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I want DNA testing tha will tell me my population profile, that is the percentages of all my ethnic background, the main ones tested for being European, Native American, African, Asian I think.  Does the Y test just tell my father's side and the Mt test my mother's? Do they just go back six generations? I want to take the right test.  Any ideas?

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YDNA is the father's side, MTDNA is the mother's side, men can be tested for YDNA and MTDNA. Woman can only be tested for MTDNA (Mother's Line). YDNA test follows father, paternal grandfather, paternal great grandfather, etc. MTDNA follows mother, maternal grandmother, maternal great grandmother, etc. The people in the middle going way back are not tested in either test. In order to find out your ethnic background you would have to take an autosomal DNA test, from what I understand that test would breakdown a persons background by percentage.

Hi Julie,


You'll want to take an Autosomal DNA test to get percentages like that.  Family Tree DNA's Family Finder test will provide this information.  It can go back 5 generations with relative confidence, sometimes further back.


I'm giving a free webinar (web-based seminar) -- Genetic Genealogy for Beginners -- on Tuesday, March 1.  It will discuss the different types of tests available through Family Tree DNA.  If you're interested in attending, please visit my website for more information and to register -



Elise Friedman

Relative Roots

Family Finder is now using the same chip as 23andMe.  If you also have an interest in possible health implications you might want to look at 23andMe aautosomal s well.  It will also give you SNP results for y-DNA and mtDNA, but they aren't definitive results the way STR results are.  The drawback is they really cater to the health interests, you need a "subscription" or the cost goes way up.  But there are more than a few genealogists hanging in there to push for our interests.



You want either the Family Tree DNA Family Finder test which includes Population Finder tool or the 23andMe test which includes an Ancestry Painting. You can see screenshots on these pages:


I would recommend the Family Finder test if you are interested in testing for genealogical matches. The 23andMe test is primarily a health test but is very interesting nonetheless.


An mtDNA test only follows the direct maternal line:


An mtDNA test can give you much better geographical resolution than an autosomal DNA test. There are for instance a number of haplogroups which are associated with Native American ancestry.  This will of course only be picked up if the Native American ancestor is on the direct maternal line.


If you are interested in Y-DNA testing you would need to find a male relative to take a test for you through a surname project. Females do not have a Y-chromosome.





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