Bennett Greenspan

Though he has mainly worked in the fields of photography and genetic testing, he is best known for his pioneering work in genetic genealogy. Greenspan founded Family Tree DNA which was the first American company to offer genealogical DNA testing directly to the general public. He is currently the president and chief executive officer (CEO) and also the managing partner of Family Tree DNA's parent company Gene by Gene. Greenspan is also the project administrator of several surname DNA projects, and regularly lectures on the use of genetics in genealogy and on genomics. A Jewish American, Greenspan was born in Omaha, Nebraska to Maurice and Rosalie Greenspan.


23 and MeDNA tests
Antonio Regalado, MIT Technology Review. 23andMe, Ancestry DNA, Family Tree DNA raw data analysis tools in 2019. XCode, Medium Article.

Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup

human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroupsY-DNAY-chromosome DNA haplogroup
Genetic history of Europe. List of Y-DNA single-nucleotide polymorphisms. List of Y-STR markers. Human mitochondrial DNA haplogroups. * (haplogroup). Molecular phylogeny. Genetic genealogy. Genealogical DNA test. Conversion table for Y chromosome haplogroups. 2005 Y-chromosome Phylogenetic Tree, from A Nomenclature system for the Tree of Human Y-Chromosomal Haplogroups, (chart highlighting new branches added to the A phylotree in March 2013). ISOGG Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree. Family Tree DNA Public Haplotree. Chart of the speed of different Y chromosomal STR mutation rates. Map of Y Haplogroups.

Genetic testing

DNA testingDNA analysisDNA test
Genealogical DNA test - used to determine ancestry or ethnic heritage for genetic genealogy. Research testing - includes finding unknown genes, learning how genes work and advancing understanding of genetic conditions. The results of testing done as part of a research study are usually not available to patients or their healthcare providers. DNA profiling. Genographic Project. Personalized medicine. Elective genetic and genomic testing. Eugenics. Full Genome Sequencing. Whole Genome Sequencing. Whole Exome Sequencing. Genetic counseling. List of genetic disorders. List of genetic genealogy topics. Non-paternity event.

Mitochondrial DNA

mtDNAmitochondrialmitochondrial genome
This is usually accomplished on human mitochondrial DNA by sequencing the hypervariable control regions (HVR1 or HVR2), and sometimes the complete molecule of the mitochondrial DNA, as a genealogical DNA test. HVR1, for example, consists of about 440 base pairs. These 440 base pairs are compared to the same regions of other individuals (either specific people or subjects in a database) to determine maternal lineage. Most often, the comparison is made with the revised Cambridge Reference Sequence. Vilà et al. have published studies tracing the matrilineal descent of domestic dogs from wolves.


GeneTree offered mitochondrial DNA testing (males and females) that gives information about maternal ancestry. GeneTree's tests look at HVR1, HVR2, and HVR3 of the mtDNA. mtDNA is passed from mother to children, so people with the same mtDNA share a female ancestor. In addition to DNA testing services, GeneTree sold consultation services to help customers further understand their test results. Family Tree Magazine lists GeneTree as one of 10 best websites for sharing and storing family history, Sep 2009. 'The Secrets in Your DNA' (Dec 2007) at Nightline. GeneTree launch (Oct 2007) at Reuters. Interview with CEO James Lee Sorenson at Businessweek. Genetic genealogy. Genealogical DNA test.

International Society of Genetic Genealogy

ISOGGThe International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG)
. * Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree at ISOGG Genealogical DNA test. Genetic diversity. Human genetics. Human genetic variation. Human mitochondrial DNA haplogroups. Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups. Mitochondrial Eve. Y-chromosomal Adam. Y-chromosome haplogroups in populations of the world. Personal genomics. ISOGG Mission Statement. History of genetic genealogy on the ISOGG wiki.

Y chromosome

Genealogical DNA test. Genetic genealogy. Haplodiploid sex-determination system. Human Y chromosome DNA haplogroups. List of Y-STR markers. Muller's ratchet. Single nucleotide polymorphism. Y chromosome Short Tandem Repeat (STR). Y linkage. Y-chromosomal Aaron. Y-chromosomal Adam. Y-chromosome haplogroups in populations of the world. Genetic Genealogy: About the use of mtDNA and Y chromosome analysis in ancestry testing. Ensembl genome browser. Human Genome Project Information—Human Chromosome Y Launchpad. On Topic: Y Chromosome—From the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. Nature—focus on the Y chromosome.

Genographic Project

The Genographic ProjectGeno 2.0 Next GenerationGenographic
In fall 2012, the Genographic Project announced the completion of a new genotyping array, dedicated to genetic anthropology, called GenoChip. GenoChip is specifically designed for anthropological testing and includes SNPs from autosomal DNA, X-chromosome DNA, Y-chromosome DNA and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The design of the new chip was a collaborative effort between Wells of National Geographic, Eran Elhaik of Johns Hopkins, Family Tree DNA, and Illumina. In the fall of 2015, a new chip was designed as a joint effort between Vilar, current Genographic Lead Scientist, and Family Tree DNA.

Surname DNA project

surname projectsurname study groups
Family Tree DNA's Surname & Geographical Projects.


YsearchList of Y-chromosome databasesSTRs
Forensic databases (without individual information, for frequency purposes): In genetic genealogy, Ysearch used to be the last sponsored database containing publicly submitted surnames and Y-STR haplotypes until its decommission on May 24, 2018, preceding by a day the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation in the European Union, following a prolonged period of lacking support from its creator, Family Tree DNA. The database was founded in 2003 and reached 219 thousand records (among which 152 thousand unique haplotypes) before its shutdown. Other similar databases had disappeared earlier.

Haplogroup H (mtDNA)

Hhaplogroup HH1
Genealogical DNA test. Genetic genealogy. Human mitochondrial genetics. Population genetics. SNPedia. General. Ian Logan's Mitochondrial DNA Site. Mannis van Oven's Phylotree. Haplogroup H. mtDNA Haplogroup H Project at Family Tree DNA. National Geographic's Spread of Haplogroup H, from National Geographic. mtDNA Haplogroup H article at SNPedia. Amelia's Helena. Genebase's Tutorials on mtDNA Haplogroup H. Genebase's Phylogenetic tree of mtDNA Haplogroup H. Genebase's Geographical distribution of mtDNA Haplogroup H. Haplogroup and Subcluster Frequencies for European Populations:. Danish Demes Regional DNA Project: mtDNA Haplogroup H.

Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation

Molecular Genealogy Research Project
New ancestry sites offer DNA testing,, 2007-10-23.


Family Tree Builder
As of 2019, about 2.5 million MyHeritage DNA kits have been sold, making it the third most popular genealogical DNA testing company In April 2019, MyHeritage began releasing data from a new DNA chip. In May 2019, MyHeritage launched the MyHeritage DNA Health+Ancestry test, a test that provides comprehensive health reports to consumers. The Tribal Quest Expedition project is MyHeritage's pro bono project to record the family histories of tribal peoples. It also has a program to match descendants of Holocaust survivors with property taken from their family. In 2013, MyHeritage was selected by Globes as the most promising Israeli startup for 2013–2014.

Hypervariable region

HVR1hypervariable regionshypervariable control region
Genealogical DNA test. Human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup. mtDNA control region. DNA: Forensic and Legal Applications, Explanation of Hypervariable Regions.


short tandem repeatmicrosatellitesSTR
Paternally inherited Y-STRs (microsatellites on the Y chromosome) are often used in genealogical DNA testing. During the 1990s and the first several years of this millenium, microsatellites were the workhorse genetic markers for genome-wide scans to locate any gene responsible for a given phenotype or disease, using segregation observations across generations of a sampled pedigree. Although the rise of higher throughput and cost-effective single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) platforms led to the era of the SNP for genome scans, microsatellites remain highly informative measures of genomic variation for linkage and association studies.

Single-nucleotide polymorphism

single nucleotide polymorphismSNPSNPs
GWAS Central – a central database of summary-level genetic association findings. 1000 Genomes Project – A Deep Catalog of Human Genetic Variation. WatCut – an online tool for the design of SNP-RFLP assays. SNPStats – SNPStats, a web tool for analysis of genetic association studies. Restriction HomePage – a set of tools for DNA restriction and SNP detection, including design of mutagenic primers. American Association for Cancer Research Cancer Concepts Factsheet on SNPs. PharmGKB – The Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics Knowledge Base, a resource for SNPs associated with drug response and disease outcomes. GEN-SNiP – Online tool that identifies polymorphisms in test DNA sequences.

Y-chromosomal Aaron

Cohen Modal HaplotypeCohanim markerCMH
Genetic genealogy. Modal haplotype. Cohen project Y-DNA results (Family Tree DNA). Jewish E3B project (Family Tree DNA).

Haplogroup X (mtDNA)

Xhaplogroup XX2
Indigenous American genetic studies. Kennewick Man. The Seven Daughters of Eve. General. Mannis van Oven's – mtDNA subtree N. Haplogroup X. The Presence of Mitochondrial Haplogroup X in Altaians from South Siberia Miroslava V. Derenko, Tomasz Grzybowski, and others. Ian Logan's DNA Site. Carolyn Benson's X mtDNA Project at Family Tree DNA. Spread of Haplogroup X, from National Geographic. CBC, The Solutrean Hypothesis, and Jennifer Raff, A podcast with Jennifer Raff discussions claims in 2018 linking Haplogroup X to the Solutrean hypothesis.


Genetic genealogy is a combination of traditional genealogy with genetics. The rise of personal DNA testing, after the turn of the century, by companies such as Gene by Gene, FTDNA, GeneTree, 23andMe, and, has led to public and semipublic databases of DNA testing which uses crowdsourcing techniques. In recent years, citizen science projects have become increasingly focused providing benefits to scientific research. This includes support, organization, and dissemination of personal DNA (genetic) testing.

Haplogroup K1a1b1a (mtDNA)

Genealogical DNA test. Genetic Genealogy. Human mitochondrial genetics. Population Genetics. Human mitochondrial DNA haplogroups. Websites. PhyloTree.Org. The Genographic Project by National Geographic. Ian Logan's Mitochondrial DNA Site. Mannis van Oven's Phylotree. Charles Kerchner's mtDNA Haplogroups Page. mtDNA Haplogroup K Project at Family Tree DNA.

Haplogroup HV (mtDNA)

HVhaplogroup HVhaplogroup HV(xH)
Genealogical DNA test. Genetic Genealogy. Population Genetics. General. Ian Logan's Mitochondrial DNA Site. Mannis van Oven's Phylotree. Haplogroup HV. Spread of Haplogroup HV, from the Genographic Project. The India Genealogical DNA Project at Family Tree DNA. mtDNA Haplogroup HV Project at Family Tree DNA.
AncestryDNA offers a direct-to-consumer genealogical DNA test. Consumers provide a sample of their DNA to the company for analysis. AncestryDNA then uses DNA sequences to infer family relationships with other Ancestry DNA users and to provide what it calls an "ethnicity estimate". Previously, also offered paternal Y-chromosome DNA and maternal mitochondrial DNA tests, but those were discontinued in June 2014. The company describes the technical process of testing in a scientific white paper. In May 2019 the company claimed that their database contained 15 million completed DNA kits bought by customers.


genealogistgenealogicalfamily history
Ethical standards adopted by various genealogical organizations include: In 2015, a committee presented standards for genetic genealogy at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. The standards emphasize that genealogists and testing companies should respect the privacy of clients and recognize the limits of DNA tests. It also discusses how genealogists should thoroughly document conclusions made using DNA evidence.