01 May 2007

Trend-setting genealogy

Family Tree DNA, the largest commercial DNA testing company for genealogy, shows annual growth in the number of records over 60%. Ever more people are getting tested as they search for genetic cousins and explore their deep roots.

FTDNA is also seeing growth in the number of distinct surnames in their database, up about 30% in 12 months. As of 1 May there are 62581 unique surnames in the database. If you test through one of their 4010 surname projects you benefit from a discount rate for tests and enhance your chances of finding genetic cousins.

The graph shows the trends in number of haplogroups found for different numbers of markers tested. Haplogroups are the genetic equivalent of surnames, defined by a string of digits representing the number of short tandem repeats at specific locations on the Y-chromosome. As of 1 May FTDNA has found 23,449 distinct 12-marker haplogroups. That's not very many if you consider that theoretically only three possibilities for the number of repeats at each of 12-marker would mean 531,441 12- marker haplogroups. This implies many people share the same 12-marker haplogroup; 360 people tested share mine which is included in the R1b1c group.

People with many 12-marker genetic cousins need more markers tested to reduce the number of matches. There are now more 25- than 12-marker haplogroups. 37-marker haplogroups are increasing more rapidly and slowly converging on the number of 25-marker haplogroups.

1 comment:

TheGeneticGenealogist said...

Good for FTDNA! It's great to see more people joining us in the world of genetic genealogy. It's also great to see that so many people are taking advantage of 25 and 37-marker tests. Thank you for sharing this information with your readers!