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View Full Version : Ancestry vs 23&me vs FTDNA



JohnLightbridge
01-12-2017, 09:08 AM
This has probably been asked already.

But I got this kit from a friend over Christmas. I put it aside due to the fact that ancestry.com does not necessarily have the best rep. And their customer service personally sounds like the pits of the pits.


However, am curious. How would others rank ancestry.com versus 23&me and FTDNA? I've done the other two.

I am particularly interested in the client base. Anything of worth for British heritage & finding relatives? What of the ethnicity breakdown?

MacUalraig
01-12-2017, 09:57 AM
This has probably been asked already.

But I got this kit from a friend over Christmas. I put it aside due to the fact that ancestry.com does not necessarily have the best rep. And their customer service personally sounds like the pits of the pits.


However, am curious. How would others rank ancestry.com versus 23&me and FTDNA? I've done the other two.

I am particularly interested in the client base. Anything of worth for British heritage & finding relatives? What of the ethnicity breakdown?

With Ancestry your matches can put a place of residence/birth on their profile. Most of course don't but I have several dozen who I now know live in England, plus a smaller number (as one would expect) living in Scotland. List of residences in my matches now is AUS, CAN, ENG, GER, IRE, JAP, NZ, PAN, SCO, UK, USA, WAL. I wish more people would fill this field in as it would be very helpful.

JohnLightbridge
01-12-2017, 10:32 AM
With Ancestry your matches can put a place of residence/birth on their profile. Most of course don't but I have several dozen who I now know live in England, plus a smaller number (as one would expect) living in Scotland. List of residences in my matches now is AUS, CAN, ENG, GER, IRE, JAP, NZ, PAN, SCO, UK, USA, WAL. I wish more people would fill this field in as it would be very helpful.

Sounds helpful certainly.

But I more meant British relatives. I don't have many relatives on 23&me and FTDNA because the client base is widely American / colonist and most are distant.

AntG
01-12-2017, 12:16 PM
I can't back this up but I've read that Ancestry is the most popular in Great Britain but FTDNA in Ireland...
Obviously home DNA testing hasn't been out as long in the British Isles as in the US which probably explains my lack of good matches so far.

MacUalraig
01-12-2017, 12:35 PM
Do you mean for autosomal? FTDNA are big hitters in the Y but they are minnows in the autosomal game. It can be difficult to get independent data on this though. I only have I think two proven Irish autosomal matches but I wouldn't really expect any anyway given that its only effective back to say early 1800s. Unless one of the Belfast Hamiltons comes up trumps :-)

cvolt
01-12-2017, 12:36 PM
I've done Ancestry and FTDNA so here's what I think (I'm American btw): I did dna testing mainly for an ethnicity breakdown and tested with Ancestry first. I was quickly disappointed with the "percentages" of each ethnicity I was given, it just didn't seem possible. After using the raw data on Gedmatch, I realized Ancestry did a good job of finding my ethnic groups but terrible with the proportions. So that's where my value was at, the raw data. Ftdna gave very similar results to my Ancestry breakdown but I found the proportions to be more in line with my gedmatch results (I know a lot of people aren't fans of Ftdna's ethnicity test though). As for the family finder, that's where I feel Ancestry's value is at. I'd rather have tested with 23 and Me because I believe they're more accurate and specific with your origins, and at the end of the day I could use Gedmatch to see who I match with on a larger scale. :)

MacUalraig
01-12-2017, 12:38 PM
I can't back this up but I've read that Ancestry is the most popular in Great Britain but FTDNA in Ireland...
Obviously home DNA testing hasn't been out as long in the British Isles as in the US which probably explains my lack of good matches so far.

I have several Ancestry matches from around your area which if they are true positives probably are connected with my ggm from Staffs (Tipton area).

Tz85
01-12-2017, 03:13 PM
I've tested with both Ancestry, and FTDNA. I thought FTDNA ethnic breakdown was bad, I was wrong. Ancestry's takes the cake. It's terrible. As far as matching, I somehow only have 20k matching segments on my ancestry kit at Gedmatch. My FTDNA kit has 60k matching segments at Gedmatch. I have also tested my mom. My Ancestry kit is missing tons of matches that myself and my mom match. I'd go with FTDNA just based on raw data alone.

JohnLightbridge
01-12-2017, 09:51 PM
I am talking autosomal matches. If Ancestry.com is anything like FTDNA and 23&me I will have few matches as it is and most distant American cousins.

AntG
01-12-2017, 11:55 PM
I have several Ancestry matches from around your area which if they are true positives probably are connected with my ggm from Staffs (Tipton area).

Yes, I know of Tipton. I have no known genealogical connection with the Midlands. My maternal family come from Belfast and Y-DNA is Irish Type III. :) I'm curious if the LivingDNA test I'm awaiting will show any English at all, as unlike the big three, it claims to be able to break down the UK in to 21 regions.

AntG
01-13-2017, 12:02 AM
I am talking autosomal matches. If Ancestry.com is anything like FTDNA and 23&me I will have few matches as it is and most distant American cousins. I like Ancestry most out of the big three for autosomal but I've only got 86 "4th cousins and closer", most of which appear to be across the pond in the US (actually, nothing closer than their label "4th to 6th cousin"). It's a waiting game :/ It is encouraging that Ancestry reported in the last week that DNA sales in Q4 of 2016 exceeded DNA kits sold in the whole of 2015... https://www.ancestry.com/corporate/newsroom/press-releases/ancestry-sets-ancestrydna-sales-record-over-holiday-period-and-fourth - there isn't a country break down of where the sales were, however.

sktibo
01-13-2017, 01:00 AM
FWIW
23andme came closest to my paper trail. In some categories, very close. However, I like the other two as well