Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Familybuilder Y-DNA Testing!

Y-DNA testing can be helpful for male DC offspring who want an idea what ancestry their donor came from.  While it discovers the ancestral origins (which may or may not be accurately portrayed in the paternal lineage due to adoption, infidelity, illegitimacy, etc), it can be a last choice resort for offspring who are at a dead end in their search.  There have been documented cases of male offspring finding their biological fathers by doing Y-DNA testing, and using the surname to find the donor --- usually they know a location and profession, say a doctor in a certain city, and then search that surname for doctors in that city. Please refer to the post "Whatcha gonna do with all that junk, all that junk in your...DNA?" for a more in-depth explanation of the science behind genealogical DNA tests.

The Genetic Genealogist: Familybuilder Announces DNA Testing
December 9, 2008

Similar to a move made by myHeritage a few weeks ago, Familybuilder has announced that it will offer genetic genealogy testing to its customers.  As a part of a launch of this new product, Familybuiler is offering both Y-DNA and mtDNA tests for only $59.95 until January 1.  After that, the price will be $89.95.

Based on the demo account, it looks like the Y-DNA test includes 17 markers.  Although this isn't many markers, $3.52 per marker is a great price.  

Familybuilder is planning to continue to develop their genetic genealogy offering: "Currently in development is the ability to create Groups around surnames, families, and other criteria as well as the ability to Compare DNA."  From the press release:

"Up to now, genealogical DNA testing for the masses has been cost-prohibitive," said David Rheins, CMO of Familybuilder.  "We are excited about the launch of Familybuilder DNA, and believe that this tool will help millions of customers better understand the origins of their heritage and ancestry.  We are very focused on developing the Familybuilder DNA product line, and have plans to roll out additional tests and future functionality, including the ability to search our DNA database to identify living relatives with whom you share DNA."

Interestingly, Familybuilder is one of the top 50 Facebook applications.  Will this motivate Facebook genealogists to enter the field of genetic genealogy?  And, if they do, will those results be available to others to compare with without using Familybuilder?

By Blaine Bettinger


damianhadams said...

I wonder if this sort of testing offers false hope as I believe that 17 markers are not enough.
For those with unknown paternity at this stage a test with about 37 markers would be the preferred option as it gives greater info compared to 17 yet provides greater ambiguity than those that have 60+ markers. Which is what we need.
So for myself I will not be going for this cheaper test as I think that the money would be better put to a test that has more markers.
But hopefully with guys like these coming onto the market then the other tests will come down in price.

Lindsay said...

Very true Damian....I agree that 17 markers is probably too few for most offspring to trace their donors. I think my point with posting this was how significantly cheaper even their regular price is, and how more and more of these genealogical companies are beginning to do genealogical DNA tests, which means they should all go down in cost. It does look like familybuilder is looking toward creating a 37 marker test, so I would assume it may be cheaper than familytreedna.

There's also the Y-search database, which has results from many different companies --- CaBRI might be a try, since it's only $35 (not sure how much more for overseas, though - still cheaper than the others, but they would have to add in int'l shipping charges), and then you can add your results to Y-search to see if anything comes about.

While I've thought about it in the scientific sense, since it's physically impossible for me to use this technology, I haven't mulled it over completely. Good luck if you do decide to go through with it!!

damianhadams said...

My wife was about to order one for me for Christmas, then the crash. Our exchange rate is really bad right now (several months ago it was almost one for one). But hopefully I'll look at getting this done within the next 6 months. I will probably go with familytree and the 37 markers.