Is the Genographic Project test fully compatible and comparable to FamilyTreeDNA tests?

+9 votes

We're creating our list of DNA tests to select from. I'm wondering if Genographic Project  tests need to be listed separately from FamilyTreeDNA tests.

I think that National Geographic has FamilyTreeDNA do their testing. They just put the Genographic Project label on the FTDNA test.

Does that mean that if you get tested by one you can easily compare results with those who have been tested by the other?

Does anybody know?

in Policy and Style by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)

2 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
Hi !

No, it is not the same testing and yes, they are comparable when you just want to know about your hablogroups and accept slightly different nomenclature. I would suggest to list them separately to avoid irritations by enthusiasts who start to discuss the pros and cons and ifs and whens.

A bit more detail:

National Geographic has FTDNA doing the testing as they do not have own facilities. Genographic has a different focus on the whole DNA testing. It is not their business proposal to find genetic cousins but to do research in deep ancestry and build public awareness. It is a win-win situation. That's why FTDNA stopped their deep clade program (which is inferior to the specific Geno 2.0 chip) and that's why Geno 2.0 does not provide you with a list of STR values or a autDNA matching for genetic cousins.

The Geno 2.0 test is a single test, while FTDNA provides a broad portfolio of DNA tests to perfectly adapt to the buyer's interest and purse. At FTDNA you pay very little (about $40-50) to get a glimse (or to get you hooked) and pay a lot for detailed DNA analysis. Geno 2.0 is very moderately priced, you contribute to research and indigenous projects, but you just get one set of results and a nice poster to print out.

Geno 2.0 gives you 2 hablogroups (paternal and maternal) beside  a regional adjacency of your autDNA and the percentage of DNA you share with  neanderthal and denisovan sources.  The Y-DNA and mtDNA information goes quite deep into the subclade.

2 Examples:

Y-DNA: I did a Y-12 marker test with FTDNA and got a M-269 which is the shorthand for R1b1a2. Via Geno 2.0 I warped down to R-CTS10893= R1b1a2a1a1a*.  (As CTS10893 is a quite new SNP to test, there are of course discussions going on, whether it proofs even deeper subclades or not).

mtDNA: Geno 2.0 gave me a pretty good understanding on my mtDNA. But it has just analysed 30 % of the DNA and is a bit of a dead end for deeper analysis.

Update 2013-08-08: I received the result of my FGS which analysis 100% of the mtDNA done by FTDNA: The result U5a1d2a, which was exactly what Geno 2.0 had already given me. Yes, the FGS allows a hunt for new subclades and yes, it is better for searching for cousins. But I paid about $ 200 and the only guy that shares the same haplotyp and extra mutations so far does not answer.

I still need to understand if the Geno 2.0 data after transfered to FTDNA can be used with Gedmatch. I keep you updated.

by Andreas Köhler G2G2 (2.3k points)
edited by Andreas Köhler

Thanks, Andreas!

From what you say, it sounds like we should leave the Genographic Project test out of our system.

Our system is being designed to suggest when cousins should compare results. If Geno tests can't be compared against each other, this won't apply.


–2 votes
My experience indicates nothing, zip, nada is easy.

Unless, you want to pay more money to do more testing that will give you the answer that you were seeking in the first place.

Always the come on, Pay more and get more info.

Say it isn't so, however, these testing companies utilise the "bait and switch" technique to the ultimate.

To Create more income.

But that is  the system.

Wikitree appears to be the only "free" system available and that is a shame.

I suggesst that perhaps a class action threat is the only way to obtain information that should be available gratis.

Then, if they dont's get straight, sue the Bastards.

They should be able to generate sufficient revenues through the constant bombardment of advertising that we observe any time we seek information.

Perhaps I am wrong.

What say you?
by Richard Bittle G2G Crew (740 points)
First, I assume you have DNA tested with some company, correct? What type of DNA test have you participated in?

I am real sorry you did not get the results you expected.  What did you expect to find out and how did the testing fail for you?  It is important to know that DNA testing does not replace traditional historical record research.  As I have said on G2G before, DNA testing simply focuses your traditional research to the correct genetic family line.

Since I don't know the details of your testing complaint, I can't really help, but I wish you wouldn't make such broad generalizations.  Yes, it costs money for the labs to analyze your test and there are employees to pay and overhead costs associated as with any business.  It has been well worth the investment for me.  I have purchased several tests from FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe.  

I am sorry your experience was less than satisfactory.  It has worked great for me.

My testing info is at my Profile, I think.

I first tested with Ancestry .com. aDNA. Results: 56% Scandinavian, 35% Central European, 7% British Isles and 2%uncertain. Trees online and mega information available Very interesting. US and British Isles.

My Heritage and (paper genealogy only) No testing. Trees online. Very interesting.

Over 500 "matches" to date. 2nd thru ? cousins. One 2nd cousin identified but we already knew we were cousins. Perhap this proved that an NPE was involved.

Only 5 "Record" matches.

Proves up my "paper genealogy" that I have worked on for over 35 years.

Ancestors on the Isle of Man ca 1500's. Paternal. Ancestors in Knonau, Switzerland ca 1500's.

Next Testing with FTdna. Paternal Y Chromosome. 67 Markers. No matches in their database. Haplogroup, R-1b1a2. Joined the Biddle, Bechtel etc. Project. M-269  L-23.

I then uploaded my FT info to Geno Project conversion project.

Results  R-1b M-343 L-278 Very nice program presented by National Geographic

I attempted then to transfer the results back to FT dna and ran into a problem.

I could not transfer until I purchased the Geno 2 Kit.

Still in discussion with Project Administrator FTdna as to inability to transfer back the results from Geno Project Conversion.

I opine that perhaps the problem is me and my level of understanding procedures. Most likely I know just enough to be dangerous, as to genetic's. ?

However I do contact the experts in an attempt to understand and I thoroughly peruse FAQ's and Tutorials avaiable.

I have arrived at the conclusion that this scientific approach is in its infancy and lack sufficient information (input) into their databases so that their algoryhtmic processes produce results that in perhaps the next 10 to 20 years of research will tell a more accurate story of the search for "Who Am I" and "Where Do I come From?"

I am also very doubtful that my lines came up "out of Africa", but that is another subject. Perhaps you could explain why that is a truism?


Richard Bittle
For more information on the Out of Africa theory:
Your results at FTDNA are still there. By transferring them to National Geographic, you are just adding to its database. There is no comparability between the Nat Geo test (for deep roots, pre-surnames and therefore pre- the genealogical time frame. FTDNA does not use Nat Geo results, except in expanding its database of SNPs, which are related to deep roots, not genealogy per se. You're comparing apples and oranges.


After conversing with my FTdna Project Admin. I find that NG does not do any testing.

FTdna does all the testing for NG.

What say you?

Related questions

+4 votes
1 answer
248 views asked Oct 16, 2016 in The Tree House by George Blanchard G2G6 Mach 9 (92.7k points)
+5 votes
0 answers
+5 votes
1 answer
175 views asked Feb 24, 2015 in The Tree House by Jayme Arrington G2G6 Pilot (135k points)
+10 votes
3 answers
275 views asked Jun 10, 2021 in The Tree House by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (563k points)
+18 votes
0 answers
+6 votes
1 answer
+13 votes
3 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright