Do you have any further questions? How can we help you?
If you have any questions, please contact us by telephone on +41 (0)43 817 13 91 or by email. The most frequently asked questions follow (FAQ):
How far back can you determine a genetic link?
In the purely maternal and paternal lineage, we can identify a kinship indefinitely far back. Even if the common ancestor lived in the Middle Ages or earlier, the kinship is still recognizable. In all other lineage a kinship is visible about 4-5 generations back. All tests will provide you a probability that you and another person, who have an exact match, will have your Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) within a range of time backwards. For example if there is match in 37 markers the probability for a common ancestor in the last 3 generations is 50% and 95% for the last 7 generations.
Test my DNA? How is that done?
A Mucus Sample suffices to get a sample of your DNA. Taking the sample is simple and painless and can be done at home. about the test
Can I see some examples?
Yes. We inform you here of examples of people that have had a DNA genealogy test carried out.
I am a genealogist and have already collected a lot of material. How can I benefit from such a test?
A DNA genealogy test can be helpful even for experienced genealogists. Church records and other documents used for researching family trees were not always accurate and complete when issued. There are numerous cases in which wars, unrest or natural disasters have led to the destruction of such records. In earlier times, documents of this nature were not even compiled and it used to be impossible to trace family relationships this far back. It is precisely here that a DNA genealogy test can be helpful. By comparing different people you can check their relationships. This enables you to join together different branches of your family tree and confirm or disprove speculations and family legends as well as reach back into centuries from which no written records have survived with your research.
Do I need a control sample?
No. Your unique saliva sample is sufficient for a DNA genealogy test. By comparing your DNA profile with the profiles of every other person on our database, you will find out who you share ancestors with.
How do I place an order for someone else?
If you order and pay for a test set for somebody else online, the address of the other person under “Comments”. We will then send the collection kit to the address of this person. You can also place your order by phone or e-mail.
For how long do I have access to the database?
You have the possibility of searching for other relatives for an entire lifetime. New matches with your profile are investigated in the scope of each new test, this means that the number of your "genetic cousins" grow increasingly. Even your descendants will be able to benefit from this access and complete their family tree. Your right to online access will never be cancelled, unless you instruct otherwise.
How do the results that I will receive look?
Your results are sent as a certificate and as an online access. You can view excerpts of example results here.
How did I get my surname?
If you are not only interested in your own origin, but also the origin of your surname, you can initiate a surname project or join an existing project. In a surname project an investigation of the biological relationship between men with the same or similar surnames is conducted. This enables you to find people with whom you share common ancestors and exchange information (such as the family tree). Therefore, the information content of your family history increases within a short period of time. In contrast, you can also exclude namesakes who do not belong to your family. It does not cost anything to start or participate in a surname project.
When will I receive the test set if I order today?
It will be sent on the same day or at the latest on the following day. Postal delivery within Europe takes two to four days. Customers in Switzerland will receive the test set on the next day.
What do I have to do if I would like to order a DNA genealogy test?
You can order the test set per internet, per telephone on +41 (0)43 817 13 91 or per email. We will post you your sample collection set. It contains two saliva brushes and two collection tubes; a detailed instruction pamphlet, which explains how to collect the sample; a return envelope, and the declaration of consent. Send the saliva samples and the signed declaration of consent in. After receiption of the samples at the laboratory it needs 6 to 8 weeks for the first results to be ready.
What is the position with discretion and data protection?
Discretion and data protection is very important to us. iGENEA works under swiss law on data protection. You can have your data removed at any time it required. Our partner FamilyTreeDNA work under "Save Harbor", the convention on data protection between the EU and the USA.
What does the lab do with the actual DNA sample once the test is completed?
It remains in the laboratory for 25 years. This means that you can order additional tests without the need for a new sample collection. Your DNA sample is marked with an identification number and cannot be connected with your name. You can instruct us to destroy your sample at any time simply by sending us an E-Mail. The samples will then be irrevocably destroyed.
How can my paternal lineage be researched if I am a woman?
Females cannot have a Y-DNA test carried out due to the fact that they do not have a Y-Chromosome. In order to bypass this, you can research your paternal lineage by having a male relative from this paternal line tested. This could be, for example: your father, brother, half brother on the father’s side, uncle (brother of the father), cousin (son of the uncle) etc. If you are unsure of which relative you should ask, call us per telephone or send an E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not have a male relative but are interessted in your paternal lineage we recommend the FamilyFinder-Test.
How can I tell if a surname project already exists for my surname?
Click on surname projects, in order to search for existing surname projects.
How long do I have to wait for the result?
After we have received the samples it normally takes 6-8 weeks for the fist results. Depending on the chosen test the result is thus already fully ready or further analysis are done.
Is it possible to place an order during the weekend?
You can order your personal test set via the internet around the clock. If your order is received during the weekend, the test set will be sent to you on Monday.
When do I have to pay?
We cannot conduct the examination until we have received your payment. In order to avoid delays, we recommend that payment is made at the time that the samples are returned to us.
Is the sample collection complicated?
No. A Mucus Sample suffices to get a sample of your DNA. Taking the sample is simple and painless and can be done at home. The sampling kit contains detailed instructions.
What % of Jews carry the Cohanim gene?
From studies performed at cemeteries about 5% of Jews appear to be Cohanim. Furthermore, in a study conducted in Israel where people were asked at random if they were Cohanim, Levites or Israel, of those answering Israel, about 3% tested positive for the Cohanim gene.
Which organisation is responsible for iGENEA?
iGENEA is a swiss company with domicile in Baar/ZG. iGENEA collaborates with FamilyTreeDNA, the leading organisation for DNA genealogy. The collaboration lies within the DNA analysis and the database. FamilyTreeDNA carries out 90% of all DNA genealogy tests worldwide.
What is a Ged Com?
A GEDCOM is a type of file format (GEnealogical Data COMmunication) and is used to display pedigrees and other information about your ancestors. GEDCOM is compatible with almost any genealogy software, which facilitates the data exchange.
What happens to my data?
All of our procedures are subject to strict regulations. We apply the highest level of priority to quality, reliability and protection of your personal data. For this reason we process and save your data in strict accordance with the Swiss Data Protection Act. You can obtain information from us with regard to the data we have received from you at any time. You decide on whether and for how long we preserve your data for you.
Online payment with credit card – how secure is that?
The iGENEA order process is protected via a secure connection. Transmitted data can only be read at the recipient’s location. In this respect, important information such as credit card numbers, addresses etc. are protected when being transmitted via the internet. All of the data entered onto the secure pages is encoded per SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). You can recognise whether SSL is active by means of the closed lock in your browser window. Additionally a secure page can be recognised by the URL in the address bar, which begins with “https:”.
I have lost my password.
Click on this link and enter your E-Mail address and your laboratory number. Then click on “send”. Your password will be sent per E-Mail.
How does Family Finder determine connections between cousins?
Family Finder detects your near and distant cousins by comparing your autosomal DNA with that of other iGENEA customers with Family Finder. If two people share identical segments of DNA then they may share a recent ancestor. When the Family Finder program finds matching segments, it uses statistical methods to determine if the segments are likely to be identical by descent (IBD). If they are determined to be IBD then the Family Finder program calculates the relationship based on the shared segments’ number and size.
What is the difference between a DNA genealogy test and a paternity test?
DNA genealogy consists of conducting DNA tests for the purpose of ancestor research. You need it:
- if you would like to know whether you have relatives anywhere in the world,
- if your family tree is incomplete,
- if you share your surname with another person and would like to check whether or not you are both related,
- if you do not know the exact origins of your ancestors.
In the case of a paternity test, DNA from the father and child is compared. This enables one to ascertain, with great probability, whether the putative father is or is not the biological father. Information on paternity tests can be found at www.gene-tests.org/paternity-test.
How can I verify how many iGENEA products are sold via my web site?
You transfer an affiliate parameter with your link to us. When an order with your affiliate parameter is received and is entered into our order record, the number at "Total ordered" in your user account increases by 1.
When the customer pays, the number at "Total paid" increases by 1. We pay you 10 euro for all "Total paid" entries. However, not all test sets that we send free of charge are returned (sometimes the people concerned decide not to go through with the test). This means that the number at "ordered" is always higher than "paid".
You can see how much we have already transferred to your bank or PayPal account at "Payments".
By the way, if a visitor to your web site clicks the iGENEA link a cookie is entered into his browser. This results in you still being paid commission if the visitor then places an order with iGENEA within 30 days.
How is the Family Finder test different from iGENEA's other tests?
The Family Finder test is designed to trace all of your ancestral lines in order to identify relationships up to five generations with confidence. This is different from our mtDNA and Y chromosome DNA tests, which are intended to clearly trace exclusively the direct maternal or paternal lines.
What is a Family Finder Project?
A Family Finder Project is devoted to using DNA to trace and compare multiple descendents from a single ancestor or ancestral couple. Family Finder Projects are designed for comparisons between project members using autosomal DNA. Project administrators have several advanced tools at their disposal to compare their project members.
What is the difference between a Surname Project and a Family Finder Project?
While a Surname Project seeks to document the Y chromosome DNA of males with a common surname, a Family Finder Project is focused on tracing the DNA of all descendents of a single ancestor or a single ancestral couple.
How many data points does the Family Finder test use?
Our Family Finder test uses an Affymetrix chip that includes over 500,000 pairs of locations called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in your DNA.
May I download my raw data?
Yes, FamilyTreeDNA/iGENEA makes the raw results file from your Family Finder test available for you to download. Just click the link on the FF tab of your personal page to begin your download.
How many SNPs does the Family Finder program use to determine an Identical By Descent (IBD) segment?
The program declares a region of DNA to be IBD if it contains at least 500 matching SNPs in series.
How many centiMorgans (cMs) does the Family Finder program use to determine an Identity By Descent (IBD) segment?
A block of 10 cM or larger indicates conclusive shared ancestry while a block of between 5-10 cM is highly suggestive of shared ancestry.
What does the Total cM column mean?
The Total cM column shows the sum of the centiMorgans that you and a potential relative share. A centiMorgan (cM) value represents how likely an area of DNA is to recombine in a single generation. The cM value is a significant part of the Family Finder program’s calculations in determining a relationship.
What does the Shared Segments column mean?
As part of its calculations, the Family Finder program finds segments of matching DNA that are statistically likely to be identical by descent (IBD). The Shared Segments column shows the number of these IBD segments that are shared between you and your relative.
What does the Suggested Relationship column mean?
The Family Finder program provides two predictions of relatedness for each relative on your list: Suggested Relationship and Relationship Range. The Suggested Relationship provides the statistically most likely relationship based on the size and number of identical by descent (IBD) segments shared.
What does the Relationship Range column mean?
The Family Finder program provides two predictions of relatedness for each relative on your list: Suggested Relationship and Relationship Range. The Relationship Range represents upper and lower limits to the predicted relationship. The relationship is predicted with high confidence to fall within these limits.
Why aren’t my matches in the same haplogroup?
Family Finder tests for matches to any of your ancestral lines. Your mtDNA haplogroup and, if you are male, your Y chromosome haplogroup are each specific to one of your many ancestral lines. It is therefore expected that many of your cousins will belong to different haplogroups because their mtDNA and Y chromosome can represent different ancestral lines from yours.
I know that my cousin has tested. Why aren’t they on my Family Finder match list?
DNA is passed on randomly each generation due to recombination. A child inherits 50% of his or her DNA from each parent. Each parent in turn inherited 50% of their DNA from the child’s grandparents. Due to random recombination events, a child may not inherit exactly 25% of their DNA from each grandparent. It is unlikely that a child will receive no DNA at all from one of his or her grandparents. In more distant generations, though, this becomes increasingly possible. Additionally, in order for your cousin to be identified as a match, you must have both inherited some of the same segments of DNA from your common ancestor. The more distantly related your cousin is to you, the more possible it is that you and your cousin did not inherit the same segment of DNA from your common ancestor. Because of this, you may find that you do not share a detectable amount of DNA with a traditionally documented genealogical 4th cousin, yet that you do share some DNA with more distant 5th to 8th cousins.
I have multiple family members who have joined FamilyFinder. Why does the same cousin get different Suggested Relationships for each of us?
The Suggested Relationship and the Relationship Range are both based on individual calculations between two sets of DNA results. As you and each of your close relatives inherited different amounts and different combinations of DNA from your common ancestor, there will be some differences in the statistical calculations. Your actual relationship should fall within the bounds of the Relationship Ranges.
Family Finder says our Suggested Relationship is 2nd cousins. I am sure that our relationship must be more distant. Is that possible?
Yes, the actual genealogical relationship between you and your cousin may be closer or more distant than the Suggested Relationship. The Suggested Relationship column tells you the statistically most likely relationship. When comparing pedigrees, you should also look at the Relationship Range column on your Family Finder match list. It gives the upper and lower limit to your predicted relationship that you can use when searching conventional genealogical records.
What is a centiMorgan?
A centiMorgan (cM) is a measurement of how likely an area of DNA is to recombine from one generation to the next. A single centiMorgan is considered equivalent to a 1% (1/100) chance that a segment of DNA will crossover or recombine within one generation. For humans, one million base pairs (bp) average about one centiMorgan.
What is an endogamous population?
An endogamous population is one where the members usually only marry within the population group. It may be based on geography, ethnic identity, social class, or religion. Long periods of intermarriage have left many endogamous populations with lower than average levels of genetic diversity. Examples of historically endogamous populations are the Amish, the Basque, and the various subpopulations of the Jewish Diaspora.
How does it affect my results if some of my ancestors married their relatives?
The effect on the Family Finder results can vary depending on how closely related these family members were, how frequently marriages between families occurred in your ancestry, and how recently they occurred. Children of a marriage between close relatives might receive segments of their DNA from both parents that originally came from their parents’ common ancestor. In other words, they inherit more DNA from their parents’ common ancestor because they are inheriting some of that ancestor’s DNA through each of their parents. The end result is that when descendents of these children test, they may appear more closely related to one another than they actually are. The more frequently and more recently these marriages took place in the family, the more likely they are to have some impact on your matches.
How many ancestors do I have?
The answer to this question has two components. For each generation there are the number of possible unique ancestors and the number of actual unique ancestors. The number of possible ancestors doubles with every generation. You have two possible parents, four possible grandparents, eight possible 1st great-grandparents, sixteen possible 2nd great-grandparents, and so on. Eventually the number of potential ancestors in a generation exceeds the number of people alive on Earth in that generation. Therefore, it is not possible for every ancestor to be unique within a pedigree. The genealogist Robert C. Gunderson coined this as “pedigree collapse.” For example, if someone’s parents are second cousins, then the number of possible 2nd great-grandparents is sixteen but the number of actual unique 2nd great-grandparents is only fourteen.
What percentage of our common ancestors’ DNA do I share with my cousin?
In general you share an average of 50% less DNA with an ancestor with each additional generation. To calculate how much DNA you are likely to share with a cousin, you have to consider that they have also inherited 50% less DNA with each generation. This can be shown using a modified version of the genealogical relationship chart. For example, you and your relative share a common ancestor, Emmet Blacksheep. Emmet is your 4th great-grandfather. He is your cousin’s 3rd great-grandfather. To use the chart, start with you. Look across the headings at the top to find 4th great-grandparent. Then look down the left column for your cousin’s relationship of 3rd great-grandparent. Find the point on the chart where the 4th great-grandparent column and 3rd great-grandparent row meet. This shows that you and your relative are expected to share .098% of your common ancestors’ DNA. This is an average, though, and because the amount of each grandparent’s DNA passed on to you is random, the amount of DNA that is shared with a particular cousin may be much more or much less.
What is the probability that my relative and I share enough DNA to be detected by Family Finder?
Certainty with 3rd or more recent cousins and highly likely with 4th and 5th cousins. Family Finder will also detect a reasonable percentage, but certainly not all of more distant cousins.
How many generations does Family Finder analyze or predict?
Our Scientific Advisory team has stated that the degree of confidence in predicting relatedness with around 500,000 SNPs on current generation microarrays is sufficient only to make a reasonable call up to five generations. However, we will return data and more distant matches.