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23andMe, Family Tree DNA

One for Americans.

One for anyone who’s in Salt Lake City in person.

Those are this week’s DNA sales.

And both are worth a close look.

23andMe Valentine’s Day Sale

Apparently for Americans only, 23andMe has launched a Valentine’s Day sale, with a special price through February 14th that’s well worth considering particularly if you’re really mostly interested in getting an ethnicity estimate (those percentages of European versus Asian versus African).

DNA salesFor its ancestry-only option, you can get $20 off per kit — with a maximum of two kits — bringing the price down from the usual $99 per kit to $79 per kit, plus a shipping charge ($9.95 for standard shipping, $14.95 for two kits, or $36.95 for expedited shipping, $41.95 for two kits).

If you want the health-and-ancestry option, the $20 per kit savings brings the price down from the usual $199 per kit to $179 per kit, plus the same shipping charge ($9.95 for standard shipping, $14.95 for two kits, or $36.95 for expedited shipping, $41.95 for two kits).

Switching locations on the 23andMe website to Canada, the UK, or Europe, none of the other ordering systems has any discounted pricing showing. So this does appear to be a US-only sale price.

Now: why 23andMe?

Two reasons: (1) it is generally regarded as having the best ethnicity estimates available right now; and (2) it is starting to get friendlier to genealogists, after years of focusing intensely on building its health database.

While all ethnicity estimates are just that — estimates — statistically computed by comparing the DNA of living people to the DNA of other living people, genetic genealogists generally regard the 23andMe estimates as the best available right now. They tend to be most in line with the known paper trail genealogy of those tested. So if what you want is those percentages, 23andMe is a good option.

And recent changes at 23andMe — to make more information available for genealogy, such as lists of shared matches without having to specifically opt in — are a step in the right direction for family researchers as well.

Family Tree DNA RootsTech sale

In keeping with longstanding tradition, Family Tree DNA will have a booth at the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City starting later this week — and will be offering a show sale price.

Family Tree DNA will be at Booth 535 in the Exhibit Hall, and will be offering the autosomal Family Finder test for $69, down from the usual $79. And, of course, by picking the kit up in person, you save the $12.95 in shipping (though you will have to pay postage to send the kit in if you don’t swab there at the show).

The company is also offering an additional $10 off by bundlng with a Full Mitochondrial Sequence or Y-37 and higher (for the same person).

Now: why Family Tree DNA?

Because it’s a genealogy testing company, started by genealogists and focused on genealogical research. It has solid analytical tools for helping distinguish between maternal and paternal matches, to find matches in common with another match or not in common with that match, a chromosome browser to do deeper analysis of matches and groups of matches, and more.

It also makes contacting matches the easiest of all the companies, with email contact information provided so you don’t have to use a proprietary contact system.

Either or both of these sales is well worth considering.

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