If you are wondering which DNA testing company to go with you maybe perplexed as to what is actually involved and what you can get out of this. Well, in this TheGenealogist DNA testing review I want to show you what DNA is, what tests are available and whether or not you should buy a kit from this company or not.
TheGenealogist DNA Testing Details:
|Type of Test||Autosomal (atDNA), Mitochondrial (mDNA) and Y-Chromosome (yDNA)|
|Offer Bundled Tests||Yes|
|How Tested||Cheek swab|
|Results Waiting Time||6-8 Weeks|
|Normal Price||£99.95-£429.95 (depending on type of test)|
|Additional Cost||Shipping is free!|
|Available In||UK, US and worldwide|
|Place To Buy||TheGenealogist DNA|
|Bottom Line||Quick Results|
*Please note that you can buy this DNA testing kit from outside the United Kingdom
DNA testing can take your research further!
Learning about your ancestors can take you to some very interesting destinations. You just don’t know who you will discover and what you will learn about them.
If you have already began your family history journey then you will know what I am talking about. If not then you will be enthralled in what you will discover. It may even become addictive, just like it was for me.
DNA testing can open new areas of research for you as you explore clues about your family’s past. It can also help you solve any brick walls that you may have encountered.
Where does DNA testing come in and how can TheGenealogist help you?
TheGenealogist is just one of many DNA testing companies that are out there that can help you to trace your ancestors. In this review I will compare 5 of the best popular DNA tests with TheGenealogist and show you whether it is right for you.
TheGenealogist is quite similar to Ancestry and MyHeritage in that they began solely as genealogy search websites containing millions, even billions of records that you can access for your research.
As with these two other sites TheGenealogist took the next step to offer their users DNA testing.
Just to be transparent here, and before I do go on with this review, I would like to point something out. TheGenealogist do not have their own DNA testing kit. They instead offer you the Family Tree DNA test.
I will cover what you can expect from this test below.
Credit: Family Tree DNA
Topics discussed in this post:
- What Is DNA Genealogy Testing?
- The Competition
- How To Take The Test and Getting Your Results
- Finding Your Ethnicity and Your Relatives – Your Results
- Your TheGenealogist Matches – Family Finder
- What About Your Privacy and Is Your Information Secure?
- Other Peoples TheGenealogist DNA Testing Reviews
- Pros and Cons
- My Final Thoughts
When you have finished reading this review why not check out The Best DNA Test For You To Buy guide where I cover the 5 best DNA testing kits on the market today!
What Is DNA Genealogy Testing?
First of all before I do continue with this review I want to discuss what exactly DNA testing is. That way you will know more about what it all is and whether you should buy a DNA testing kit for you.
DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid and is inside each and everyone of us. It is described as a self-replicating material.
Now that you know what the letters mean you are probably wondering what it really does. Good question.
I won’t complicate you with the scientific mumbo-jumbo here. Basically DNA is within our cells and are a set of instructions. They are our building blocks that tell everything about our physical appearance.
So they can tell us what color are our eyes, the color of our skin, and so on.
DNA contain what are called markers. These markers are unique to everyone, just like fingerprints.
The great thing about DNA testing as you most probably know therefore is that they can tell you about your family’s past.
3 different types of DNA testing!
- Autosomal DNA testing (atDNA) – Every major DNA testing company will offer this basic test. It is available for males and females and can tell us about your paternal and maternal lines.
- Mitochondrial DNA testing (mtDNA) – This test will provide you with results for your maternal line.
- Y-Chromosome DNA testing (yDNA) – This test will provide you with results for your paternal line.
TheGenealogist offers any type of test that you want, or even a combination of tests. So you could go with the Autosomal test as well as the Mitochondrial test. Or maybe Autosomal with Y-Chromosome testing. It’s entirely up to you.
Autosomal DNA Testing Overview
Autosomal DNA testing can help you if:
- You are interested in tracing your most recent ancestors to about 4-5 generations. It can go up to 10 generations.
- You are keen to find distant cousins who share a common ancestor.
- You want to discover where your ancestors originated from.
As I mentioned before Autosomal testing is offered by all of the DNA testing companies. It is quite a popular choice for genealogists to take when first stepping into this world of research.
However, the accuracy of the results does decline the further back that you go.
Well why is that?
As with this test you are looking at both sides of your family tree. You get half of your genes from your father while you get the other half from your mother. The genes are what carry a snippet of your parents DNA.
If you take a step further back then this will mean that you get 1/4 from each of your grandparents and 1/8 from each of your great grandparents.
The further back that you go then the more diluted the results will become. Going back five generations to your 3rd great grandparents the level of
genes becomes 1/64. This is about as far up your family tree that you can accurately go back to.
Please check out the Unexpected Ethnicity Results post from Ancestry which goes further into detail about this.
Mitochrondrial DNA Testing Overview
Mitochrondrial testing can help you if:
- You want to learn about your maternal line, which can take you back to about 25 generations, and even more in some cases.
- You want to discover the region where your maternal line ancestors came from.
Available to both males and females this test will look at your your maternal lineage. It looks at the DNA in your body that has been passed from each generation from mother to child.
Even though you are looking at your maternal lineage with this testing it can go back in time far more than the basic autosomal testing.
You can make connections with distant cousins with this type of test. However, you may find that their connection may go back far up your family tree.
Y-Chromosome DNA Testing Overview
Y-Chromosome testing can help you if:
- You want to learn about your male lineage, which can go as far back as 25 generations and even more.
- You want to find relatives who share the same surname as yours.
- You want to discover about what region your paternal line ancestors came from.
Surname research is quite an interesting line of research within genealogy. And so if you are interested in your family name then you will probably want to go with this type of test.
Before I do go on I just want to mention anan organization called The Guild of One Name Studies. They are a really helpful resource available to you that specialize in the study of surnames.
Within this community are members who share their research and who can also contact distant cousins as well.
Please note however that this type of testing is only available to males. For females you will need to ask a male relative to take the test.
This could be your father, your brothers (and their sons), or your father’s brothers (and their sons). Your son, (if you have one) will not be able to take test.
DNA testing is another tool in your arsenal that you can take to discover more about your ancestors. It is also regarded as the next step that the family historian can take.
This type of testing can help you connect with distant cousins. And the great thing about this is that you can get even further information from them that will help with your own research.
Genealogy is a hobby that we can all share. For example, other people (like me) can share with you tips and techniques that they have learned on their own family history journey.
But also cousins can share with you their research and help you fill in the blanks with your family tree. How cool is that?
I have mentioned that the results that you receive for both mtDNA and yDNA may not be solely accurate, (as they are based on your atDNA results).
The advantage of 23andMe is though that they offer health screening, which is not provided for by other DNA testing companies.
Comparing The Competition!
|23andMe||Ancestry DNA||Family Tree DNA||Living DNA||MyHeritage DNA|
|Tests||atDNA, mDNA and yDNA||atDNA||atDNA, mDNA and yDNA||atDNA, mDNA and yDNA||atDNA|
|How Tested||Cheek swab||Saliva||Cheek swab||Cheek swab||Cheek swab|
|Results Waiting Time||6-8 Weeks||6-8 Weeks||6-8 Weeks||10-12 Weeks||3-4 Weeks|
|Available||US, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, UK||US, UK and Australia||US, UK and worldwide||US, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia||US, UK, Australia and worldwide|
|Bottom Line||Bonus Health Screening||Most Popular||Potential For More||Most Comprehensive Testing||Quick Results|
TheGenealogist vs. 23andMe DNA
These two offer the same 3 DNA tests, however 23andMe are different in that they also offer a health screening test as well. So if you are interested in more than DNA testing and want to know about any health concerns then 23andMe is for you.
23andMe does not have genealogical records which you can access once you get your DNA results. But if you are interested in connecting with distant cousins then either test is for you.
TheGenealogist vs. Ancestry DNA
At the moment Ancestry DNA only offer the most basic DNA testing, autosomal. So if you want to know a lot more about your ancestors then TheGenealogist is a better choice for you.
There are varying levels of pricing with TheGenealogist, depending on what kind of test that you decide to buy. The pricing in my opinion is a bit high compared to Ancestry.
Also, the advantage of Ancestry is that you can tap into the 8 billion or so records that they have within their database. I haven’t seen an exact figure for TheGenealogist but they don’t come close as they have only millions of records within their collection
But that’s still an impressive collection of British records for you to check. Do remember though that you will need to be a subscriber in order to tap into either of these genealogy search websites.
TheGenealogist vs. Family Tree DNA
These two companies offer the same three kinds of tests. TheGenealogist actually offers you the Family Tree DNA, (they don’t really have their own DNA testing kit).
An advantage of choosing Family Tree DNA over TheGenealogist though is that they have a far more larger community. This will mean that you will have more chances of connecting with distant cousins and getting any help if you get stuck with your research.
Both though do give you access to many millions of genealogical records that you can access to help you along your family history journey.
TheGenealogist vs. Living DNA
Again both of these companies offer the complete range of DNA tests. Waiting for your Living DNA test results thouch can take significantly longer compared to TheGenealogist.
With TheGenealogist it can take anywhere up to 6 weeks, but with Living DNA it can be 10-12 weeks. The longer wait though is worth it as you do get far more detailed results with Living DNA.
The price though wth Living DNA is much higher compared to TheGenealogist. So you may want to think about how much that you are willing to spend and how detailed you want the results to be.
TheGenealogist vs. MyHeritage DNA
MyHeritage DNA is a popular test that you can opt for. However, they do only offer the basic autosomal DNA test.
If you do decide to go with MyHeritage then you can access millions of genealogical records that they contain within their databases.
Plus they also have a large community of people that you can get help from.
Both of these companies offer pretty much the same but if you do want a full range of results then in my opinion TheGenealogist is the one for you.
How To Take The Test and Getting Your Results
Buying a DNA test from TheGenealogist is a really simple process. Just visit the TheGenealogist website and select the test or combination of tests that you want.
For your information a combination of tests is a cheaper option for you compared to if you bought another test later on. For example, getting the Family Finder and mtDNA test for £229.95 combined can save you about £20.
Once purchased it should take a few days or up to a week for your DNA test kit to arrive.
The test kit comes with a set of instructions. I must urge you to follow the instructions carefully as failure to do so may mean that your sample maybe invalid and so you may not get any test results back.
This type of test is a cheek swab. You just swipe the inside of your cheek with the swab, place the swab into the tube and then send it back using the addressed envelope.
You should receive your results within 6-8 weeks. Once your results are ready you will be notified by email. Just follow the instructions in the email and you will see your results online.
If you do decide to take a combination of tests then please be prepared that the results from each of these may come at different times. So with that said if you get one and not the other then please be patient
Finding Your Ethnicity and Your Relatives – Your Results
The three different kinds of test that are offered by TheGenealogist (Family Tree DNA) can reveal a lot about your ancestors. This next part of the review will show you what is included within each test and what you can expect to see.
However, I do not want to go into too much detail as it could bore you as it can get quite lengthy. For that reason I have included videos which will better explain these three tests.
You can find out a lot about your ancestors with the 3 types of tests that Family Tree DNA offer. Here I will give an overview of what you can expect from these 3 tests.
Autosomal DNA (atDNA) Results – The Family Finder Feature
The Family Finder tool is a similar feature to what Ancestry DNA offers. It can help show you your ethnicity and also connect you with distant cousins.
Your results will be displayed in a range of different charts, graphs and maps as well. These visual aids will help you to better understand your results, rather than reading through lengthy text and figures.
Family Finder includes:
- A graph that shows your ethnic origins.
- A map of the world that shows where your ancestors came from.
- A migration map that can show you the route that your traveling ancestors took.
- Tables that reveal your DNA matches.
- And contact details for your DNA matches, i.e. your possible distant cousins.
A cool browser is also installed within this tool where you can compare the results of your DNA matches. This is a nifty feature as you can actually see which parts of your DNA that you and your match have in common.
Family Finder also allows you to upload your genetic data even if you bought your test kit from a different company.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Results
The mitochondrial DNA test that is offered to you is called Full Sequence. This is just a fancy way of saying that you will get the highest level possible mtDNA test conducted on your DNA.
The mtDNA results will reveal:
- Your maternal haplogroup showing a single line of descent, (female ancestral line).
- A map showing where your ancestors came from and also their migration.
- Lists of matching DNA results.
With this type of test you can get access to projects that are run by genealogists from all over the world. This means that you can get further help with your genealogy research.
Y-Chromosome (yDNA) Results
This type of yDNA test gives you 3 different choices, which are Y-37, Y-67 and Y-111. The last one in my opinion gives you more value for your money as you get more information from your sample.
And not only will you get more information from the Y-111 test but the results will be more accurate as well.
The yDNA results include:
- Your paternal haplogroup showing a single line of descent, your male ancestral line.
- A map showing where your ancestors came from and also their migration.
- Lists of matching DNA results.
The yDNA test also gives you the opportunity to get further help from the world wide community of genealogists. And besides that you will also get access to nearly 10,000 surname
If you do find your surname within this collection of projects then it could give you even more information for you to check through.
Your TheGenealogist DNA Matches – Family Finder
One thing that you can expect from a DNA test these days is the ability to connect with distant cousins. And TheGenealogist offers you the same thing.
Even if they are distant cousins they can still help you with your family tree. It’s just that your common ancestor that you share with them is up the tree a bit higher.
Don’t let that stop you from contacting them as they may have interesting information that they can give you on that ancestor that you two are linked to.
For me I learned a great deal about my ancestral home because I communicated with my distant cousins. They gave me information that would have taken me years, (and money). And also I may not have realized that any of the information even existed if they didn’t share it with me.
They helped me to fill in the gaps in my knowledge of my ancestors. So it was great to get acquainted with another branch of my family tree.
How to make contact with your DNA matches!
You may be pleased to know that you can contact your cousin directly through email. This means that you do not need to log on to a website to communicate with them.
So get on your email and check which distant cousin has said hello.
I would like to suggest to you that when you first make contact to first introduce yourself. You can also say why you are contacting them. It’s just polite in my opinion.
You can give a little bit of background information if you wish about you and a piece of your family tree. Don’t go too overboard though with the facts.
Can others see my email address?
There is the option whether you want your email address to be visible or not to others. You may, (or may not be), surprised that some people just don’t want to communicate with others. So it’s great that this option is included.
Making your email address visible will though help you to build up the details of your family tree. So it’s worth considering.
What About Your Privacy and Is Your Information Secure?
As I have just mentioned above you do have the option of whether to share your email address or not. But what about the privacy of your DNA and your results? Is it secure you maybe wondering?
Privacy is a top concern for every major DNA testing company that I have reviewed and the company behind this test, Family Tree DNA, takes this very seriously.
They will not share your information with third parties.
Even if your information is not shared with the outside world you’re probably concerned about how secure is your information. Well Family Tree DNA do have a commitment to keeping your information secure.
I hope that that keeps your mind at ease.
Other Peoples TheGenealogist DNA Testing Reviews
Up until now I have gone through what you can expect from this test. And I have also given my opinion as well.
But you are probably wanting to know what other people think of this test and whether it is value for money.
The customer reviews at DNA Testing Choice showed that most of them were happy with the results and the service they received. Please check out the following short review from them.
Credit: DNA Testing Choice
Most of the favorable reviews did mention that TheGenealogist do the hard work for them, which meant that the staff really helped the customer with their queries.
Unfortunately there were a few customers who did state that they should have contacted Family Tree DNA directly instead. Whether this would have made much difference I don’t know.
Through my experience reviewing products and services I have come to expect there to be some people who will not be satisfied. And the same can be said in this case. But on the whole the majority of customers were happy.
Complicated and not what expected!
A few gripes from customers were that they didn’t get the results that they were after. One particular customer wanted to find immediate family yet all they got was about 200 4th cousins.
You do have to realize that with more people coming ‘on board’ with DNA testing that there is the possibility further down the road for making new connections. So just because you do not get the results now doesn’t mean that you won’t later on.
Also, a few people did complain that the viewing their results was a complicated process. Whether they are tech savvy I do not know but there were customers were complimented how easy it was for them to see and interpret their results.
So it’s a mixed bag in that sense.
Pros and Cons
✔ 3 types of tests available
✔ Great to help you build an extensive family tree
✔ Break down brick walls
✔ Get ethnicity estimates about your ancestors
✔ Get connected with distant cousins via email
✔ Access to projects and surname projects
❌ No connection with genealogy search sites so you cannot get access to genealogical records
❌ Smaller database of members compared to Ancestry
My Final Thoughts
Now even though you are going through another company, (Family Tree DNA), the service and tests that are available make this one of the better choices. They give you the full range of tests that are on offer. And this can really, really help you with your genealogy research.
From my years of researching my family tree I used so many resources that came my way. I used genealogy search websites, newspaper archives, county offices, genealogy societies and even visiting cemeteries as well.
Taking a DNA genealogy test is just another step that you can take on your family history journey. And in my opinion, (I know that I’ve said that a lot in this review), but taking the 3 tests that are on offer is well worth it.
Not just for the price but the amount of information that you receive and that you can use for your research.
And with DNA genealogy testing you want to know as much as you possibly can from your results. In my opinion buying for the 3 tests is a no brainer as it will give you so many results that you can go through.
But if money is a concern for you, yet you still want to take the test then make it the basic one that is available, autosomal. Even if you do take this test you can learn alot from your DNA and you may even connect with distant cousins as well.
Do I recommend TheGenealogist DNA?
Yes I certainly do recommend TheGenealogist DNA. I like this DNA test because you have the 3 different types of test on offer to you. And not only that but the hard work from the staff that other customers have mentioned is appealing.
But besides the results that you get back and the customer service for me the great thing that I like is the possibility of connecting with your distant cousins.
As more and more members join and get tested there is always a chance that you will make new connections down the road. And also gain more knowledge about your family tree.
TheGenealogist is definitely worth it in my opinion!
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
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