Who has had their DNA tested for health or genealogy?
I had been wanting to get tested from 23andMe for YEARS but it was always outrageously expensive. Luckily, in past year or so the price has leveled out around $99 across the board. The bigger the sample size, the better the results, so these services should be affordable!
Here’s what I’ve done.
They offer health and ancestry information. The health results are endless and are updated every month as their scientists have new findings. Your health overview includes health risks, inherited conditions, traits, and drug response.
The health risks includes the average risk vs. your risk and also tells you what percentage is attributable to genetics. Alzheimer’s is included in the health risks, which 60-80% attributable to genetics, but the results are hidden in case you don’t want to know.
The drug response information is very useful. To me, this is absolutely fascinating. Instead of trying various medicines and worrying about side effects, your DNA can indicate how you will respond to certain drugs.
The inherited conditions can be helpful if you are planning to have a baby and want to know if you are a carrier for anything. The traits section is mostly fun stuff.
The genealogy section may be disappointing if you’re trying to connect with others. The majority of users are only interested in health results and it seems like there are a lot of people who were adopted trying to find more about their birth family. But, if you get your family tested, there are all kinds of fun statistics. For instance, you can select another person and it will tell you the likelihood your children would have certain traits.
The breakdown of ancestry composition is pretty detailed compared to other DNA tests.
So 23andMe gives you a lot of information! Some info you may not want to know. I personally wanted to know everything and I’m glad I did!
Family Tree DNA
A lot of genies swear by this service and use it as their preferred DNA site. I can’t figure it out.
Uncle Rusty did the basic Y-DNA test, to learn more about the Updegraff line. The results are very technical and somewhat cryptic (in my opinion). I’ve been in contact with someone testing various Updegraff lines, connecting them to the original Op den Graeff family of Germantown, PA so he was able to use the results in his study.
Uncle Rusty’s closest match was a 9th cousin, also with the same surname Updegraff. Not sure what I can gather from that, other than an adoption in my Updegraff line is unlikely.
This is what I would recommend for all the genies, especially if you have a tree there. I’m going to try to get a 2nd cousin from each line tested. The genetic ethnicity summary is pretty dull, but I already knew this so it didn’t matter to me. I was automatically connected with five 4th cousins and a lot of 5th cousins or greater. I immediately confirmed one 4th cousin and one 6th cousin.
But what is most useful are the one’s you aren’t sure about. For instance, I’m connected to someone who has a “Rebecca Duncan” from Tyronne, Ireland who is the same age as James Duncan, my 5th great grandfather who is also from Tyronne, Ireland. Rebecca moved to Canada and James ended up in Erie, Pennsylvania.
I also have a lot of connections with people who have Millers around Hagerstown, MD and Somerset, PA. I’m hoping this will help me find more about my 3rd great grandmother, Margaret Miller and her father George Miller from the same areas.
Which do you prefer?