Friday, 17 November 2006

Trends in Genetic Genealogy

An item here earlier in the week showed that the number of monthly postings on the Rootsweb DNA list is increasing, while those for some other major Rootsweb lists are declining. Are there other indications of increasing interest in genetic genealogy?

Family Tree DNA, the largest commercial DNA testing company for genealogy, includes statistics on its front web page. Since April the statistics have been dynamically linked to the company database; before that they were rounded estimates.

The company has reported total records in its database since April 2004. In the year to April 2005 these grew 48%. In the 12 months to April 2006 either the methodology changed, or business grew, dramatically, by 211%. For the 8-1/2 months from April to mid November 2006 the growth was 41%, an annualized rate of 57%.

Data for the number of 12 marker haplotypes and number of surnames have grown at about half the rate of the number of records. I think this means that more genetic cousins are being tested rather than entirely new 12 marker genetic territory being found, encouraging for those of us hoping to find more genetic matches.

The table below shows the data on which these figures are based

Date Records 12 marker haplotypes Surnames
01-Apr-04 19000 7800 7000
01-Jul-04 22000 8000 8000
01-Oct-04 24000 9000 9000
01-Jan-05 27000 9000 9000
01-Apr-05 30000 10000 10000
01-Jul-05 35000 11000 10000
01-Oct-05 40000 12000 15000
01-Jan-06 60000 15119 28921
01-Apr-06 83451 17147 46598
21-Apr-06 85226 17436 47377
20-Aug-06 104985 19905 53157
17-Sep-06 110176 20398 55288
15-Nov-06 117420 21236 57149