There are numerous DNA testing companies throughout the world. However, the one with the largest database of genealogically oriented participants is Family Tree DNA based in Houston, Texas. For this reason we chose to go with Family Tree DNA and have been very happy with them.
As of May 2011 their database contained over 206,000 Y-DNA records and 127,000 Mt-DNA records and they have over 6400 family surname projects like ours.
Basic information about testing with our project follows below but more information including a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page and tutorials on DNA testing can be found on the FTDNA website at:
If there is a discrepancy in what this site says and what FTDNA’s site says, go by what FTDNA says as they are the most up to date on their own information.
How is the test performed?
Your genetic test kit consists of a cheek scraper and a collection tube. In about five minutes, you will be able to read the instructions and perform a painless cheek scraping. The effect of using the scraper is about the same as brushing your cheek with a soft bristle toothbrush. A backup scraper & tube is included to insure that a good sample is obtained by our lab. We intend that you use them both!
Then what happens?
After you have placed your order, a genetic test kit and instructions will be mailed to you. Upon its’ return your genetic sample will be processed, and the results will be entered into our secure, private and confidential non-web-based genetic library. A comparison between your specific genetic markers and those of others in the database will then be performed and you will be notified if another person matches your results perfectly. You will also be provided with the email of that person assuming he has authorized FTDNA to do so.
Will I have the right to remove my genetic profile from the database at some later time?
Yes. Just like an email list, if you decide that you want your data deleted from the database, you may email FTDNA, they will look up your ID number, and ask that it be deleted from the Database.
If the marker analysis shows that I carry a problematic gene, will I be informed?
No. FTDNA won’t know if you show positive for a disease, as they are only testing your DNA to look at 12, 2, 37 or 67 specific Loci on the Y Chromosome. The kit does not test for genetic or criminal data
How long will it take for me to get my results?
From the time you return your specimens to FTDNA it will take approximately five to seven weeks to test your DNA sample, analyze the specimens and compare the results to data in the existing genetic library. You will be notified by email and on your Personal Page when your results is expected.
How far back can you determine a genetic link?
All genetic tests from Family Tree DNA will provide you a probability that you and another person, who have an exact match, will have your Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) within a range of time backwards. Their 12 marker test gives you the following range: 14.5 generations (50%) likelihood & 48 generations (90%) likelihood. Using our new 25 marker test the 50% likelihood drops to 7 generations and the 90% to 19.8 generations. Higher resolution tests such as the 37, 67 or 111 marker tests bring that likelihood much closer in time. For more and better information read the tutorials and FAQ’s on the FTDNA website.
What is FTDNA’s policy on confidentiality and privacy?
FTDNA understands the extreme need for privacy, even when the goal is genealogy rather than courtroom or medical determinants. Much has been written about privacy and confidentiality of genetic testing over the last 5-10 years, and many states have passed legislation in this area. They follow the most stringent guidelines for privacy. —They control the Surnames Database Library, while the University of Arizona controls and maintains the genetic library on their behalf. Therefore, there is a double safety net. The first is upon them in the form of State legislation, and the other upon the University of Arizona which, is bound by both State and Federal privacy and confidentiality legislation. To the best of their knowledge, no other genetics testing company has voluntarily placed itself under such strict regulations.
What steps does Family Tree DNA take to keep my results confidential?
Your privacy is assured because the testing facility will not have access to your name. Only your unique number will accompany your collection tube to the testing lab. The computer-generated number is the only information about you that the testing facility will see. Once your test has been completed, the results will be entered in a secure non-web-based database, and the lab will inform FTDNA of any matches between two coded numbers. The information placed in their Surnames Database Library will only display your last name on our web site. No specific information about you will be available at the web site. .
What does the lab do with the actual DNA sample once the test is completed?
The DNA extracted from your sample is kept by the lab for a period of 25 years for your exclusive use. It is important to note that Family Tree DNA adopts a “double safety net” in regard to your sample: Arizona Research Labs at the campus of the University of Arizona keeps the DNA associated to a number and not a name, while Family Tree DNA offices keep the database with no access to the actual sample.
One of the first things people ask about is price….When it comes to price, we, as a group, get a discount off the retail price offered someone not belonging to a surname project.
To find the price of a test go to the FTDNA website, place “BARNETT” in the Project Search Box. Once on the project website, click on “Join”. You will see the price list. I suggest at least a 37, or better yet, a 67 marker Y-DNA test. Also, FTDNA recently began offering what they call a Family Finder Test which tests one’s Autosomal DNA. I am a very big advocate of this test and will tout it in our posts as more is learned from our project members who take the test.
How Many Markers Should I Test?
This is a very subjective topic. Most of the people testing in the Barnett Project have tested with at least the 37 marker test and many have upgraded to the 67 marker test. I (Mic Barnette) feel the 12 marker test is too vague for our group. The 12 marker test tests back about 48 generations which gets you back to a time before people were using surnames. The 37 and 67 marker tests get you into a more genealogically traceable time frame of about 200-300 years ago. Since we have as many members as we do in our group it is likely you will match someone. If you do not it will only be a matter of time when someone does test with the group and will match you. When you match someone or when they match you it is only natural to want to know how or how close you match. If you have to upgrade your test, it will be another 6-8 weeks to get your answer. Therefore, I feel it is better to start with the 37 or 67 marker test so you will not have to wait for the results of the new test.
Many of the links about DNA on our Links and Supplies Page and throughout our Project website reference Family Tree DNA and may have also been covered elsewhere on this website
If you are a Barnett please test through our group at FTDNA as you will be in their/our database and your results will be compared against all others who have tested with FTDNA.
On the other hand, should you already have tested with another company, you may upload your results to the Ysearch.org and your data will be compared against anyone else who has uploaded their own data to that website.
If you have tested with another company, please contact Mic at firstname.lastname@example.org and at least list your name and lineage on our website with the appropriate group.
Women Can Participate Also
If you are a woman you can not take the Y-DNA test but you can sponsor a male relative such as a husband, father, brother or cousin who can. As a sponsor you can be the contact person within the project for your relative.
Other Ways to Participate in Our Project
Family Tree DNA recently offered what they call the Family Finder Test. This is a DNA on autosomal DNA which everyone, male and female inherit, meaning both men and women can take this test. It will compare all your ancestors up to about 6 generations on all lines. If another person in the FTDNA database is also descended from one of your ancestors the test will give a positive report to both of you. More can be learned on the FTDNA website at: http://www.familytreedna.com/cj.aspx?ftdna_ref=504