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Questions About LivingDNA

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  • Questions About LivingDNA

    I see LivingDNA being referred to more frequently now, and articles even referring now to the 5 main DNA sites, rather than the 4.
    So I finally did a free Upload to it from FTDNA.
    Ethnicity is in, matches not yet. Apparently they only update matches every 10 days or so.
    Is this sort of random, or can one know when it will be?

    For Ethnicity, they tell me I am Europe 50.5% -- -- Near East 47.2% -- -- Africa 2.3%
    And to have it broken down further I need to pay $28.
    Do people who buy the test from them also have to pay for that separately, or is it included for them?
    What are their breakdowns for Europe and Near East? -- -- FTDNA currently has me as Europe 100%. Does LivingDNA include in Near East areas FTDNA includes in Europe?

    What else do they charge additional charges for?

  • #2
    I uploaded a late relative's file to Living DNA before they had ethnicity estimates, or even DNA matches. In 2019 they started offering the ethnicity breakdowns and DNA matches. I paid $39 to get the more detailed breakdown in 2021. There was also an update very shortly after that. I think they already had a breakdown ready and paying the fee unlocked it. Then the new update followed. I haven't checked back with them in a long time, but just did. Now they have a Viking upgrade for $20! I checked matches, and there still is no way to see shared DNA. But now you can share your breakdown (as Shared Map), and can send messages to matches.

    I only uploaded my relative's file because I thought he might get DNA matches from Ireland, and hoping to get a detailed ethnicity breakdown for Ireland. I contacted them and they said they were working on the Irish breakdown. They didn't have a timeframe for it, and they still don't have it. His Recent Ancestry results before the upgrade were simply major regions: Great Britain & Ireland; and then parts of Europe, like North & West, East and south. No regions within those. After I paid for detailed results, it broke down into smaller regions for Great Britain & Ireland, which most percentage was Ireland, then 5 regions in Britain; then North & West Europe, two regions; East Europe 2 regions; and one region for South Europe. They updated the results very soon after, almost immediately. Some of the regions and percentages changed, and East Europe went away. There's been no updates to my relative's breakdown since Jan. 2021.

    At their website, it shows if you buy the test, you get: Your recent regional ancestry, Subregional DNA breakdowns, Your DNA today (no idea what this is), Your extended ancestry (I think is Y-DNA and mtDNA, similar to 23andMe method), and Family DNA matching. The only things that are shown as optional are Personalised merchandise and Additional insights, whatever those are. There are options for buying tests for Wellness, and vitamins, and an ancestry book. Those would be extra charges.

    I still think Living DNA is more for Britain and Ireland. I wouldn't have uploaded to there except for that. I don't think they are in the big 5 DNA sites, really. They have too much that is still in BETA, and is taking too long. My two cents, anyway.


    • #3
      Lining DNA has a lot of potential, but they are very slow in adding or completing features. Many things, like building trees have been in development for a long time. Ditto for their Browser.

      I suppose we will see a Browser/Viewer at LDNA before Ancestry, but that's not certain.

      For me the Ancestry Estimates are bonkers. 97% British and Irish is off the walls. Which makes any regional breakdowns suspect.

      You can pay additional fees for Viking analysis, 12 traits, and a customized vitamin plan. I have two traits reports and they are pretty good. The Viking report is pretty generic from what I have seen.

      Haplotypes are pretty good. But I think you only get them with a paid kit. I dont think FTDNA raw data has enough SNPS for Living DNA to try.

      I get a lot of matches for Great Britain and Ireland, and Australia and NZ. When they actually get the browser and segment data, I will be very happy.

      One odd thing is that for me the growth rate (in percent) for Living DNA surpasses all other sites. I have gotten 95 new matches since Jan 1 of this year. That is about a 25% growth rate per annum, far exceeding US sites.
      Last edited by mabrams; 4 August 2022, 08:02 PM.


      • #4
        Interesting thing - since I logged in after loobster's question, I saw a match I wanted to send a message to, so I did. Before doing that, I had seen there was no tree capability. Instead, I entered some background, places and surnames in my relative's Bio section. Then I sent the message, and said you can check the bio for information. After I did that, I realized there was no way to check that bio for a match. I contacted Living DNA support to ask why and am waiting to hear from them. It seems like there is no way to find out more about a match without contacting the match. Just curious to know what the point is to write anything in the bio if no one can see it.


        • #5
          Just another way to look at Living DNA

          My main purpose for testing at LDNA was to gain access to UK testers, and this has been somewhat successful. Most of my matches are from the US and some I recognize from other databases. But I did get a fair number of non-US matches.

          Out of 657 total
          • 144 from the UK
          • 43 from Australia
          • 15 from Ireland (that's okay to me, as I dont consider myself very Irish)
          • 12 each from NZ and Canada
          • 20 others
          One of these days, when LDNA adds a Chromosome Browser and trees, I hope to be able to make some sense out of some of those matches. None are very high. There is also the issue that the LDNA %/cM do not correlate well to corresponding numbers in GEDmatch or FTDNA or 23andMe etc


          • #6
            At Living DNA my relative has the same type of issues. There are a few of the same matches at other companies he has tested or transferred to. The amount shared varies among the companies, but don't seem to be too out of line at Living DNA compared to FTDNA.

            I think my relative has about 280 or so matches total. The closest are two at what they call 7th degree, or 2nd-4th cousin level. I also had uploaded his file to Living DNA to find particular matches, in his case Irish. Many are from Australia, UK, then some from Canada, Germany and some Ireland. This relative also has some German ancestors.

            mabrams, how did you figure out how many matches you had at Living DNA, or how many for each country? I think you must have checked page by page, because I don't see anywhere to download a match list.

            Living DNA support got back to me, but didn't really answer my question about how to view Bio information for a match, or why do they have the Bio if no one can see it. So far the matches I've sent a message to haven't replied. Nothing new there!


            • #7
              Hate to admit it, but you caught me. I just thumbed through, page at a time. On paper, I tallied the non-US matches. Took 15 min. Older than old-school

              I dont have the same experience of LDNA vs FTDNA

              example 1. LDNA 39 cM, FTDNA 11
              example 2. LDNA 48 cM, FTDNA 16

              I could give a lot more examples. And I can cross check with GEDmatch or 23andMe etc. FTDNA is consistent. LDNA is not.

     more highest LDNA match.....66 cM, My Heritage 25 cM. So even my top match isnt very high.

              Nevertheless, I am envious of your 7th degree matches. I have 8th and 9th only. I am okay with that. I am super Colonial, so I am not expecting any 2nd to 4th cousin matches.

              blanko, does your Newest sort work? Mine has not worked for over a year. I have no idea who the newest are. I suppose I could write down on paper, or even keep tabs in Word, but ...naaahh

              OTOH, I have had very good luck with messaging. Small number but still good. I have probably messaged about 6 people and nearly all have replied back.
              Last edited by mabrams; 7 August 2022, 03:03 PM.


              • #8
                blanko - I have two paid kits at Living DNA; each has its own account. However, they are closely related, and as a result, I can use one to "look" at the other. I have found that the "bio" section does display fine - BUT none of my matches have entered anything there. Nor have they turned on viewing for their haplogroups or map. I think most users do not know these features are present. I paid $20 for the Viking estimate for one, just for giggles. It is indeed very general.
                mabrams - the Newest sort appears to work for both my kits.


                • #9
                  Teri R, thank you! That is reassuring. I haven't looked through my relative's full list, but so far none seems to have the bio enabled. I think I saw one shared Map and have seen some matches with haplogroups.

                  mabrams, I tried sorting by Newest, and it seems to work. I hope I'll get a reply to my messages at Living DNA eventually.


                  • #10
                    Thanks Teri and Blanko. I guess I will send a specific request to LDNA support. I have mentioned it before to them on a list of issues, but it got ignored. So I will try a singular message this time.

                    I have not seen the bio from any other matches yet, but I wasnt looking either. I do have 34 maps/haplotypes enabled (out of 657, so 5%. Maybe LDNA should make it more obvious).


                    • #11
                      I find living dna bizarre in comparison with the other big 4. I uploaded my 23&me autosomal stuff to them and the results are so weird because they don't have an algorithm for ashkenazi jewish so I end up being nearly 40% southern italian and 57% near eastern. All very entertaining and there may be something in it if one goes back hundreds of years at least but it just is really weird. Most of my matches are also ashkenazi jewish, they do reply to messages or rather I do to theirs, but not possible to see their breakdowns. But still worth checking out.