DNA genealogy testing becomes an interesting option

Lately, more companies are claiming they can fill in gaps on family trees with DNA testing. Out of curiosity, I spent $289 on FamilyTreeDNA to take the Family Finder test earlier this year.

So after almost a year, I have not found distant relatives to add onto my family tree. I have been matched to 14 people. Only three matches are identified as 3rd and 4th cousins. The rest are listed as 5th cousins.

There may be one person who I could prove as a distant relative. We could have a great-great-great-grandparent in common on my mother’s side. The match needs to have research done in Poland archives to see whether our family connection can be proven.

Several months ago, I took the MTDNA test to find matches on my maternal line. So far, I have 335 matches that are very distant. The matches could go back as far as the 1600s, making it impossible to find common ancestors. I am waiting for full genomic sequence matches so I can find close cousins.

It will take time to find some connections with DNA genealogy. There are several options on FamilyTreeDNA to find relatives on each family line. You just have to find the right relatives to take the tests and have enough research done on the family tree to make connections. A mother’s brother can take a test to find matches from the maternal father’s line. A paternal grandmother can take a test to study her mother’s family.

The family finder test provides matches for the mother and father’s sides of the family so it is hard to connect the matches without extensive family tree research. FamilyTreeDNA keeps DNA samples for 20 years and provides free matches over that time. I am hoping more Russians and Ukrainians will take the tests from FamilyTreeDNA so I can find better matches.

My dream is that a large Russian genealogy DNA company will allow me to transfer my results to its website. Russian companies have started genealogy DNA testing but I have not seen options for foreigners to transfer their results.

For now, I am waiting for results from Ancestry.com’s genealogy DNA website. I was selected to take a test for free, plus $9.95 shipping, to determine the percentage breakdown of my ancestry. The results are expected in early 2012. I wonder how much of my ancestry will be Russian and Ukrainian. This test is not offered on dna.ancestry.com yet to the public.

Ancestry.com offers three genealogy DNA test but the tests are not as strong as FamilyTreeDNA. The stronger tests provide matches for closer relatives. Genealogy DNA testing is a great option, but it takes patience to find solid connections. Anyone who chooses to spend money on these tests has to understand that many matches will be hard to figure out.