Thinking of DNA testing? Which one is the best for you?

DNA testing kits are soaring in popularity.

But does it matter which test you choose?

We put three to the test.

An Ancestry DNA kit runs $99. 23 and Me is the same price. And Family Tree DNA is usually $79, but it was on sale for $59.

Both the Ancestry and 23 and Me tests ask the user to fill a tube with spit then shake it and bag it.

The Family Tree test is a simple cheek swab. The tests are registered online and popped into the mail.

Five weeks later, we heard from all three labs. Two of the reports were ready. Ancestry had an error and sent a free kit to retake.

More than two months later and the results were in.

The three tests were actually fairly consistent.

All three find the test subject Rob about 73 percent African - primarily West African, about 65 percent.

Ancestry was the most specific: 25 percent Nigerian, 20 percent Cameroon or the Congo, 14 percent Senegal and 12 percent Ivory Coast/Ghana.

The tests also found Rob  23 to 26 percent European - primarily the British Isles and about 15-percent Irish.

More detailed information was available online.

On Ancestry.com, Rob learned his ancestors were likely among African slaves brought to North Carolina.

On Family Tree DNA’s website, a family finder tool correctly connected Rob to a relative he knows and some he doesn't.

 

The experience only reaffirms Rob’s belief that American identities are a lot more complex and connected than many think.

 

If you want more detailed information, each company offers more when you pay a little more. With 23 and Me for example you can upgrade your test by spending an extra $100 and get information about your genetic code and your carrier status for certain diseases. Family Tree DNA offers three levels of testing at different price points. So choosing which test to take will really come down to what your interested in learning.

 

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