Findmypast

Findmypast employs partner company Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) to provide genetic testing. FTDNA supplementsFindmypast’s searchable historical database to identify relatives and geographic ancestral origins.

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7.6
Grand Score
8
User Score
7.6
Grand Score
8
User Score
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Findmypast.com is the premier website for researching family history in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Used in conjunction with genetic testing provided by partner site Family Tree DNA, Findmypast can be a powerful resource for seniors seeking to identify and learn more about both their ancestral heritage and their more recent relatives. 

Findmypast is best at locating and/or identifying relatives who were born in or immigrated to the United States and Canada. The genetic testing provided by Family Tree DNA can help locate relatives as distant as fifth cousins. For seniors seeking to learn more about their close relatives using genetic means, Findmypast may be a powerful option.

Grandfolk Scoring
Cost 8/10
Cancellation 6/10
Customer support 6/10
Sample collection 10/10
Chip used 10/10
Ancestral makeup 10/10
Size of database 7/10
Average time to results 7/10
Raw DNA download 9/10
Cousin matching 10/10
Ease 10/10
Warranty 5/10
Cost
Upfront and monthly costs
Genetic tests have a one-time fee ranging from $99-$268
Cancellation
Can I cancel the service?
Yes, for certain tests that have not been sent to the lab
Customer support
Is customer service available to help?
Yes, call during normal business hours, or fill out a web form
Sample collection
What type of DNA sample collection is used?
Cheek swab
Chip used
Which DNA sequencing chip is used?
Illumina Omni Express
Ancestral makeup
Are ancestral makeup reports provided?
Yes, through Family Tree DNA software
Size of database
How large is the database?
Over 700,000 users’ genes are in the database
Average time to results
How long does it take to get results?
About 6-8 weeks (Y chromosome tests take 8-10 weeks)
Raw DNA download
Can a user obtain their raw DNA file?
Yes, through Family Tree DNA
Cousin matching
Are users who share DNA matched?
Yes, it can locate relatives as distant as fifth cousins
Ease
Is the service easy to use?
Test is simple and straightforward; test kit comes with instructions
Warranty
How easy to return/replace?
Limited replacements are available; partial refunds may be issued
Age Score:
8
50-65 Years
8
65-75 Years
6
75-85 Years
6
85-Above

Findmypast is ideal for healthier, web-savvy and research-loving seniors who can perform activities such as using the internet, browsing a website database and conducting a simple cheek swab.Findmypast’s signup process for genetic tests is particularly complicated by the fact that users must sign up through a different website —the Family Tree DNA website— which is confusing. 

This service may pose a challenge for older seniors who are not computer-savvy or who have vision or cognitive problems. Older seniors may require assistance navigating the website, performing the cheek swab, and viewing and interpreting test results.

Health Score:
9
Great health
8
Good Health
6
Fair Health
2
Poor Health

The main goal of Findmypast is to connect people with their relatives and enable the discovery of ethnic ancestry. The genetic testing performed by Findmypast/Family Tree DNA does not provide information on genetic risk factors for health conditions, so in general, the service provides very little health-related value. 

Seniors with advanced dementia or who have severe health problems may not be able to use the website, and may require assistance obtaining a test kit and completing the test.Seniors with advanced health problems may find the genetic sampling procedure required for the DNA test— a cheek swab —difficultand/or uncomfortable.

Pros:

  • Findmypast’s partner site for genetic tests, Family Tree DNA, is a leader in comprehensive genetic testing for genealogical purposes.
  • The combination of historical records and DNA-based identification of relatives makes Findmypast a powerful resource for seniors seeking to learn more about their recent ancestors who lived in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom or Australia.
  • Findmypast/Family Tree DNA can provide both maternal and paternal ancestral lineage based on the genetic test; however, paternal ancestral lineage tests can only be conducted on males.
  • DNA samples tested by Family Tree DNA are retained for 25 years, which can prove helpful for relatives of the senior who can test the DNA later (e.g. after the senior’s death) as technology advances.
  • Findmypast/Family Tree DNA does not sell or share individuals’ genetic information with third parties. For no additional cost, Family Tree DNA can transfer users’ genetic information to the National Geographic Genographic project, to provide additional information on one’s ancestral roots.

Cons:

  • Findmypast outsources all genetic testing to Family Tree DNA. This can become confusing for seniors who have to manage communications from two separate websites which are not very well integrated.
  • Findmypast is entirely web-based and offers a searchable historical database.This may be too difficult to use for seniors who are not web-savvy or who do not have internet research skills.
  • Due to a limitation in the family matching system utilized by Findmypast’s genetic testing partner, Family Tree DNA, the service may incorrectly identify close relatives through matching of short strands of DNA rather than longer strands.
  • Findmypast is a poor source of historical records for seniors with relatives originating from Asia, Europe or Africa, unless the relatives migrated to the United States in the past 300 years.
  • Findmypast is a more expensive option for seniors seeking to learn more about their ethnic and ancestral origins.

Bottom Line:

Findmypast combines the historical richness of its genealogical database with the power of genetic testing from Family Tree DNA. This enables better identification of geographic origin and relatives as distant asfifth cousins. Additional services offered through Family Tree DNA can trace ancient maternal or paternal lineage.Findmypast is frequently used in the BBC show “Who Do You Think You Are?” and was awarded the Queen’s Award for Innovation in the United Kingdom in 2007. 

Findmypast is best for seniors whose lineage is limited to the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, and who wish to learn more about both their recent relatives and the geographical origins of their ancestors.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I take the DNA test?

The DNA test kit arrives with all of the supplies needed to collect the sample. The sampling procedure involves scraping the inner surface of the cheek with a swab; the sample is then placed in a sealed vial, which is mailed to a laboratory using an envelope provided in the kit.

How long will it take to get my results? 

Six to eight weeks after the sample is accepted at the lab, test results will become available online; Y-37 Y chromosome testing can have a waiting time of up to ten weeks.  

How can I see my results?

When test results are available, the individual will receive an email with a link to access results online. Users can print out a free copy of their results and look up newly-discovered relatives in the database. 

More Information:

Product Details

Overview:

Findmypast offers a free online account sign-up, which provides access to certain historical records including U.S. census records. For an additional monthly or yearly fee, there are additional historical databases available, but they are not required to obtain genetic testing.

For genetic testing services, Findmypast relies on its partner company, Family Tree DNA.  When used in conjunction with Findmypast’s comprehensive genealogy databases, the DNA testing enables seniors to reveal their ethnic origins, as well as discover new relatives and trace the migration of their ancestors on maternal and/or paternal sides.  

The basic service offered is called Family Finder, and includes autosomal DNA testing.This enables the location of relatives as distant as fifth cousins. Information on ancestral geographical origin is also provided. The method of DNA sample collection is a simple cheek swab. Results can take anywhere from six to eight weeks to be processed once the sample arrives at the testing laboratory.

Package Details:

Findmypast offers three basic packages for genetic testing through its partner company, Family Tree DNA.

Family Tree DNA charges a standard $12.95 shipping fee for each test kit. The user must pay return shipping fees to mail the sample back to Family Tree DNA for processing.

Family Finder, the basic genetic test, is $99. This test provides information on the geographical origin of an individual’s ancestors, and can locate relatives based on shared DNA sequences.

The Family Finder Plus package is $298 and includes all of the Family Finder tests as well as the Full Sequence Test, which traces maternal ancestry and finds ancestors on the mothers’ side of the family using mitochondrial DNA passed on from the individual’s mother.

The Family Finder + Y-DNA37 package is $268. This test is only available for males, as it looks for genetic information encoded on the Y chromosome, a sex-linked chromosome only present in males.The Y-DNA37 test looks for 37 specific markers related to paternal ancestry. Due to the increased processing time for the Y-DNA37 test, it can take eight to ten weeks before results are available.


Optional Accessories or Add-on Services: N/A

Additional Company Details

Contract Details: 

Online Findmypast subscription:

Customers who subscribe to a Starter or Premium Findmypast subscription can cancel by visiting the Findmypast website, going to the “My account” section, and un-clicking the automatic renewal option at least four or five days before the expiration date to avoid extra charges. The customer will receive an email confirming that account details have been updated.

Genetic tests ordered through Family Tree DNA:

Family Tree DNA charges a standard $12.95 shipping fee for each test kit. The user must pay return shipping fees to mail the sample back to Family Tree DNA for processing.

In most cases, genetic tests ordered through Family Tree DNA cannot be refunded.  In some cases, unopened, unused tests which have been purchased three years ago or less can be returned for a partial refund. Refunds and replacements may also be issued for bad test results obtained due to poor sampling. Contact Family Tree DNA’s Customer Service departmentto inquire about the full terms and conditions for cancellations and refunds.

Warranty: Findmypast offers a 14-day free trial of the Premium service, which grants full access to the historical databases on the website. The free trial can be canceled at any time within the trial period. However, users must manually cancel the free trial by visiting the website and un-clicking the “Auto-renew my subscription” option to avoid being charged when the free trial period ends.

Family Tree DNA can only provide refunds for their test kits in a limited number of cases; tests which have been accepted at the test site or have been processed are not eligible for a refund. Customers who have not yet mailed their test kit to the lab or who are awaiting their test kit’s acceptance at the lab may be able to obtain a refund by contacting Family Tree DNA directly. 

Accreditations: Findmypast is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and does not have a rating from the organization.In 2003, the company now known as Findmypast received a Queen’s Award for Innovation for the publishing of searchable birth, marriage and death indexes online on an early version of the website.Findmypast is also frequently used as a genealogy resource on the BBC show, “Who do you think you are?”

Family Tree DNA, the company that Findmypast utilizes to conduct genetic testing, is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and maintains an A- rating.

Company Details: Findmypast is a British-owned company that is a world leader in online genealogy resources. Findmypast’s origins date back to 1965, when a small group of genealogists founded Title Research. Findmypast was launched in the United States in 2012. Since 2007, Findmypast has been owned by the Scottish publishing company DC Thomson.

Findmypast has a searchable database of over two billion historical documents so that users can “find their ancestors and trace their family tree from the comfort of their own home.”Today, Findmypast has 100 employees and over 18 million registered users.

Contact: 

Findmypast
245 First Street, Suite 1800
Cambridge, MA 02142
Tel: 855-246-8234
Email: support@findmypast.com
Website: https://www.findmypast.com

Sheeva Azma - Senior Advisor

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