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 testing — Family Tree DNA. It is believed 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 genealogy research.
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. (Results from some companies can be imported into a Family Tree DNA 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 ISOGG Vendor Comparison.
- Read Terry’s blog about misleading advertising and which company to choose — Which Company?
- 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 of genealogical offerings of selected DNA testing companies.
|Best Overall||Family Tree DNA||1999||
|(now part of Family Tree DNA).||DNA Heritage||2002||
|No longer available.||Relative Genetics||(Purchased by MyFamily.com then ancestry.com — see below.)|
|No longer available.||SMGF||2000||
|Good introduction to DNA testing.||Genographic Project||2005||
|No known track record.||GeneTree||2008||
|Largest autosomal database.||Ancestry||2008||
|* Ranking — recommendations by this administrator based on his independent research, correspondence with other administrators and personal experience.|
- Cloud DNA Home.
- Why DNA - Ways in which DNA can help genealogical research.
- Goals - The reasons we're using this tool and what we expect from it.
- Guidelines - The procedures used and how to participate.
- FAQ - Answers to the most common questions about the use of DNA in genealogy.
- DNA Basics - A brief introduction to DNA and how it is used in genealogy.
- The DNA Lab - Information about the testing service that performs our DNA tests.
- The DNA Test - How the DNA sample is taken and what is done with it.
- We need You - Why we need you to join the Project.
- Project Rules - The simple requirements for successful participation.
- Registration - The Registration Form.
- Submit Pedigree - Submit your Pedigree Information.
- What to expect from your Y-DNA test:
- Cloud DNA Project Results:
- Interesting and informative web sites.
- FTDNA Site Map - A useful guide to our testing company's web site.
- Contact – Email the Project Administrator with your questions.
- Cloud DNA forum – Join the Cloud DNA email list.
- * Anyone descended from a Cloud family can join the Project.
- Participation is not restricted to Cloud Family Association members.
- * The Y-STR CLOUD Surname Project can only use data from men who are a descendant through the male-only line of a CLOUD male ancestor.
- Your pedigree is required to facilitate comparison and analysis of your data.
- See "Project Rules" for eligibility.