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    What is the MyHeritage DNA kit (announced November 2016)?

    The MyHeritage DNA test kit is simple to use and doesn't involve taking blood or spitting. To collect your sample, you'll simply scrape the inside of your cheeks with a small swab for about 30 seconds, and repeat this with a second swab for backup. The swabs are then placed into vials and mailed to our DNA lab for analysis. Results are made available for you to view securely on the MyHeritage website. More information is available from the MyHeritage blog.

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    What are the DNA Integration features released July 2016?

    You can now import your DNA test results from Family Tree DNA to Geni. Geni will use your Y-DNA, Mitochondrial DNA and Autosomal DNA test results to confirm existing relationships in your family tree as well as discover new relatives. Specifically, Geni will:

    • Propagate Y-DNA results along the paternal lines to infer which other relatives should have matching DNA. If matching DNA is found, the line between the test-takers can be considered confirmed.

    • Propagate Mitochondrial DNA results along the maternal lines to infer which other relatives should have matching DNA. If matching DNA is found, the line between the test-takers can be considered confirmed.

    • Use Autosomal DNA matching to confirm close relationships

    • Guide you on what DNA tests to take to confirm relationships in your family tree

    • Show DNA conflicts that indicate where the tree may have mistakes, and provide guidance on other living people who can be tested to resolve the conflict

    • List other Geni users whose DNA matches your own, which enables you to compare trees to determine how you are related

    • Organize profiles into haplogroup projects

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    Who is Family Tree DNA and why have you partnered with them?

    Family Tree DNA has pioneered genetic genealogy and it now enjoys the world's largest DNA database. Family Tree DNA is also the genetic genealogy company behind the well-known Genographic Project by the National Geographic and IBM.

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    Who is making the DNA tests?

    The MyHeritage DNA kit is a product of MyHeritage, LLC while the Y-DNA, Mitochondrial DNA and Family Finder tests are made by Family Tree DNA.

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    Where are the results analyzed?

    MyHeritage DNA test kits are analyzed at MyHeritage company headquarters in Israel. The results of Y-DNA, Mitochondrial DNA and Family Finder tests are analyzed at the Family Tree DNA Labs at Houston, Texas in the USA.

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    What kind of DNA tests are available?

    There are three basic types of DNA tests available for genealogical testing:

    mtDNA Tests - Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is contained in the cytoplasm of the cell, rather than the nucleus. This type of DNA is passed by a mother to both male and female offspring without any mixing, so your mtDNA is the same as your mother's mtDNA, which is the same as her mother's mtDNA. mtDNA changes very slowly so it cannot determine close relationships as well as it can determine general relatedness. If two people have an exact match in their mtDNA, then they share a common maternal ancestor, but it is hard to determine if this is a recent ancestor or one who lived hundreds of years ago. It is important to keep in mind with this test that a male's mtDNA comes only from his mother and is not passed on to his offspring.

    Example: The DNA tests that identified the bodies of the Romanovs, the Russian imperial family, utilized mtDNA from a sample provided by Prince Philip, who shares the same maternal line from Queen Victoria.

    Y-DNA Tests - The Y chromosome in the nuclear DNA is used to establish family ties. The Y chromosomal DNA test (usually referred to as Y-DNA) is only available for males, since the Y chromosome is only passed down the male line from father to son. Tiny chemical markers on the Y chromosome create a distinctive pattern, known as a haplotype, that distinguishes one male lineage from another. Shared markers can indicate relatedness between two men, though not the exact degree of the relationship. Y chromosome testing is most often used by individuals with the same last name to learn if they share a common ancestor, however, it is also used to verify if two males share the same paternal ancestor, no matter how many generations back, even if they have different surnames.

    Autosomal Tests - Autosomal DNA is inherited from both the father and the mother, all four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, etc. A child inherits a random sample of both parents' autosomal DNA, on average 50% from each parent. This means full siblings are expected to have about 50% of their autosomal DNA in common, first cousins will have about 12.5% in common, and second cousins only 3.125% on average. An autosomal DNA test is designed to find living relatives on all of your ancestral lines within the last few generations and can also give you a breakdown of your ethnic makeup. Both the MyHeritage DNA test kit and Family Tree DNA's Family Finder are autosomal DNA tests.

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    What kind of information can I learn from a DNA test?

    DNA tests can be used by genealogists to:

    Link specific individuals - e.g. test to see whether you and a person you think may be genetic cousins descending from a common ancestor.

    Prove or disprove the ancestry of people sharing the same last name - e.g. test to see if males carrying the TAYLOR surname are related to each other.

    Map the genetic origins of large population groups - e.g. test to see whether you have European, Native American, Jewish or African American ancestry among others

    Find other people who are related to you through the same male ancestor (Y-DNA), female ancestor (mtDNA) or across all lines (autosomal), and to discover your ancestral origins.

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    I see that you have some tests for males and some for females. Why is that?

    Some tests are based on the DNA that is passed from father to son; others are based on DNA passed from mother to her children, male or female. This is why certain tests are suitable only for males as clearly documented on the website. However, if you are a female genealogist and you want to test the paternal line, you can purchase a DNA test for your brother or father to use. In addition, if your spouse is also as interested in family history as you, you can purchase a DNA test for your spouse in order to assist them with their family history research.

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    Why do you offer so many different types of DNA tests?

    DNA for genealogy is pushing the frontiers of science, and different tests are offered to meet different research objectives of our users. Depending on your goals, you can focus on your maternal line, your paternal line, your ethnic origin, or on finding relatives from all lines.

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    How many DNA matches can I expect to receive?

    The number of matches varies according to the frequency of your Haplotype in the database. Given the size of the database, most people will have matches. However, initially having a small number of matches or no matches at all, should not be a source of frustration, as the process does not end once the test is completed and the results posted. As the database keeps growing, you will be matched against the new records and notified when there is a match. This is a service both Geni and Family Tree DNA provides with no subscription or other fees.

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    How easy is it to take a DNA test?

    Taking the DNA test is quick and easy. You take the test, which shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, at the comfort and privacy of your home. The test kit consists of two swabs, two tubes, instructions, and the release form. At the test, you will rub the swab on the inside of your cheek, and place it in the tube.

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    How long does it take before I get my results?

    The amount of time varies according to the test kit you order. The average time from receiving your kit until your results are available is six weeks. We'll continue to update you about new matches and other information regarding your results.

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    How do I transfer my Family Tree DNA results to Geni? How long does it take?

    Once you've received your test results from Family Tree DNA, simply click on the new DNA tab on your profile page and click the link labeled, “transfer your DNA results” as seen below:

    Once you log into FTDNA and complete the one-click authorization, your DNA test results will be transferred to Geni within minutes.

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    How do I transfer my MyHeritage DNA results to Geni?

    Currently your DNA test results will only be available on MyHeritage.com.

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    What is the format in which the results arrive?

    When you order a DNA test, Family Tree DNA creates a personal page for you, password protected, where your results are posted. From that page you can print reports and your certificate. After your initial results, you keep receiving updated information about your matches, and as they happen, you are informed by email.

    Once your results are transferred to Geni, your profile will show Y-DNA and Mitochondrial DNA haplogroups, where applicable, as well as an "at" icon indicating that you have autosomal results. Your DNA data is kept private and cannot be viewed on Geni by anyone, not even you. You and other Geni users will see haplogroups and matches.

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    What are DNA markers?

    The Chromosome has definable segments of DNA with known genetic characteristics. These segments are known as Markers.

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    Will I be able to contact my DNA matches (people who may have the same ancestors as me)?

    Certainly. On Geni, your matches will be shown as links to the Geni profile, from which you can choose "Send a Message" to contact the user directly on Geni.

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    Can I avoid other people who matched with me from contacting me?

    Yes, On Family Tree DNA you can do that by requesting us to delete your results. However, we recommend leaving them stored in order that you could continue receiving new matches as new people get DNA tested and match you.

    On Geni, your profile privacy page has a new option entitled, “Name on Propagated DNA” – you can set this to Private so that your name and profile link are not visible on public profiles where your DNA results have been propagated up the tree. Note, however, that your Family Group will always be able to see your name on these profiles, as will anyone whose DNA matches yours.

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    Can I export my DNA results?

    You cannot export your DNA results from Geni, however both MyHeritage and Family Tree DNA allow their users to export their autosomal results. At Family Tree DNA this can be done by clicking the "myFTDNA" menu, then the "myDNA" sub-menu, the "Family Finder" sub-menu and finally "Download Raw Data"

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    Can I import results that I have from a DNA test I’ve taken with another provider in the past?

    If you have taken an autosomal test from 23andMe© or AncestryDNA™ you can bring those results to Geni using an "Autosomal Transfer" test from Family Tree DNA. Once those results are complete, transfer your results to Geni as you would with any other Family Tree DNA test.

    If you have taken a Y-DNA test from Ancestry™ you can take a Y-DNA Transfer test from Family Tree DNA

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    Are my DNA samples stored?

    Both MyHeritage and Family Tree DNA store your DNA samples free of charge for many years in order to perform other tests at your request without requiring you to submit additional DNA tests.

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    Can I ask for the DNA info to be deleted?

    Yes, you can also request that MyHeritage or Family Tree DNA remove your test results from their database.

    You can remove your DNA test results from Geni by visiting your profile page and on the new DNA tab, clicking the link labeled "You may remove these Family Tree DNA test results from Geni."

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    Who else can access my DNA results?

    Your DNA results will be stored at either MyHeritage or Family Tree DNA (depending on which test you've taken) and will be accessible only to their staff, in order to help you with your genealogical research.

    When you transfer your DNA results to Geni, the DNA data itself is kept private and cannot be viewed by anyone, including you. However the results of those tests (matches and haplogroups) will be displayed on your profile and, in the case of Y-DNA and Mitochondrial DNA, propagated up the Geni tree in order to match against other test-takers to confirm or refute those lines. You can choose to conceal your identity wherever this DNA is propagated using the "Name on Propagated DNA" privacy setting on the profile privacy page.

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    Is taking a DNA test going to risk my privacy?


    You have full control over how your DNA information is displayed on Geni. Geni will not share your DNA results without your explicit permission.

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    Are the tests expensive?

    DNA tests are less expensive than one would think. With costs starting at US $99.00 a DNA test can provide a genealogist with an answer that otherwise would take years to find, numerous trips and fees for other services. There are many testimonials from genealogists that after years of research found their answers in a simple DNA test.

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    What are the shipping costs for a DNA test?

    The shipping cost for Family Tree DNA tests is $9.95 anywhere in the world. You will also need to ship the envelope kit back to Family Tree DNA Labs at Houston, Texas in the USA. Shipping costs for the MyHeritage DNA test kit is calculated on the MyHeritage site when you purchase the kit.

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    What is your refund policy?

    We are happy to refund you if you make an order and change your mind before the DNA test is shipped to you. After it is shipped, we cannot accept refunds.

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    Why should I purchase a DNA test with you guys at Geni and not somewhere else?

    Geni is enjoying the trust of millions of users and we are expanding to provide all needs of a family historian in one place.

    The DNA tests that we are selling are some of the highest quality in the world, and you can get them on Geni at prices that are lower than anywhere else.

    Finally, the new DNA integration features on Geni offer some of the most powerful tools available to confirm the relationships in your tree as well as discover new relatives.

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    I still have more questions about DNA that are not answered here. What can I do?

    Please go to our help page, and we will forward your question to one of our DNA experts who will be happy to assist you further.

About DNA for Genealogy

Watch Family Tree DNA President & CEO Bennett Greenspan discuss DNA testing for Genetic Genealogy.

The Test Kit

Watch an instructional video of How to Take Our DNA Test.