Saturday, 6 July 2013

DNA Journey with 23andme - getting started

Are you thinking of having a DNA test done to enhance your genealogy?  If so, this is what is called Genetic Genealogy.  Following is what to expect, from my experience.

I started this journey last year when I ordered a test for my paternal Uncle through Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), after his results came in I decided to do my own test.  Being a female I needed to do an autosomal relative finder test, so I chose 23andme for a couple of reasons, the first being the medical information that can be obtained and the second was they dropped their price from $299 USD down to $99 USD, even with the mandatory DHL delivery fee it's under $200 AUD.

The whole process can be tracked by logging into your profile and checking your Status box.  There are 6 steps to the process.  Here are the steps my kits took, you'll notice mine went through a second round of analysis and then a replacement test, it took just short of 4 months!

While you are waiting for your test results, set up your profile; add you family surnames, locations, family tree and make it public so people can connect with you.  So many people are daunted and don't make their profile public which is a tragedy, 3 of my highest matches I can't connect with or they have declined to connect!

To me, the 23andme website is a bit clunky to navigate, make sure you spend your time clicking around the site and visit the "Community" often for updates, the latest information and to learn, learn, learn.

As soon as your results are available at Step 5 download you raw data for safe keeping.

Further steps you can take if you choose to utilise the tools available to you.
  • Send your raw download to Dr Doug McDonald for a comparison analysis.
  • ISOGG is a great starting point (International Society of Genetic Genealogy).
  • Autosomal DNA tools at ISOGG.
  • Upload your raw file data to where you can play with a lot of tools.
  • Transfer your results to FTDNA for comparison, more serious Genetic Genealogists use this service.
  • Download your ancestry finder results from "Countries of Ancestry" (found under tools) and check them out in a Spreadsheet, fascinating.
  • Download your DNA Relatives from the "Family Inheritance: Advanced" tool.
NB: If you are testing a parent or child as well as yourself, there is a wonderful Split View tool available, but it does take extra time after Step 6 to receive this.

The Health reports are AMAZING, and well worth having.

In my next post I will share my results.


  1. Awesome post DNA Journey with 23andme - getting started Very informative one. Regards, DHL

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