Our autosomal DNA test is known as Family Finder. This test provides you with a breakdown of your ethnic makeup and is designed to help you find relatives on either of side your ancestral lines within the last five generations. If you are trying to confirm a relationship with someone who is a third cousin or closer, the Family Finder test is recommended.
Based on the amount of autosomal DNA shared between two individuals, we’re able to determine when those individuals should have shared a common ancestor. However, different amounts of shared autosomal DNA can indicate many different shared relationships, and the random recombination factor can make individuals appear more closely or more distantly related than they are. Typically, this test can be used to find relatives that share a common ancestor within about five generations.
The Family Finder test is designed to trace all of your ancestral lines (5 generations and beyond) using your autosomal DNA. It will confidently identify relationships for five generations. Family Finder tests thousands of data points on your 22 autosomal chromosomes. Your results are then compared to others in the Family Finder database. The Family Finder software detects linked blocks (segments) of DNA that indicate a common ancestor. The number and size of these segments is used to determine how recently any two people are related.
The strengths of the Family Finder test are that it may be used with equal success by both men and women and its ability to find connections on any of your family lines. The challenge is determining which branch of your family tree you share with your cousin. This can be accomplished with traditional genealogical records and by utilizing other types of DNA tests.
Tracing Your Ancestral Lines
The Family Finder test traces all of your ancestral lines. This is different from our mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) tests, which exclusively test the direct maternal and paternal lines, respectively.
Autosomal DNA is the mixture of DNA you received from both parents (about 50% from your mother and about 50% from your father). Because autosomal DNA is a mixture of your mother’s and father’s DNA, it is unique to each person.
Please note that this test cannot distinguish between matches from your mother’s side versus your father’s side. However, by testing more relatives, you will be able to compare their results to your own to determine which portions of your DNA come from which ancestral line.
Is the Family Finder test medical?
No. The Family Finder test is for ancestry and genealogy only
Because the field of genetics is dynamic and constantly evolving with consistent research being done around the entire genome or parts of it, there is no assurance that the raw data of any tests of any kind may reveal information from which a qualified person may extract health-related information.
We do not share your results other than for the purposes to which you have consented or to which you may consent. Additionally, in 2008, GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act) was passed in the United States. The GINA Act stops insurance firms from using DNA test results to deny coverage. All of your raw data and information are held behind your sign in pages at FamilyTreeDNA.
Family Finder Tools & Features
You will receive the following tools and features with the Family Finder test.
Family Finder Matches
Family Finder matches (your autosomal DNA relatives) are other individuals in our database who have also taken the Family Finder test and who are found to share a common ancestor from ANY of your ancestral lines within the past five generations through autosomal DNA comparison. The names and emails of your matches, an estimate of how closely related they are to you, and any genealogical information they have uploaded are provided to you in order to collaborate on genealogy and get past genealogical brick walls.
Based on our proprietary algorithm, which calculates the amount of autosomal DNA shared (both the longest segment of shared autosomal DNA and the number of centimorgans (cMs)) between you and each person, we find and report to you other testers who share a common ancestor with you within about five generations on either side of your family.
In order to be a match:
- If the total shared cMs is less than 20, at least one shared segment of autosomal DNA must be at least 9 cMs.
- If the longest segment of shared DNA is greater than 9 cM, the match will show regardless of total shared cMs or the number of matching segments.
Please remember that the random recombination factor can make individuals appear more closely or more distantly related to you than they actually are. This can also cause certain distant relatives to not match at all if they do not meet the shared DNA thresholds for matching.
Matching is Optional
Viewing your matches and sharing your information with matches is optional. You can opt in and out of matching at any time.
Family Matching Feature
While this test itself cannot distinguish which relatives are from your maternal side or paternal side, we offer a Family Matching feature. Once you have linked a matching relative on your Family Tree, relatives within a certain threshold will be bucketed into maternal and/or paternal categories.
myOrigins® gives you a breakdown of your ethnic makeup by percent. myOrigins® compares your DNA to reference populations around the world that have been tested through scientific research. Your myOrigins® results can go back in time much further than your matches.
Important: While the Family Finder test provides a list of ethnic percentages and genetic matches, this test does not distinguish between maternal and paternal ethnicities or matches.
ancientOrigins is a feature that compares your autosomal DNA to DNA found at archaeological dig sites throughout the European continent.
With the inclusion of ancient artifacts found at each dig site, ancientOrigins provides a percentile breakdown of your DNA’s relation to the three major groups of people associated with ancient migrations on the European continent.
The Chromosome Browser tool allows you to view and compare the DNA segments, across your 22 autosomal chromosome pairs and X chromosome, that you share with your Family Finder matches (autosomal DNA relatives).
The Chromosome Painter uses color visuals to show you which segments of your autosomal DNA come from your myOrigins® Continental Regions and Super Populations and allows you to break down your origins across your 22 autosomal chromosome pairs.
Family Finder Matrix
The Family Finder Matrix allows you to select up to 10 of your matches and compare them to each other to see if they have an autosomal genetic relationship between each other.
Download Your Family Finder Raw Data
With the Family Finder test, you have the ability to download a data file that lists your autosomal DNA results code for each of the thousands of locations tested.