The value of Family Tree
DNA testing is its ability to help find "Genetic Cousins ™" by comparing the
results of as few as two people.
Males are able to see if another male is a descendant from their direct paternal line. The projects 12 marker Y-DNA test has become the world standard, being adopted by National Geographic's - Genographic Project. Thier 37-marker test yields the world's tightest parameters to the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA). You may order the 12 marker test and return to "refine" your test at a later time without the need to re-submit another DNA sample!
Women can determine which Haplogroup they are part of based upon the descent through their maternal line. Reports are compared to the Cambridge Reference Sequence, which show your deviation from this industry standard. They identify the lettered Haplogroup that your mtDNA is assigned to by the scientific community.
The Family Tree DNA test kit consists of two cheek scrapers and two
collection tubes---designed for a single persons use. Each tube contains a fluid
designed to arrest bacteria growth, so you can scrape your cheek and return your
kit in any type of weather (hot or cold). The freshness of your sample will
remain intact for months.
The prior collection standard of the industry was the dry preservation method, which worked without the fluid, but in humid climates, was prone to bacteria growth on the scraper tip. FTDNA enjoys an international clientele; therefore, we have chosen to use a universal collection kit.
You will notice the cotton 'toothed' tip at the end of the scraper. The sensation of using our scraper is like brushing your inside cheek with your toothbrush. Remember, a good scrape produces lots of DNA, which makes the extraction process easier and decreases the chance that one or more of your markers will fail to be readable on the first test of your sample.
The kit also includes instructions for collecting your DNA sample (available in many languages) and the all important Release Form. The Release Form is your written consent that allows FTDNA to share your name and email address with someone who matches your genetic fingerprint exactly. We call these matches "Genetic Cousins ™", and they represent one of the most exciting parts of the Family Tree DNA system!
Details on the Program
Details on the program can be found at the Family Tree DNA Project web site. I plan to add the Stevens family to the project list in the near future so get ready to take your DNA test.