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FTDNA Summer Sale

Every so often, genealogy DNA tests go on sale, and this is one of those times. Family Tree DNA has announced its summer sale, and the bargains are out there for sure.

For those new to DNA testing who are thinking about this, here’s an overview of the test types:

     • Y-DNA: This test looks at the type of DNA passed in a direct paternal line from father to son to son, so anybody tested must be male.1 Because Y-DNA doesn’t change much from generation to generation, matches may be found among all the male descendants of a common male ancestor who may be many generations back. The numbers (12, 37 and 67) reflect the number of markers compared. Frankly, a 12-marker test isn’t very useful except for giving you your basic haplogroup2 so if you’re really looking for genealogical information, go for the 37- or 67-marker test.3

     • Family Finder (FF): This test looks at autosomal DNA (atDNA)4 and it’s used primarily across genders to locate relatives — cousins — from all parts of a family tree. Both men and women can be tested.5 The likelihood of a match drops off from generation to generation, so where first and seconds cousins have an extremely high chance of matching each other, third cousins will match only 90% of the time, fourth cousins only about half the time, and fifth cousins only about 10% of the time.6 Your matches usually won’t share a surname so finding the common ancestor in your paper trail can be confusing and challenging, but oh boy is it terrific when you do!

     • Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA): The mtDNA tests (mtFullSequence (FMS) and mtDNAPlus) look at the type of DNA passed from a mother to all of her children — so both men and women can be tested — but that only daughters can pass on to their children, so it’s used to trace the female line.7 Like Y-DNA, mtDNA changes very little from generation to generation so matches can share a common female ancestor many generations back. The test names reflect how much of the DNA is looked at and that, again, dictates how close in generations you and a match will be. The mtDNAPlus test matches can be within related within the past 28 generations; mtFullSequence (FMS) matches within 16 generations. You’ll get your female line haplogroup with either flavor of this test.

For more information generally on these tests and the combination and SuperDNA tests, see the Family Tree DNA Products and Pricing page.

These prices are good through 11:59 p.m. Sunday 15 July only, so if you want to get it on this, you need to act fast.

Y-DNA 12 $99 $59
Y-DNA 37 $149 $129
Y-DNA 67 $239 $199
Family Finder $289 $199
mtFullSequence (FMS) $299 $219
FF+ Y-DNA 37 $438 $328
FF + mtDNAPlus $438 $328
(FF + FMS + Y-DNA 67)
$797 $617
SuperDNA $518 $428
12 to 37 $109 $70
25 to 37 $59 $35
25 to 67 $159 $114
37 to 67 $109 $79
37 to 111 $220 $188
67 to 111 $129 $109
mtHVR1 to Mega $269 $209
mtHVR2 to Mega $239 $199


  1. ISOGG Wiki (, “Y chromosome DNA test,” rev. 26 Jun 2012.
  2. A haplogroup is a letter designation for a fairly broad genetic population group of people who share a common ancestor in far distant times. ISOGG Wiki (, “Haplogroup,” rev. 1 Jan 2011.
  3. See generally “How Many to Test? 12, 37, 67 Markers?,” Family Tree DNA ( : accessed 9 Jul 2012).
  4. ISOGG Wiki (, “Autosomal DNA,” rev. 8 Feb 2012.
  5. See ISOGG Wiki (, “Family Finder,” rev. 8 Feb 2012.
  6. Judy G. Russell, “Autosomal DNA testing,” National Genealogical Society Magazine, October-December 2011, 38-43.
  7. ISOGG Wiki (, “Mitochondrial DNA,” rev. 30 Jul 2010.
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