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  #1  
Old 23rd January 2013, 11:59 PM
Pied_Noir Pied_Noir is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 16
23andMe or AncestryDNA next?

Hello All!

I manage my mom's kit and she is an adoptee. We have already learned a lot from FTDNA about the ethnicity of her unknown father but have not found anyone closer than like a 6th or 7th cousin. And I know that it is best to "fish in all ponds" to find birth relatives but we don't have a lot of disposable income. Since we can only test at one, which would be better? 23andMe or AncestryDNA?

The drawback to 23andMe, from what I understand, is their communication system with matches and stronger interest in health than genealogy. But I also understand that they have a large database of testers, access to raw data and most importantly, the price at $99 is great.

For AncestryDNA, the lack of raw data access would be a negative aspect for us but the positives are that testers are genealogy-minded and you get a steady stream of matches. I understand that it's also great for people with colonial roots which is what my unknown, bio grandfather seems to have.

What do you guys think? What have your experiences been with the other 2 companies?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 24th January 2013, 01:53 AM
Táltos Táltos is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,166
Ancestry might be releasing the raw data in March of this year. I think. I'm not 100%, maybe someone else has heard the same or different?

My experience with Ancestry has been positive as I have found a meaningful connection just on their free message board. Not once but twice!! I did not have to look at a tree there, or have my DNA match for that to happen.

That said I can appreciate you wanting to spend your money wisely.

Pros for 23: 1. Good price. 2. Can download raw data and upload to Gedmatch.

3. Can transfer it to FTDNA for only $89, so it is like doing a payment plan for Family Finder's sale price (meaning you don't pay $199 all at once)

4. Can send the raw data also to Dr. McDonald for further analysis.

Cons for 23: 1. Most on there are only interested in health!

2. I've been reading the message boards over there, and it sounds like sharing information is like going through Fort Knox.

Both companies use spit method. I found out later that you can request a swab like collection kit from 23 if you have trouble making spit. Not too sure what Ancestry does.

So overall you might want to wait a little and see if Ancestry releases the raw data. Really I think those guys may have the corner on the market right now. They have large amount of subscribers that are interested in genealogy. They have a large amount of records that will be easy for you to access as a subscriber. Oh and I have to say again, the message board at Ancestry I found to be one of the most amazing tools. It really helped me open windows into my family's past.

Good luck, let us know what you decide.

Last edited by Táltos; 24th January 2013 at 01:59 AM.
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  #3  
Old 24th January 2013, 07:05 AM
Lincoln Lincoln is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 549
I have had the most luck here (with either names I recognize or closeness of relationship) & at Ancestry (even with it's drawbacks) -but it is prob different for everyone.
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  #4  
Old 24th January 2013, 08:13 AM
Dumbldorf Dumbldorf is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 78
not sure without raw data

I am not sure how you can quantify a match up to find a biological parent without looking at the raw data. I LOVE Ancestry but if you don't get "Close" matches I don't see how you can figure out from a "Tree" where you fit or if you do.
Ancestry is skimming the DNA market. You will not find the same knowledge level regarding DNA as here or at 23andMe even with a lack of communication.

JMO
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  #5  
Old 24th January 2013, 08:15 AM
vinnie vinnie is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,578
I'd go with 23. Yes, there are a lot of people who are only interested in their health results, but the database is so large that you'll probably have many more matches there, and consequently a greater likelihood that some of them will be willing to share their genealogical info. Just because someone tests with a more genealogically-orientated company does not guarantee that they're going to get matches who are willing to share their family tree, as most of us have found out.
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  #6  
Old 24th January 2013, 08:17 AM
1_mke 1_mke is offline
mtDNA: K2a | Y-DNA: R-L1029
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 586
I've had a lot better luck recently getting sharing requests accepted at 23andMe. I'm not sure if this is random chance or if people testing more recently have more interest in genealogy.

I've only sent out one request on Ancestry for information and so far no response. That is too small a sample size to have any meaning though.
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  #7  
Old 24th January 2013, 08:27 AM
tomcat tomcat is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Jamaica Plain, MA
Posts: 3,397
I have done all four retail tests.

It is extraordinarily difficult making contact with Relative Finder matches on 23&Me. Users have waited more than a year for a response to an invitation and the best rate of acceptance is no better than 25%. On the plus side, the tools for making sense of one's ancestry, Ancestry Finder and Ancestry Composition, are unique or superior to the tools available on Ancestry, FTDNA and Geno 2.0,
and the price is the most affordable of any of the four retail tests.

The only advantage to Ancestry is their large database of genealogically-interested users, I have many more matches there than at FTDNA but, like at FTDNA, many neither show a tree nor list their ancestors or restrict access to their tree. All my Ancestry matches are no closer than 4th Cousin and just one claims American Indian ancestry. Ancestry does not, like FTDNA, have a Chromosome Browser nor do they allow data downloads. Their ancestry estimation tool offers more detail than FTDNA, or about the same as Geno 2.0 and 23&Me, but is less capable than Ancestry Composition from 23&Me.

Last edited by tomcat; 24th January 2013 at 08:40 AM.
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  #8  
Old 24th January 2013, 09:17 AM
Táltos Táltos is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,166
Everyone will have a different experience. It just depends on all different variables as to whether one has success with Company A,B, or C.

I have to say I like tomcat's further analysis for the Pros of 23. It also may be true that more geneologically minded people will test with 23 due to the drop in price. So that is a plus also for 23.

Also if you decide to go with 23 and choose the swab option I know you have to pay a little more for that collection device. I forget how much off the top of my head. I still have my fingers crossed that my mother's sample will be able to be miraculously processed by 23. It somehow passed their visual inspection. She had lot of difficultly producing saliva. I did not know initially that the swab could be requested.

Last edited by Táltos; 24th January 2013 at 09:25 AM.
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  #9  
Old 24th January 2013, 10:13 AM
NYMark NYMark is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 458
The 1000 match cap in Relative Finder is a huge downside to 23andMe if you're Ashkenazi (and apparently this is starting to affect Colonials and French Canadians as well). Although I'm half AJ, I have yet to find a single non-Ashkenazi match through Relative Finder. I have found some via Gedmatch, and those people have willingly shared.

Ancestry Finder is pretty useless for me as well. I have matches who by all rights should be in Ancestry Finder and are not. In one case, the person shared a 23 cM segment with me. In others, there were two or more shared segmentss that easily met the threshold. These were public matches who had completed the questionnaires, and I am in their AFs. I tried to get an explanation from 23andMe, but the answers were evasive.

Ancestry Composition is a great tool, and I agree that it's probably the best one available for most people.

I have some issues with FTDNA but to date it has been the most of the three for my purposes.

I have not noticed an appreciable difference in responsiveness among matches on the three sites. FTDNA may be slightly better, but I've had problems getting replies here too.

Ancestry.com's ethnicity projections are very unreliable, but I have gleaned some useful information from a couple of trees - two more matches with a surname in common with two FTDNA matches.

I guess the answer to which service is better is that it all depends. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
I have done all four retail tests.

It is extraordinarily difficult making contact with Relative Finder matches on 23&Me. Users have waited more than a year for a response to an invitation and the best rate of acceptance is no better than 25%. On the plus side, the tools for making sense of one's ancestry, Ancestry Finder and Ancestry Composition, are unique or superior to the tools available on Ancestry, FTDNA and Geno 2.0,
and the price is the most affordable of any of the four retail tests.

The only advantage to Ancestry is their large database of genealogically-interested users, I have many more matches there than at FTDNA but, like at FTDNA, many neither show a tree nor list their ancestors or restrict access to their tree. All my Ancestry matches are no closer than 4th Cousin and just one claims American Indian ancestry. Ancestry does not, like FTDNA, have a Chromosome Browser nor do they allow data downloads. Their ancestry estimation tool offers more detail than FTDNA, or about the same as Geno 2.0 and 23&Me, but is less capable than Ancestry Composition from 23&Me.
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  #10  
Old 24th January 2013, 10:15 AM
Neves Neves is offline
FTDNA Customer
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 122
I would go with 23andMe, AncestryDNA has been a disappointment for me.

I have found more matches for my "brick wall area" at 23 in the last couple months than Ancestry and ftDNA. More of my matches on gedmatch.com were from 23andMe than anywhere else.

The downside of 23 is you have to ask permission to compare DNA for the chromosome browser, only about 33% responded so far.
The ones that do are usually really into genealogy and are very helpful. I think with the price drop they are going to get a lot more genealogy interested people moving over... I did.
And with 23andMe you dont have an annual fee.

AncestryDNA has been disappointing for me. I have only been able to confirm one match. Most of my close matches are private trees and they do not respond but they will copy my ancestral information and photos. Most of my distant matches have no trees or no common surnames to even start searching.

Overall FTDNA has the most knowledgable people.
23andMe has a big diverse DNA database with growing numbers of genealogists.
AncestryDNA is "trying" to compete
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