands down Ancestry.com

For the MOST ETHNIC REGIONS it WAS MyHeritage (43 regions) but Ancstry.com now claims 150 regions, but that include what they label as "Migrations" formerly their "Communities."

For the MOST UK REGIONS LivingDNA http:// https://www.livingdna.com/ has 80 world regions and 21 Great Britain/Ireland regions For HEALTH SCREENING the best is 23andME.com

BEST atDNA TEST ON A BUDGET it's my Heritage (spome claims it's most accurate for ethnicity, but I find it heavy on the Scandinavian

Best for SCIENTIFIC CONTRIBUTIONS is National Geographic Geno 2.0 National Geographic Geno 2.0

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PROS AND CONS FOR EACH COMPANY
Ancestry.com
PROS:
VERY user friendly, LARGE DATA-BASE(as of Nov, 2017) 3,000,000
ETHNIC PREDICTIONS are accurate and constantly being improved, 150+ Regions/Migration Locals,
ALLOWS RAW DATA DOWNLOADS,
MATCHES, internal email system for contacting matches, rates degree of relationships and confidence, allows those with an Ancestry membership to view the trees of their contacts
MATCH SORTING by date, degree relationship, matches to your tree, migration locals and DNA (cousins) CIRCLES
ALLOWS SEARCHES allows you to search by surname or for individual members
STRONG SITE for GENEALOGY especially with a basic yearly membership


CONS:
NO Y-DNA or mtDNA data
NO health info
Does NOT allow uploads
Requires a basic membership with ancestry (starting at $94/year) to view the trees of your matches

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FTDNA (Family Tree DNA)
PROS:
Y-DNA and mtDNA testing available with matches identified
HAPLOTYPE and GEOGRAPHIC REGION specific projects
Has 24 ethnic regions identified with map
Has "Wellness Report" available for an additional fee ($49)
MATCHES SRE SORTABLE by date, degree of relationship
ALSO SORTABLE with chromosome browser and by relations in/not in common
STRONG GENEALOGY COMMUNITY
DIRECT EMAIL CONTACT
ONE TIME MEMBERSHIP FEE
Allows atDNA raw data uploads
ALLOWS RAW DATA DOWNLOADS
CONS:
Can get quite expensive with upgrades
atDNA matches can be cumbersome to use

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23andME
PROS:
LIMITED Y-DNA and mtDNA INFORMATION (haplotypes but not matches) along with atDNA matches
HEALTH TESTING AVAILABLE for an additional fee ($199 for both)
REPORTS ON YOUR NEANDERTHAL ANCESTRY
ETHNICITY report on 31 different regions with map and time line
Can DOWNLOAD RAW DATA
MATCHES can be sorted several ways: Strength of Relationship, Percent Related, Segments Shared & Newest Relatives
MATCHES can be searched by NAME, Relation & Location
OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN RESEARCH PROJECTS
CONS:
N Y-DNA or mtDNA data limited to haplotype, no matches
HEALTH INFO COSTS EXTRA
Does NOT allow uploads

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MyHeritage.com
PROS:
ALLOWS RAW DATA UPLOADS for ethnic analysis
ALLOWS GEDCOM UPLOADS
FULLY SEARCHABLE
ETHNICITY REPORT on 42 different regions
SEARCHABLE RECORDS DATABASE (must pay for a membership to view results
CONS:
I don't find the ETHNIC ESTIMATIONS to be very accurate -- heavy on Scandinavian (has me at 42% while other companies have me closer to 4%)
Requires a paid membership to fully utilize all parts
Marketed mainly in Europe / Euro-Centric

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LivingDNA.com
PROS:
ETHNICITY REPORT cover 80 world-wide reions, 21 of which are in the UK
Provides Y-DNA and mtDNA Haplogroups and subclades as well as ethnic origins
ACCEPTS RAW atDNA DATA UPLOADS from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Family Tree
DNA & MyHeritageDNA
ALLOWS RAW DATA DOWNLOADS of atDNA, Y-DNA snps and mtDNA snps
PARTICPATES in the ONE WORLD DNA MAPPING and EDUCATION project
Uses new chip for Ethnic Analysis, whic is reportedly more accurate
Soon to allow/have MATCHES of you relatives
CONS:
Currently, no matches provided
No health analysis

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National Geographic Geno 2.0
PROS:
Geno 1.0 with DNA samples donated by approximately 10,000 indigenous & traditional people from
around the world that provided a broad view of the patterns of human migration.
Raw analytical output from your DNA is available in a CSV file
Analyzes more than 300,000 DNA markers
Provides Y-DNA and mtDNA haplotypes and ancient migrations
Gives your percentage of Neanderthal DNA
ETHNIC REPORT
Partnered with Family Tree DNA for matches
CONS:
Currently, no matches provided
No health analysis

User Reviews not very positive:
Poor maps, vague information, website not updated for Helix
Interesting but better choices out there
Women Beware!
Beyond disappointing
A total disappointment and a waste of money
Unexpected mediocrity

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Once you have your test results, download your raw data and gedcom to be uploaded to GEDmatch.com. Once your raw data is uploaded and tokenized you can perform the following tests:

'One-to-many' matches
'One-to-one' compare
Admixture/Heritage analysis (heritage)
Admixture/Oracle with Population Search
People who match one or both of 2 kits
Predict Eye Color
Are your parents related?
3D Chromosome Browser
Archaic DNA matches
Multiple Kit Analysis NEW
DNA File Diagnostic Utility Analyzes DNA file upload for potential problems
1 GEDCOM to all
2 GEDCOMs
Search all GEDCOMs
GEDCOM + DNA matches