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About the company

Family Tree DNA is the oldest among all DNA based genealogy companies founded in 2000. Though, was founded in 1983, the DNA based tests were introduced only in 2012. Family Tree DNA is a division of Gene by Gene a genetic testing company.

Database size

Family Finder’s DNA database has grown quickly since its release in 2010, and now has about 1 million samples from people worldwide (140,000 autosomal). Ancestry DNA and 23andMe have larger databases of 5 million and 2 million people respectively. However, their databases are skewed towards US, Europe and UK populations. Family Finder’s samples come from over 200 countries.

Chip version

The testing chip used in the Family Finder autosomal test is the Illumina OmniExpress chip. The contains about 708,982 genetic markers.

Breadth and depth of information

Not only does Family Tree DNA give the option for mtDNA and Y-DNA analysis, it is said to give the most in-depth maternal and paternal results compared to the other kits. If you’ve gotten some sort of genealogy tests done before or have outside genetics information that you’d like to use, there is an option to upload raw data. Options to contact database matches are great, making this one of the best tests for adopted individuals to connect with biological relatives. They are the official testing partner of National Geographic’s Genographic Project.

Unique features

Family Tree DNA presents its users with many innovative tools. They have an automatic surname matching tool.

MyOrigins tool:

MyOrigins is FTDNA’s ethnic ancestry tool. After entering the geographic coordinates of your earliest known ancestor, you can compare your ancestor’s location with the ancestors of people that your DNA matches.  MyOrigins matches your DNA to one or more of 18 regional and population clusters.

Family Finder tool:

The myFTDNA user interface provides access to several tools to help you interpret your results and find DNA matches in their database.  The FTDNA database includes results for all tests taken, in one location. Their search engine is particularly well-done, with results automatically displaying surnames and haplogroups wherever the information is available. If additional tests have been taken, search results will display Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroups. Family Finder makes it easy to reach out and contact any matches using their real name and email address. To do this, just touch the email icon next to their name.

Privacy Policy

Family Tree DNA stores your DNA data for 25 years, unlike 23andMe and AncestryDNA who save it indefinitely. FTDNA will share your genetic data with anyone, on a per-event basis, but only if you give consent.


Family Tree DNA kits are priced at $89. Like the other two companies they also provide their kits at heavily discounted price on selected days. They are the only company to give their autosomal (Family Finder test) test, Y chromosome and MtDNA test separately. Opinions are divided about this aspect of Family Tree DNA. While some say that the Y chromosome and MtDNA coming at an additional cost is not economical. Others, who are looking only to use their autosomal raw DNA data to use in third party tools like Promethease and Xcode Life find this very convenient.



There have been complaints of a confusing user interface. Since this company is the first choice among professional genealogists, they are not very popular among consumers who are simply looking to build their family tree and learn about their origins

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