Family Tree DNA
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Family Tree DNA:

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) is a genetic testing service focused on providing genealogist with DNA analysis to aid them in their genealogy work. They have an array of products that progressively allow a genealogist to increase the amount of genetic resolution they want as the need for better accuracy arises.

They also provide two very large searchable public databases where people anonymously participate. Finding other individuals in the database is based upon a marker matching process. If your markers don't match someone else's within a limited genetic distance, then the people who don't fit your genetics don't appear. Surname searches are possible, but the names listed are often for the oldest know ancestor and may not be the current surname of the matching data.

When a potentially related person appears in a match listing a code number is the only method by which contact can be attempted. To contact a match candidate, FTDNA provides an anonymous email process that contains the message-text you compose within the anonymous mailer to the person identified by the code umber. Nowhere in the process is the person identified unless they wish to lift the veil of anonymity provided by the blind-email process.

Y-Search & MitoSearch are the two searchable databases that FTDNA provides for so others may share and compare markers.  A glimpse of them can be seen on each of the following links:

bullet Y-Search
bullet MitoSearch

Both of these searchable databases can accept data from other testing services. By allowing results testing services to be uploaded into the databases, the rate of growth of the database is not limited by the rate of testing growth of FTDNA's capabilities.  Instead, it is determined in part by the total number of people who get tested at all testing services, and their willingness to be included in the database.  Not everyone who is tested takes the extra few steps to join these larger databases, so individual behaviour is an unknown limiting factor.  Currently, these databases are slowly being accepted, because they show participant growth each week.  In time these databases should be the primary method of finding people across the globe.

FTDNA also provides an automatic matching service within its account structure as new people are added to FTDNA's own internal database.  FTDNA's internal database is much larger than the public accessible databases are right now, and may even be the largest database on the planet.  For certain these databases have been one of my primary sources of information.  FTDNA's automatic search-matching notification is a user-toggled feature that generates an email based upon how many markers were used to make the match.

There are many other features available to people participating in their database, but the ones I use most often are listed above or elsewhere in this web site.

To understand my current progress, follow this link: DNA in Genealogy

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Last modified: Wednesday, November 15, 2006 01:29:26 PM