There are many reasons for wanting to test your DNA. You may want to search for a family member such as a parent, or perhaps you may just want to know where you came from based on your gene sequence. FamilyTreeDNA (also known as FTDNA) is a DNA-analysis service that can analyze genealogy, history, and ancestry based on a saliva sample.

The test is simple in that all users need to do is mail in a cheek swab and await the results. If you subscribe to the database, you can even store your results for up to 25 years! Another unique feature that most other services don’t offer is that FTDNA will provide you with contact information for your DNA matches. There are several different tests available, so consumers can choose the one they need.

The Family Finder option helps users when they are tracing their family’s past and making connections. The results can be viewed via myOrigins, which is a tool that can help you map out an ethnic and geographic breakdown of your ancestry. The Family Finder option also has a “population finder,” which is especially helpful to genealogy aficionados.

The Y-DNA test can trace your “paternal migration” so that you can analyze where your paternal ancestors came from and how they moved around and ended up where they did. Clear, direct lines are provided after the Y-DNA is analyzed and your last name is traced back to its origins. Contrary to the Y-DNA option, the mtDNA option traces your mother’s ancestry. FTDNA traces, like the Y-DNA option, can provide precise information on your female ancestors’ origins and paths.

A great feature of FTDNA is the FTDNATiP:tm: program. This tool can tell you the likelihood of sharing a common ancestor within generations. There is a mapping tool as well, which you can use to compare your known ancestor’s location with other ancestors that you match with.

Users can compare chromosomal segments with the service’s “chromosome browser” feature, and the service also provides biogeographical ancestry analysis. The prices are comparable to other services, and some say it’s an even better deal when considering what comes in each package and how many options are available. Prices start at $59 (when there is a sale) and can range up to around $550.

One of the best features of the service is the extensive amount of information that can be found on the “Learning Center” section of the user-friendly website. Another great feature is that consumers are able to conduct an “autosomal transfer” from other DNA testing sites including 23andMe and Ancestry DNA.

FTDNA prides itself on great customer service, and there is also a forum where users can discuss their DNA profiles and ask questions. If you are interested in finding out not only your genetic make up but also where you are from, is a great resource. It is one of the most respected DNA-analysis services available and can provide you with the important information about your ancestry that you are looking for.

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