What to Order? – Geno 2.0 vs Family Tree DNA Products

There have been a lot of questions lately about what to order from whom and why relative to the Geno 2.0 kit and the Family Tree DNA products.  I’ve but together the following table as a “cheat sheet” that includes the basic reasons that people order one versus the other, or both.

In a nutshell, if it’s genealogy you’re interested in, then you want to order the Family Tree DNA products because they provide you with specific mutation locations, the mutation values and a list of matches to other people based on those mutations.  The Geno 2.0 tests are more anthropological (deep ancestry) in nature.  In some cases, specifically the Y-line testing, these tests go hand in hand.

Product Desired Family Tree DNA Geno 2.0
Y-Line
Markers for genealogy, matches with other people in a genealogical timeframe 12, 25, 37, 67 and 111 markers and values, includes matches and other tools No
Haplogroup assignment Included with purchase of above markers at a general level.  Can then order additional SNP tests or Geno 2.0 to obtain deeper results. Extensive – deepest available within industry and inclusive of SNPs discovered through November 2011
Ethnicity of that specific line based on haplogroup assignment Yes Yes
Maps, haplogroup origins Yes Yes
Mitochondrial DNA
Mutations for genealogy, matches with other people in a genealogical timeframe mtDNA (HVR1), mtDNAPlus (HVR1+HVR2) and full sequence mutations, includes matches and other tools. No
Haplogroup assignment Included with purchase at general level.  Full assignment at deepest level with the full sequence. Yes, deepest level.
Ethnicity of that specific line based on haplogroup assignment Yes Yes
Maps, haplogroup origins Yes Yes
Autosomal Family Finder
Ethnicity percentages for all ancestral lines combined* Yes Yes
Cousin matches Yes, list of matches provided with common surnames if information provided by tester No
Download of data Yes Yes
Transfer to Family Tree DNA N/A Yes – must be manually initiated
Social Networking Tools No Yes – not at initial release

*Note that the ethnicity percentages will be calculated using different base populations and the results will likely be somewhat different.  The National Geographic product is using new SNP data gathered through their field work within the Genographic Project.  So while this information is provided in both tests, I would not presume it will be the same nor that it is duplicative.

This table isn’t meant to be a description or comparison of every feature in the various tests, but the decision criteria to purchase one type of test versus the other.

27 thoughts on “What to Order? – Geno 2.0 vs Family Tree DNA Products

  1. Is it true that FTDNA is handling the lab part of new Geno 2.0 test? Do you know if you need to send a different DNA sample to FTDNA if you test with Geno 2.0 and then want the y-line and mtDNA mutation markers? Or can FTDNA use the DNA sample you collected for the Geno 2.0 test?

      • Yesterday I sent back my husband’s test kit from FTDNA for full sequence mtDNA. I also this weekend received the test kits for Geno 2 so I sent them along at the same time…both the FTDNA and the Geno 2 kits got sent back to the exact same address for the lab in Houston. The Geno 2 kit sign in process seemed to indicate that after the results come back I will have an opportunity through a link in the Geno 2 account I just created to transfer sample and results to FTDNA. I am assuming when I do that it will let me sign into an existing FTDNA account so that my sample and results are attached to an existing account. I also read that transferring to FTDNA will then make that sample available for upgrade there. Bottom line, it seems the Geno 2 sample can be added to an existing FTDNA account, or be upgraded to other FTDNA products once it is transferred.

  2. Roberta,
    I am involved with a research group. We have 12 matching kits of various genetic distance. My perfect match is with a person with a different surname, ( not from adoption). We “think” this goes back 5 generations to the connection. Would a Family Finder test be benifical for us?
    I also have a know relative in the group,but no knowledge of degree. We think our ancestors were brothers. We are talking 1770/80. Would the family finder test help define that relativeness?
    Appreciate any input.
    Joyce

    • Hi Joyce. I recently blogged about a similar case. I can’t say whether it would or wouldn’t. The only real way to know is to take the FF test. I’d say in your case, you could confirm the relationship, but you would not be able to interpret a nonmatch as negative. My family is working on a similar situation with one from the same timeframe. Here’s the blog you need to reference that explains the methodology.

      http://dna-explained.com/2012/10/09/autosomal-matching-is-great-grandmas-brother-really-her-brother/

      • Would the FTDNA participants need to do a new swab? They have all done the yDNA tests up to a min of 37 markers.
        Joyce

      • Yes, Family Tree DNA clients must order the Geno2.0 kit separately, through National Geographic, http://www.genographic.com, and swab again. At some point in the future, there may be an upgrade available for existing Family Tree DNA clients, but when that would be has not been revealed.

      • I am sorry. I must have missed something. We have testee’s that have done min of 37 markers at FTDNA. You said the FF test would be benificial. I thouht that was Family Finders test do you need the geno.2 test instead?

      • Yes, FF is Family Finder. The only reason you might want the Geno 2.0 is to determine the deepest haplogroup clade and/or another test to give you percentages of ethnicity. Geno 2.0 will not give you the list of cousin matches that FF will.

      • Thats what I thought. Do we have to submit another cheek swab? For some of our members that might not now be possible.
        Joyce

      • Yes, for Geno 2.0, but later they may be able to upgrade from an existing sample. However, if it’s just the deep haplogroup info you need, order one kit for someone in the group who is living. The deep haplogroup info pertains to everyone in that family surname group who is related via the STR markers. For Family Finder, they don’t need to submit another swab if the sample is still viable.

  3. I am looking for the right product for a good friend of mine. He is adopted, knows his biological family name and would like to know his geaneology and ancestry. Would Geno 2.0 or Family Tree DNA be the better choice?

  4. Robert thank you so very much for your evaluation of Family Tree DNA and the National Geographic DNA study and your blog. I found all this information very helpful and appreciate your willingness to help others. I have a question also. Who would be the better candidate for the Geno 2.0 project my brother or me. Since he has the X & Y I thought he would however, after finding your information I wanted your opinion. Thank you for your service. Betty

    • He would be because he has the Y. You both have the same mitochondrial DNA, but don’t confuse that with the X chromosome. You carry 2 X chromosomes which make you a female and he carried one, from mother only, plus the Y from Dad which makes him male:)

  5. Thank you for your shared information. I took the test Geno-2 from the National Genographic project and my results are returned as being T2B3 from my maternal line. I don’t have any male family members on my father’s side who might want to share. Is there any other information I can obtain from my results?

  6. Do you have any experience with AncestryDNA from Ancestry.com? Just wondering how that compares to Geno2.0 as I was about to buy Geno until I realized this other one exists as well. Thanks.

    • They are very different. Look at today’s blog about Adoptees and it has a lot of info about ancestry’s test. It depends on what you are looking for. Ancestry has a lot of issues. I would recommend Family Finder over Ancestry. Those two are more comparable than Ancestry and Geno 2.0. Search on by blog for “Ancestry” in the search box in the upper right hand corner. I’ve written about their test several times.

  7. Pingback: 2012 Top 10 Genetic Genealogy Happenings | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  8. Pingback: Autosomal Testing Comparison | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  9. I am very interested in DNA history and population movement etc. I have followed the Nat Geo projects since they started. I am saving money for the new Nat Geno 2.0 and would also like to do the Family Finder. However, as a female, will I be able to get as much information as a male relative would be able to get on some of the J markers for migration? My family only has 3 living males – and it is doubtful that any of them will agree. However, if it would provide more info, I would try work very hard to talk 1 of them into participating and paying for the test. Not sure it will be possible, but I would give it a try – although I would worry a bit about the kits not coming out until Oct. The one that might consider it is 95…

  10. What test would you suggest for a female that has been adopted but has been able to locate who her mother was and that family line. The AncestryDNA test has been done but we are at a standstill knowing which way to go.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s