Living DNA’s Family Networks is finally here

Two weeks ago I posted my DNA Test Christmas Wish List, and already wish number 9 has been granted – my 3 DNA kits have finally been included in the Family Networks feature on Living DNA.  But I was somewhat underwhelmed at my first login.

I understand that the Family Networks feature is still in beta test, but there are currently only three aspects of Family Networks that are functional –

  • Who do I share DNA with
  • How much DNA do I share with each match
  • I can contact other users who share DNA with me

But I will take any feature that identifies more DNA matches for me and is free!

The first thing that I noticed is that as I had uploaded my DNA test result from another testing company, rather than testing with Living DNA, I am not shown my ethnicity results.  This is not a big deal to me.

When I checked the quantity of matches for each kit, I had none, and my wife and mother in law (my other two kits) matched only each other.  A disappointing beginning, but it can only get better going forward.

With LivingDNA entering the competition, it is a good time to compare the features available from the 5 top DNA testing websites, and the GEDmatch site which facilitates matching between test results from various sources.  The chart below, lists the DNA test result features that I find most useful, in diminishing order of usefulness, with the testing companies in decreasing order of database size, plus a caution when using GEDmatch – 

Most notably, Ancestry, which has the largest database of autosomal test results, has a feature set that more closely resembles that of Living DNA, which is a new entrant to the market.  23andMe, with half the database size of Ancestry has a much broader range of useful features.  FamilyTreeDNA remains my personal favourite, but I anticipate that MyHeritage will outclass them within 12 months, and over time will become the testing company of choice.

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