I’m often asked about the benefits of upgrading Y DNA tests at Family Tree DNA, and if people should order an upgrade.
The answer to this, like just about everything else DNA is “it depends.”
Yes – Upgrade!
The answer IS YES if:
- You have tested less than 37 markers. You really need 37 or 67 markers minimally today for genealogy.
- You want to obtain all of the information possible about your ancestral lineage and where it came from. (That’s me!)
- You want to participate in family as well as scientific research by upgrading to the Big Y. Why the Big Y? I wrote about that here.
- You want the most refined haplogroup possible in order to see who you match the most closely that might not be a match on the STR (12-111) panels. This is particularly useful in terms of looking for clan overlap and relatedness further back in time in Scotland, for example.
- You have lots of matches at your current level and you wish to eliminate the ones that aren’t relevant.
- You have (your own) surname matches at levels higher than you’ve tested and you want to further determine which matches are closer genealogically.
- You have no matches at your current level. Sometimes you pick up matches at higher levels because they allow more mutations and your mutations (or their mutations) may simply fall in the lower panels.
- You want to leave a legacy for future genealogists by providing as much information as possible. This is especially important if you are the last of your line, or males with surname from your family line are in short supply.
No – Maybe Not Now
The answer IS NO if none of the above applies and:
- You’ve already tested to 37 markers, don’t have matches at lower levels, and you don’t care.
- You’ve tested to 37 markers, don’t have matches and have to choose between a Y upgrade and a different kind of test, like autosomal or mitochondrial that you haven’t yet taken. You’ll probably learn more by testing an untapped resource.
- You’ve tested to 37 markers and have to choose between a Y upgrade and a new test for a relative that will provide information about one of your paternal ancestral lines that hasn’t been tested. Hint, look at the surname project in question to be sure your lines aren’t already present.
Surname Project Search
You can search for the surname and projects on the main Family Tree DNA page by scrolling down until you see the surname search box.
Of course, if your ancestor is represented in a public surname project, and you have someone available to test, it’s always a good idea to test that person…well…because you never know if there was an adoption or some hanky panky – or your genealogy is wrong. Better to find out now that to go on blissfully doing genealogy on the wrong line.
Summer Sale is in Full Swing
The great news is that the Family Tree DNA Summer Sale is in full swing, and unlike last year’s sale, upgrades ARE included.
Plus, as an added bonus, when you upgrade to the Big Y-500 test, the markers between where you’ve already tested and the Big Y-500 are included in the price. So if you’ve tested to 37 markers and order the Big Y 500, you receive:
- 67 marker upgrade
- 111 marker upgrade
- Big Y test
- Additional markers to total 500 above the 111 marker panel – that’s 389 extra markers for free with the Big Y
In essence, this upgrade is 4 tests bundled into one and it’s on sale for less than the Big Y itself used to cost on sale, a year ago, at about $500. This has never been a better value than it is now.
Upgrade prices are shown above and you can order by clicking here and signing on to your account. Then, just click on the blue upgrade button by your Y DNA results.
Need to order a new test, not an upgrade? Great! Click here.
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Thank you so much.
DNA Purchases and Free Transfers
- Family Tree DNA
- MyHeritage DNA only
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- MyHeritage FREE DNA file upload
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- 23andMe Ancestry Plus Health
- Legacy Tree Genealogists for genealogy research