04 July 2013

Pay more for less

John Grenham's latest column in the Irish Times comments on the theory that copper-mining Bronze-Age warriors invaded Ireland some 2,500 years ago and all but exterminated the farmers already living there.
The theory is attributed to "a spokesman for IrelandsDNA, a commercial DNA testing company that also trades as ScotlandsDNA and BritainsDNA."
This is a company that has a reputation for publicity-seeking announcements. Grenham comments that "technically speaking, it is one of the most advanced genealogical DNA-testing outfits in Europe, and shouldn’t need to attract customers by associating itself with such theories." One wonders.
What other commercial "genealogical DNA-testing outfits in Europe" are there? Oxford Ancestors is the only one I know of and they charge very high prices.
As far as I'm aware IrelandsDNA advertised Fatherline YDNA test of over 15,000 Y chromosome markers is more than any other product on the market at a  cost of €229 (over $300 Cdn)
Their Motherline mitochondrial DNA test is of 3,000 markers, which is much less than offered by Family Tree DNA and only 200 more than included in the 23andMe test.
Their All my Ancestry test is of 250,000 autosomal markers at a cost of €209 ($285 Cdn), less than half the markers tested by Family Tree DNA and 23andMe for $99.
Some people hold that by testing with a British or European company they will receive a test more applicable to their ancestry. I know of no evidence to support that belief.

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