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How Many Markers Should I Order?

To paraphrase Orin Wells of The Wells Family Research Association in a posting to the the Genealogy DNA list, 12 markers are pretty worthless unless your objective is simply to prove that there is no connection. 25/26 markers is probably alright IF you are dealing with the same surname AND you have credible genealogy connecting the two testees. Otherwise, if you can not find, or are uncertain of, the connecting genealogical records I would advise going to 37/43 markers depending on the testing company. I did not write that but I'll have to say that in my experience it has certainly proven to be true. My advice is that everyone should have at least 37 markers, and 67 or more if you are attempting to separate family branches.

Choose your Laboratory and Test here

It may be helpful to review Y-DNA Testing Company STR Marker Comparison Chart prepared by Michael L. Hébert displaying which particular markers each company tests.

Then, to help you choose your test and testing company ISOGG has prepared a chart comparing testing companies on several factors at   ISOGG Chart.   Or you can take a look at   Nelda's Chart  for another view.

After that review you can access 'sign-up' pages for either Family Tree DNA or DNA Heritage by clicking either of the links below. As has been mentioned before, we are volunteers with no financial interest whatsoever in your testing and while these, and many other laboratories, will do an accurate job of testing your DNA, we have a strong preference for Family Tree DNA because of its wide variety of Advanced Tests available and because of our ease of access to your data.

DNA Heritage testing
is no longer offered.      

Should you want to test with another laboratory and would like any additional assistance, contact jim berry.

In addition to your regular test, but not in replacement of it, you should certainly also consider the free test offered by Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF). Click 'Other Tests' for more information.


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Last Revised August 29, 2011

Direct Project questions to jim berry or Carol Vass.
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