All posts by Charles McKnight

AncestryDNA Review ancestry dna test

Which DNA Test is Better? AncestryDNA vs. FamilyTree DNA

Are you trying to decide between AncestryDNA and Family Tree DNA for a family genealogy project?

You’ve come to the right place.

AncestryDNA and Family Finder by FTDNA are the two most popular genealogical testing services for people researching their family history.

Unlike 23andMe, which offers both health and genealogical analysis, AncestryDNA and FTDNA focus solely on ancestry DNA testing.

In this in-depth comparison, I’ll compare AncestryDNA vs. Family Tree DNA on the following features and capabilities:

  • Ethnicity Reporting
  • Maternal and Paternal Lineage
  • Finding & Contacting Relatives
  • Data Export
  • Data Import
  • Data Privacy
  • Price

This comparison should take you … Read the rest >>

23andMe, FTDNA and AncestryDNA, the three best DNA tests, all allow you to delete your DNA data

How to Delete Your DNA Data from 23andMe, FTDNA and AncestryDNA

23andMe, FTDNA and AncestryDNA, the three best DNA tests, all allow you to delete your DNA data. But it’s impossible to completely wiping out everything.

The main problem, as a Bloomberg journalist found out, is actually the law.

Most of these DNA testing companies do the testing in labs that meet standards set out in Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA).

CLIA requires that certified labs retain genetic test results for at least 10 years.

The data is anonymized but that doesn’t mean no one can trace it to you. Researchers have proven that it can be done. … Read the rest >>

Best DNA Test

Which Ancestry DNA Test is Best? 23AndMe vs. Ancestry vs. Family Tree DNA

So you’ve decided you want to learn more about your family… beyond grandma’s boring stories.

You want to discover where your ancestors came from, how they migrated around the world over the years, and why your eyes are blue. 

Or, maybe you want to build-out your family tree by finding more distant cousins and relatives you never knew you had.

If this describes you, then buying an ancestry DNA test is a great next step. You’ll learn all of these things and more.

What’s In This Guide

In this guide, you’ll learn how the three leading DNA test platforms

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MyHeritage DNA Test

MyHeritage DNA Test Review

MyHeritage DNA Test

MyHeritage is an Israeli-based company established in 2003 and one of the largest genealogy research websites in the world.

For most of the company’s lifetime, their focus has been on collecting genealogical and historical records – marriage certificates, photos, census reports, newspapers, etc. – into a searchable database.

So far, MyHeritage has billions of records, 99 million users worldwide and 43 million family trees.

In 2016 they launched MyHeritage DNA, giving amateur genealogists a powerful new way to connect with family members and research their roots.

For now, MyHeritage only offers Autosomal DNA testing – they have the most … Read the rest >>

Ancestry DNA results

How To Get a Free DNA Test Online

I’ll be straight with you. It’s very hard to get a free DNA test in the US.

Here’s why.

Testing DNA is a high-skill, high-tech, and time-consuming process. It has to be done in a specialized lab by trained and experienced technicians.

Take ancestry testing for example.

When a tube of spit or a cheek swab arrives at the lab, they have to extract your DNA first. They then amplify your DNA (copy it many times over) to prepare it for analysis.

The DNA is analyzed using a particular chip. The technicians study hundreds of thousands of locations … Read the rest >>

23andme or ancestrydna

Which is Better: 23andme or AncestryDNA?

Are you trying to decide between 23andMe and AncestryDNA?

You’ve come to the right place.

These are definitely the two most popular ancestry DNA tests in the US, right now.

In this in-depth comparison, I’ll compare 23andMe vs. AncestryDNA on the following features important to any family genealogist:

  • Ethnicity Reporting
  • Maternal and Paternal Lineage
  • Finding & Contacting Relatives
  • Data Export
  • Health Screening
  • Data Privacy
  • Price

This page takes about 5-8 minutes to read.

So let’s dive in!

(Note: To see how these 2 tests compare against FamilyTreeDNA, see my three-way comparison.)

Quick Comparison: 23andMe vs.AncestryDNA

23andMe: Pros & Cons

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Ancestry DNA online genetic testing kit

The Most Common Myths about Genetic Ancestry Testing Debunked

There are many things a lot of people misunderstand about online genetic testing for ancestry. We debunk the most common myths and misconceptions.

Myth: Ancestry DNA testing is expensive

DNA testing has gotten a lot cheaper compared to a decade ago. Most companies charge around $99 for an autosomal DNA test that helps you find unknown family members and track down your ancestry.

Y-DNA and mtDNA tests cost a bit more but they are still quite affordable.

Myth: I can pay for a DNA ancestry test using my insurance

Your DNA ancestry test has nothing to do with your health … Read the rest >>

23andMe health test

How DNA Health Testing Works (Plus Important Caveats)

As genetic health screening has gotten cheaper, more companies have taken the opportunity to provide affordable DNA testing to consumers.

These tests tell you which medical conditions you are at risk for because of your genetics.

If you are worried about Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s because it’s in your family, a DNA health test is a good place to start.

23andMe is currently the biggest provider of online FDA-approved DNA health tests (read our full review of the 23andMe health test).

But how exactly does genetic health screening work? Most importantly, can you trust what it tells you?

What Happens

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Ancestry DNA results

Your Ancestry DNA Test Results Do not Determine Your Identity

Why did you get a genetic DNA test? Or if you are planning to get one soon, why are you doing it?

Like most people, you probably just want to find out more about your family and roots and perhaps find a few unknown cousins.

It’s most likely not a grand quest to find your identity and redefine your entire life based on your ancestry DNA results.

But you wouldn’t think so if you listen to most ancestry DNA testing companies?

Their slick marketing videos and online brochures promise a journey much bigger than discovering your fourth cousins or finding … Read the rest >>

Understanding degrees of cousins in your DNA Matches on Ancestry

Understanding Degrees of Cousin-ness: 1st Cousin, 2nd Cousin and Beyond

The majority of DNA matches on Ancestry, 23andMe or FTDNA will be your cousins.

Now and then you might stumble on a half sibling or parent but cousins will make up most of the matches on your list.

They are – obviously – not at the same level of relatedness. Some are closer than others.

The closest are first cousins. The furtherst are fourth or fifth cousins depending on how far back the DNA testing company goes.

What do all these levels/grades mean? And what about terms like first cousin once removed?

This quick explainer has all the answers.


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