Ethnicity, heritage, ancestry… These are all terms that I have had the pleasure of convoluting and deconstructing thanks to my cultural anthropology classes. But really when you get to the biology of it all, it is not as complicated.

If you didn’t quite jump on National Geographic’s Genographic Project train and have been curious about your personal lineage, you can, now, in your own home, test your lineage.

DNA AncestryThanks to, and them teaming up with Sorenson Genomics, DNA testing is now much more simple. You can now integrate your DNA with the world’s largest online collection of historical records and family trees over at Why? Well if you are curious to understand your family tree and understand where your ancestors came from or connect with family across distance and time.

Welcome the age of personal genomics meeting web 2.0.

Albeit, what is offering is a beta product as of now, I consider the offer and pricing fair given the amount of laborwork involved. the Genetic Geneaologist quotes:

  • A Y-DNA test with 33 markers will be $149.
  • A Y-DNA test with 46 markers will be $199 (if you look at the sample results page, you’ll see a list of the 46 markers tested).
  • mtDNA test will be $179, although the exact testing parameters for the mtDNA test are unclear at this point (the website only states that HVR1 and HVR2 will be sequenced).

A Y-DNA test will trace your paternal line, and is only useful if you wanna test a male since guys got the Y-chromosome… The more markers the more information that will be resolved. Reciprocally, a mtDNA test will trace your maternal line and can be used for both males and females since we all have mitochondria which are inherited from our mother.

So you maybe curious, and wondering, “How do I get in on the action? What do I need to do?” This is what is you gotta do:

  1. Purchase a DNA test kit. Your kit will include three collection swabs, an envelope for recording your information and a postmarked return envelope.
  2. Swab the inside of your mouth. Follow the instructions provided, rubbing each swab inside both of your cheeks.
  3. Mail your kit to our labs. We’ll begin analyzing your DNA sample as soon as we receive it. Results are typically available within 2-3 weeks after the lab receives them.
  4. View your results online, which will include:
    • Your personal DNA profile
    • A map displaying the location of participants matching your DNA
    • A table comparing your DNA profile with matching profiles
    • A chart showing the range of generations in which you and another participant may share a common ancestor.
    • Safe, secure, and anonymous, e-mail connections with potential genetic cousins
    • A haplogroup prediction, map and migration history

9 thoughts on “ introduces

  1. Nice post Kambiz, thanks for the info – I think there are probably quite a few of us who might be surprised to learn where we have come from along the way.

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  3. I purchased my Y-DNA Kit and sent in my DNA to the Y-DNA Project in November, 2007. Yesterday, my cousin, Peter Flagg Maxson recieved HIS results and sent me a copy – listing my Y-DNA comparison. I have not recieved my results yet. When Can I Get My Results sent to me by Mail?

    Ray Maxson

  4. My cousin submitted the paternal Dna to for me. We’ve just received the results which put our family in the middle east. Turkey. Our paternal line is 100 percent Norwegian. How can this be right? Should I complain and have them retest for us?

  5. Hi Linda,

    I’d love to help you out but I need more information about your results. Let me first disclaim that I am not employed nor sponsored by… just someone with a knack for genetic genealogy and a graduate degree in biology.

    Anyways, I have looked at the details of the Paternal Lineage Test. There are two tests — the Y-DNA 33 or Y-DNA 46, which did your cousin pick? And what haplogroup does he belong too? I can probably tell you more about your ancestry if I know what haplogroup he belongs too.

    That being said, I’ll try and explain to you what I know about the major European haplogroups. Let me first define haplogroups, in a very basic essence they are chunks of DNA that are inherited as blocks. As you know DNA varies between person to person… but more related people have more similarities in their DNA. When genetic ancestry tests type one’s DNA they compare these chunks of DNA to others and try to observe patterns. When large groups of people share a certain chunk, or haplogroup, they are said to share an ancestry.

    Additionally, changes in a halpogroups happen as populations of a shared ancestry split off and radiate. We can still compare the patterns and figure out where more recent haplogroups came from… in otherwords which original haplogroups more recent haplogroups branched off of.

    I am assuming that the Paternal Ancient Ancestry is telling your cousin that his ancient ancestors originated from Turkey. Correct me if I’m wrong. I’ll also take a wild guess and suggest that the group that your cousin is related to belongs to the major clade, haplogroup F which makes up for 90% of the Y-chromosome makeup of the world’s population outside of Africa.

    Narrowing this down, a branch off of haplogroup F are the haplogroups I and J, which both originated in the Middle East or Caucasus somewhere around 30,000 years ago, and spread to Europe with the Neolithic Revolution. There’s also an R1 branch too. I don’t know which he’s a carrier of really, I’m guessing and giving you some prehistorical background. Oh yeah there’s also haplogroup G, which is less common in Norwegian males, but still noticeable. These are the other Y-chromosome haplogroups found in Europe that can be traced to the Middle East.

    Without more information from you I can’t really tell you anything more. It is possible that you have a relatively recent 100% Norwegian paternal lineage. By recent I mean like the last 5,000 or so years… But you got to consider that even ancient Norwegians didn’t suddenly appear in Norway — they came from somewhere. Most modern day Europeans came from ancient populations that migrated out of the Middle East, from modern day places like Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, etc. It is possible that your Norwegian paternal lineage has been in Norway for as long as your family knows about, but they most likely can be traced to a group of prehistoric people who radiated out of the Middle East.

    If you want to tell me which haplogroup your cousin belongs too, let me know in the comments here or if you rather not share this information on a public thread you can email me at


    P.S. This graphic illustrates what I just said of the different migrations of all subgroups off of haplogroup F.

    P.P.S. Please also tell me if the terminology is confusing… I can rephrase it.

  6. J2. I’ve reread what you wrote and think I understand. We have the line back to 1700 or so but that’s not even close to these guys, right? I paid for the less expensive of the two patriarchal tests which is what recommends.
    I haven’t matched with anyone closer than 70 generations back, and they are Mexican. This will be difficult to find a group on as they use surnames and as you know, Norwegians changed their names every generation, ie Arneson to Pederson to Erickson, etc. I do appreciate your help. And could you explain the Neolithic Revolution?

  7. Yeah, Linda, the lineage that the test figured out is far more deep than 1,7000 years or so.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, Haplogroup J is thought to have diverged around 31,700 years ago in the Near East.. What is modern day Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, northern Iran. You can read the primary science paper that figured this out over here, if you want but the lingo maybe a bit much… it is for me!

    Some members of this haplogroup moved out of this area and into other areas such as Europe and north Africa during the last 30,000 years. The sub-Haplogroup that your cousin carries, J2, is found in 6% of Europeans and its frequency drops dramatically as one moves northward away from the Mediterranean. So it is very interesting that your family from Norway are carriers of this haplogroup — but do not be surprised… Almost all Europeans share a deep ancestry to the Middle East.

    To answer your question about the Neolithic revolution, let me first tell you that the revolution is a big part of this migration. During this transitional period, prehistoric people changed from hunting and gathering food to farming and raising animals. Technology completely changed as did lifestyle. People began moving not to follow herds of wild game and food sources, but to find fertile land to sow crops.

    The revolution happened at different and independent times in the world — but the major event occurred about 10,000 years ago when people in the Middle East developed agriculture and pretty advanced animal husbandry technologies. Again these people, some being Haplogroup J carriers, moved out of the Middle East and settled in Europe — of which were your very deep paternal ancestors.


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