10 December 2013


BritainsDNA, a company that came up twice in my investigations recently, boasts it "offers a unique package of information featuring thorough historical analyses of results currently unmatched by any other European DNA ancestry testing company."

The first time was in an article Setting the record straight about Sara Sheridan’s “Japanese” DNA   British genetic genealogist Debbie Kennett opines that "I’ve previously written about the exaggerated and misleading haplogroup stories provided by some DNA testing companies. BritainsDNA, which also trades under the names ScotlandsDNA, IrelandsDNA and YorkshiresDNA, has been one of the worst offenders in this regard in the last year"
Debbie's comment relates to their interpretation of their mitochondrial DNA test which looks at around 3000 mitochondrial base pairs. She considers the interpretation incorrect by placing the maternal origin of this Jewish woman's haplogroup in northern Japan.
The cost at BritainsDNA is also high, £189. Compare that to Family Tree DNA which sequences all 16569 base pairs in the mitochondrial genome -  currently on offer for $169 (about £103) in a sale which closes at the end of December.

The second instance related to a BritainsDNA test called All my Ancestry the results of which were reported in a blog post by Elizabeth Kipp. Elizabeth comments regarding the results for her brother that "the results received pretty much compliment the results for him at FT DNA but a slightly deeper ancestral picture shows up."
BritainsDNA state that this test analyzes over 250,000 autosomal markers and compares "your data to an extensive set of reference samples of known ancestry, the largest on the market, including over 4000 individuals from over 200 populations from all over the world."
Given the questionable analysis called out by Debbie for mitochondrial DNA I do wonder how much confidence one can place in the company's autosomal DNA analysis, say compared to that available for free, when it's working, through gedmatch.com using data uploaded from Family Tree DNA at less than half the cost and with twice as many markers analyzed.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Kipp said...

The All my Ancestry results have now come in at BritainsDNA for my brother and I may blog on them tomorrow. They are most interesting. Again the Family Finder results at FT DNA and the All my Ancestry results are complimentary. However the ancestral depth is much greater with the BritainsDNA results. My brother at FT DNA showed only European ancestry (including the British Isles) as 100% whereas I showed 93% Orcadian (British Isles only) and 7% Middle East (which includes up into the Steppes (Ukraine/Georgia/Ossettia). The All My Ancestry did pick up the Middle East ancestry for my brother albeit in very very small amounts. The colour charts in All My Ancestry are fabulous actually. Since I tested my brother at Ethnoancestry they offered the opportunity to do all the testing at a reduced price last July.

I am tempted to do my DNA at BritainsDNA as well just to see the differences between the two of us (we are full siblings). I shall save my nickles (can not say pennies anymore!).

I need to have a little more understanding of one section where the 22 chromosome pairs are separated into two lines each one representing one of our parents. The one set shows only European/British whilst the other set contains mostly European/British with a few spots of Middle East/Steppes information. This is called chromosome painting and is unique to BritainsDNA I believe.

All in all, I am very pleased with the results from BritainsDNA. They found 287 SNPs of which a number are new so will need to be added to the yDNA chart for I2a1b2 at ISOGG once there are sufficient results to give us the new picture for this haplogroup.

Ken Nordvedt, well known genetic genealogist, first placed our line into ancient British DNA called Isles B4 back in 2009 and BritainsDNA has verified this placement. That has made me rethink my Blake line at Andover, Hampshire. I suspect now that my line there greatly precedes surnames and at some point my ancestor selected the surname Blake possibly a male in my line married into a Blake family and simply took his wife's surname as his own. Since I can trace back to the late 1400s and the surname Blake was being used it was prior to that time.

I may not have to blog on All my Ancestry now that I have commented on your post. Sorry I didn't see it sooner. Catching up on my reading!

Elizabeth Kipp