|You are welcome to choose any company with which to test, but you
may find that your results take too long to be returned, or the
company you choose doesn't test the same markers or they don't do a
professional job running the tests or interpreting the results.
A sampling of correspondence directed to the various DNA email forums
shows numerous complaints about companies that don't deliver on their
promises, report erroneous results and provide inferior service.
The purpose of this page is to help you make the best choice in
choosing a testing company.
|There are now many companies offering DNA testing, and the number
continues to grow as interest increases in the use of DNA for genealogical
research. Unfortunately, there are a some companies that need to be avoided,
promising things they can't deliver, not providing any customer service
and not performing valid tests, for example. There are also issues with
which portions of the DNA will be tested and the way the DNA data is
reported and interpreted.
|The project administrator researched the available services and finally
chose the oldest and largest company specializing in genealogical DNA
Family Tree DNA.
He believes this company has the most expertise, the most accurate data,
the best customer support and competitive prices.
|The recommendations here are based solely on what is believed to
provide the best service to each project participant. Neither
the Cloud Family Association or the project administrator are
affiliated with any commercial organization and neither of them make
any profit or benefit in any manner from any part of this. This
is entirely a volunteer effort on our part and the only benefit we
derive from it is the help the DNA results give us with our family
|If you choose to use Family Tree DNA, you can click on the "Registration" link which will take you to our Project page at their company where you can order your test. (If you have any questions about this, please write the Project Administrator -- click the
Contact DNA Project Administrator
link at the left.)
|If you choose to use another DNA testing company:
||We will make every effort to help you and to include your results
in the project.
||You will need to inform the administrator which company you chose.
||You will need to provide the Project Administrator the results
of your tests so they can be entered into the Project.
|Choosing a Testing Company.
| - What does the company offer for your money?
| - The International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) has published a
Vendor Comparison. Click here to see the
| - Read Terry's blog about misleading advertising
and which company to choose --
| - Read Emily's blog Which DNA Testing Company Fits Your Needs?
|As with any other product -- "Buyer Beware". Look beyond
the advertising. It's easy to misunderstand different
companies' claims and what products and services they offer.
|Here are some observations by this project's administrator:
Genealogical offerings of selected DNA testing companies.
||Family Tree DNA
- Originator of genetic genealogy DNA testing.
- Surname, geographic & haplogroup projects.
- Project administrators to help with analysis of data.
- Technological / scientific leader in the field of genetic genealogy.
- Most knowledgeable and helpful staff.
- Leading scientists in the field on their staff and advisory board.
- Leader in setting new standards, innovator of new DNA markers and phylogenetic definitions.
- Affiliated with National Geographic's Genographic Project (see below).
- Affiliated with respected University of Arizona.
- Largest databases.
- Best customer service.
- Most extensive tests available, including Y-chromosome, mtDNA, autosomal and X-chromosome.
- Guaranteed haplogroup prediction.
- Guaranteed 25-year retention of sample.
- Largest offering of extended & specialized tests.
- Most on-line utilities/tools to help evaluate results.
- Primary emphasis on genetic factors in health and human traits.
- Advanced User Interface.
- "Distant" customer support.
- Genealogical tests not their primary focus but still useful.
- Does not have surname or geographic projects (you are on your own).
- No project administrators.
- Perhaps the best DTC medical testing but not for genealogy.
|(now part of Family Tree DNA).
- Reputable European company with U.S. office.
- Offers surname projects.
- Offers extended tests.
- Does not retain samples -- must re-submit sample to upgrade
test (problematic if the person has died).
|No longer available.
||(Purchased by MyFamily.com / ancestry.com -- see below.)
|No longer available.
- No longer available (See GeneTree).
- No projects.
- Can't choose which markers to test.
- Data difficult to obtain.
- No notification of test results or of matches.
|Good introduction to DNA testing.
- A deep ancestry anthropology study by National Geographic and IBM on human migrations.
- Tests performed by Family Tree DNA (FTDNA).
- 12-marker tests only.
- Transferrable to FTDNA project.
|No known track record.
- No list of markers.
- No surname projects.
- Unknown whether they offer extended tests or SNP verification.
- Difficult to obtain test results.
- Virtually impossible to contact people you match.
- Difficult to compare results with others (see above).
- Difficult to contact a project administrator or other project members.
- Difficult to contact anyone from the company.
- Poor to non-existent customer service.
- Lack of knowledgeable and accessible support staff.
- Until recently, discussion of DNA topics was restricted or
banned on ancestry/rootsweb lists and bulletin boards.
- Registration with ancestry required to even purchase a test.
- Annual subscription required to access full services.
- Advertised database size that incorporates test results from
other companies (i.e. not representative of their testing).
- Numerous reports of erroneous haplogroup designations.
- Multiple projects can exist for the same surname -- this is chaotic and very ineffective.
- Their 33 marker test is the same as 30 markers with other companies --
it includes markers which rarely occur (DYS19b, 464e and 464f).
- FTDNA doesn't advertise the above markers but reports them when they occur.
- A proper comparison should add 3 markers to other companies' offerings to correct for this.
- No guaranteed sample retention.
- No advanced or extended tests *.
- No SNP verification *
- * (Extended tests available through a separate company.)
| * Ranking -- recommendations by this administrator based on his independent research, correspondence with other administrators and personal experience.
- ISOGG comparison chart
- WorldFamilies.net blog
- STR Marker Comparison Chart
- postings to various on-line genealogy/DNA forums
|** The opinions expressed here are those of the project administrator only and do not reflect any official position of the Cloud Family Association.
Data accumulated in 1st quarter 2009 and later.
|THE CLOUD FAMILY ASSOCIATION, Inc.
|The CLOUD FAMILY ASSOCIATION (CFA) is a registered non-profit
corporation devoted to the collection and preservation of information
about the various branches of the Cloud Family, past and present. The
files of the Association are organized to provide a clearing house for
Cloud information and a major goal is to encourage people to share their
family information with the Association and with others interested in
the family. The association publishes the
CLOUD FAMILY JOURNAL (ISSN
0883-0940) quarterly to make this information, along with data from family
sources and public documents, available to interested persons.
|The CLOUD FAMILY ASSOCIATION
-- Making friends, finding lost cousins, preserving our heritage.
|Please report problems or
make suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org