Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Family Tree Stands Above the Competition

I received the following e-mail today:

Dear Fellow Genealogist,

This week an article was published in the UK newspaper Daily Mail, quoting Ancestors Magazine, under the title: "£200-a-time ancestral DNA test kits are a rip off, say experts", by Andrew Levy.

The article was based on tests by the following companies: Oxford Ancestors, Ancestry DNA, and International Biosciences.

Family Tree DNA was not contacted for testing purposes, nor mentioned in that article. Having tested over 350,000 individuals (over 100,000 of our direct customers and 250,000 participants in National Geographic's Genographic Project) we could supply anyone who asks us with thousands of examples that prove the opposite of what the article stated.

Unfortunately, the journalist's conclusion is based on opportunist companies who noted our success and jumped into Genetic Genealogy to get a piece of it, but who did not have the science or the database that would allow for a serious work. Again, note that Family Tree DNA was NOT one of the companies that the journalist approached.

About 2 years ago, Oxford Ancestors announced to the world that they found a descendant of Genghis Khan living in Florida - a Caucasian accountant. Family Tree DNA proved that Oxford Ancestors was wrong. Tom Robinson, the person in question, recounts the entire story in his blog at The Associated Press later distributed the news: "Robinson, an associate accounting professor at the University of Miami, canceled a planned trip to Mongolia after learning of the new results. He said he never sought publicity on his ancestry. “The results that Family Tree DNA gave me are pretty conclusive,” he said. “I’m certainly not going to look for any more tests on Genghis Khan.” (

Family Tree DNA is proud to have the largest database of its kind in the world (more than all other companies combined), to adhere to the best science in the field, and to be the expert source for journalists from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, among others. National Geographic would not tarnish their century-old reputation by partnering with us.

That article, in the end, demonstrates the following:

- While Family Tree DNA prices are in line with other companies, price is not the only thing that matters when choosing a DNA testing company

- Science and database size are important factors when choosing a testing company

You are welcome to share this e-mail with whomever you feel necessary, and we make ourselves available to anyone with questions about our work.

E-mail me anytime!

Max Blankfeld
Vice-President, Operations and Marketing
"History Unearthed Daily"

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