The Complete Guide to FamilyTreeDNA

Y-DNA, Mitochondrial, Autosomal and X-DNA


Author: Estes, Roberta
Publication Date: 2024
Pages: 264 pp.


The print version of The Complete Guide to FamilyTreeDNA  is available in an 8-1/2”11” paperback format. The roughly 150 illustrations found in the paper edition–most of them computer screen shots– are in black and white; the illustrations in the eBook are in full color. Each version of the Family Tree DNA book has its own special appeal, and now researchers can decide which one will work best for them.

FamilyTreeDNA, founded in 2000, was the first and is still the only company to offer three kinds of DNA testing for genealogy.

  • The Family Finder autosomal DNA test provides you with your ethnicity breakdown, plus matches to close and distant family members on both the paternal and maternal sides of your family.
  • Mitochondrial DNA tests your mother’s direct maternal line, providing recent matches and deep heritage.
  • Y-DNA tests the direct paternal (surname) line for men, providing matches to males who are both recently and distantly related.

All three DNA tests are indispensable for both genealogists and people searching for unknown parents and other family members.

For Both New and Existing Customers!

This book explains each kind of test, when it’s most useful, and how to incorporate the results into your genealogy. Author Roberta Estes provides clear, step-by-step instructions for understanding each test individually, and for deploying them together. If you’ve already tested at FamilyTreeDNA, this book is your one-stop source for understanding and using your results most productively. If you are new to FamilyTreeDNA testing, you’ll learn which test(s) to start with, then upgrade later as warranted. You will also be given purchase advice and learn how to fine-tune your results.

More Value!

In addition to the value of your personal test results, you will discover how joining Surname and other DNA Group Projects supported by FamilyTreeDNA promotes collaboration between genealogists with similar research interests. This book will help you to locate the most beneficial projects to join in order to maximize the value of your investment in DNA testing.

What’s Covered?

Here are just a few of the topics covered in The Complete Guide to FamilyTreeDNA:

  • The Science behind DNA tests – written for everyday people
  • Y-DNA – Your Father’s Story – types of markers and how to use your results
  • The Big Y test and how to interpret the results
  • Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) – Your Mother’s Story – matches and what they mean
  • Autosomal Family Finder Tests – Matches to All Your Family Lines
  • Shared Matches
  • Autosomal matches automatically assigned maternally or paternally
  • Your Ethnicity Percentages from around the world plus maps and chromosome painting
  • Finding, joining, and utilizing Group Projects
  • Public Tools for Y-DNA and Mitochondrial DNA
  • Creating Your Own DNA Pedigree Chart
  • Detailed Glossary of terms used in genetic genealogy

This comprehensive guidebook makes use of multiple visual aids. You will see screenshots like the ones you can expect to view on your own computer; roadmaps and checklists with instructions on how to proceed; plus, an extensive glossary to help you decipher the technical language associated with DNA testing.

 About the Author

Roberta Estes, author of the popular blog is a scientist, National Geographic  Society Genographic affiliate researcher, Million Mito team member, and founding pioneer in the genetic genealogy field. An avid genealogist for the past 40 years, Roberta has written over 1,600 articles about genetic genealogy and provides consulting to major publications and organizations. Additionally, Roberta’s book, DNA for Native American Genealogy, complements her website, the Native Heritage Project, at Roberta took her first DNA test in 1999 and hasn’t stopped.

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