I haven’t yet discussed Autosomal DNA testing in depth on this site (so much to do, so little time) but for those who are interested in DNA testing for genealogy AND for health reasons, 23andMe is a good choice. I won’t go into all the things you should do to evaluate the companies that provide these services, but if you’ve determined on your own that you’re interested in 23andMe, now might be a good time to go for it. 23andMe reduced their starting cost to $99 some time back (with a commitment of one year of subscription service at $9/month). You can get a no-commitment sign-up for $399.
Believe it or not, there are actually genealogical hints that can be derived from the heath side of 23andMe’s offering. Carrier status of diseases, or specific shared traits, can help group people together or show that someone’s origin isn’t exactly what they thought. A member of our local genealogical society who is Ashkenazi, who had suspected possible Sephardi roots, found on 23andMe that he was a carrier for Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF), which among Jewish people is almost exclusively in the Sephardi population (like the many other diseases which are unfortunately exclusive among Ashkenazi Jews). That doesn’t confirm a Sephardi link, but it is a good indicator that he may be on the right track.
Anyways, why do I bring all this up now? Simply because 23andMe is offering a $50 coupon this week (expires August 9), bringing the start-up cost to $49 (plus $9/mo or $118 in the first year for subscription). Even with the subscription cost, that’s very inexpensive compared to what these tests have cost in the past.
So here’s the coupon:
Coupon code: BG6HQY
Share with your friends!
(Valid for new customers only)
In order to use the coupon, just add an order to the shopping cart on their site, and then add the above discount code to the order.
If you do order a kit, post in the comments how the process goes in ordering, using the kit, and when you get your results.
If you’re already using 23andMe, you can’t use the coupon, but feel free to comment on your experiences so others can learn about it.
For those who have already purchased tests from FamilyTree DNA, they are offering a sale for the next week when ordering upgrades to those tests. For example, if you had a 12-marker Y-DNA test, you can receive a discount for ordering the upgrade to 25, 37, or 67 markers. No discount on the 111-marker test it seems, but I guess that’s to be expected since it is so new. The biggest discount is on the Family Finder test, which is $199 instead of the normal $289.
The upgrades that are discounted include:
|Y-DNA 12 to 25
|Y-DNA 12 to 37
|Y-DNA 12 to 67
|Y-DNA 25 to 37
|Y-DNA 25 to 67
|Y-DNA 37 to 67
|mt to FMS
|mtPlus to FMS
The sale runs from June 15 through June 22. To get these prices, you must log in to FamilyTree DNA using your kit number and password, and then click on the ‘Special Offers’ link on the left-hand navigation bar.
If you’re new to genetic genealogy and want to get a discount for a new test, I suggest ‘Liking’ FamilyTree DNA on Facebook. They offered one-day discounts when they reached 5,000 and 10,000 followers, and have promised to do the same when they reach 15,000 followers. As I write this they’re currently at 12,208 people who like their page, so it will probably be sometime in the next month or two that they will reach 15,000. If you use Facebook, then Like FamilyTree DNA and watch the Like count so you will know when they announce their sale (which will be on their Facebook page).
For those in Israel, you are invited to come to a lecture I am giving in Modi’in next week (in English) on June 20 at 7:15pm on the use of DNA for genealogy. This will be at the June meeting of the Israel Genealogical Society (IGS) in Modi’in, and will take place at 51 Yigal Yadin St., in the meeting room at on the first floor (across from the elevators) in what is one of the Dimri Towers buildings. For those who don’t know Modi’in, it is right across the street from the train station (and not far from the mall) in the center of town.
I will be giving an introductory (and practical) lecture on the use of DNA for genealogy (similar to the lecture I gave in Ra’anana last month), followed by Richard Gussow, who will be furthering the theme by discussing the topic:
“The WIRTH Group – or how a “pureblood” Ashkenazi discovered his Sephardic roots – and more!”
It promises to be a very interesting discussion and I welcome everyone to come, listen and ask questions.
As with all meetings in Modi’in of the Israel Genealogical Society, the first meeting is free for interested people, so even if you’re not a member of IGS you can attend this lecture for free. Of course, if you’re interested in joining IGS, we’ll have membership forms available (and you can take advantage of the current membership discount for the rest of the year – 100nis instead of the normal 180nis).
If you think you’re going to be coming, please send me an e-mail to let me know.