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Is this Eupedia review credible (FTDNA lambasted)

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  • Is this Eupedia review credible (FTDNA lambasted)

    One of my cousins was considering a Y-dna test at FTDNA, but has been thoroughly put off by this review:

    Some of the points raised about Y testing (eg the moans about STR testing, and FTDNA's "motives" in choosing not to provide Y and mt haplogroups in the FF test) are beyond my comfort zone. So could someone with more experience/knowledge advise on whether the points raised in the article are at all credible ... and help me provide another perspective?

    My cousin's interested in his ancient ancestry. He's a long-time paper-trail genealogist, and all his family come from the same small area in England back to the 1500s. He's not interested in matching. He did a Y test with Oxford Ancestors in 2002 (10 markers!) which indicated he had Viking ancestry ... and he'd like to pursue that. Any ideas on what else he could do would be much appreciated.

  • #2
    I can compare 23andMe to FTDNA in regard to ydna testing, and FTDNA far surpasses 23andMe. I have explained to 23andMe that what they have for my terminal snp is far upstream from what I am; 23andMe lists my paternal as R-M405 which is far upstream of R-S7019 or even my terminal snp which is R-BY17958.

    The medical part of 23andMe is good. I have received two of my closest autosomal dna matches at 23andMe, but I would advise someone to test their ydna at FTDNA.

    Best regards, Doug


    • #3
      The review makes assumptions about what "you" need from a DNA test (i.e., "your haplogroup"), as if there was only one purpose for genetic testing. I don't agree with that approach at all! There are many reasons for testing, and many aspects of interpreting the results. FTDNA has recognized this fact by offering several different tests with different purposes. In preference to this review, I would strongly recommend study of the materials on the ISOGG web site (, which is backed by real scholarship.


      • #4
        Thanks, Doug and John ... and thanks especially to John for reminding me about ISOGG


        • #5
          Oh boy. When you say FTDNA is lambasted in the article, you were not exaggerating. I'm not even sure where to start.

          Okay, so he isn't interested in matching. That is understandable if he thinks he has nothing to gain from that, but that can also confirm his research. I've seen some people assume their research was great only to find out they don't match with those they should. Even if he followed all the right records, there are events that are not recorded. For example, someone could have raised a child that was not biologically their own. By triangulating with matches, you can have greater confidence that such an event did not take place.

          If he is looking for a simple description of where his YDNA may be from and info like that, FTDNA does not provide that. It does not sugarcoat it like other places do with ethnicity estimates based on the autosomal DNA tests they sale. However, if he took the YDNA test(s) he can join the appropriate group projects that may be looking into the same answers he seeks. Someone may have already pegged his specific YDNA line to a specific area or group of individuals. Some lineages are not as well represented as others. He won't know if his is one such line until he tests.


          • #6
            Thanks, Contemplator Sorry I didn't respond to your post earlier (I haven't logged in for a while). Yes, I'd told my cousin there was surname project that covered his surname, so he knew about that advantage. And I wasn't going to re-visit matching ... we'd already thrashed that.

            However, a couple of days ago I had a surprise email from him. He's read the ISOGG material (as suggested by John) and is now thinking about FTDNA - he says he'll "keep an eye out for sales around 25th April".