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DNA Basics & Specifics


    Following is some information about DNA Testing and answers to questions one might have regarding DNA testing. Most information is straight from the Family Tree DNA website at

    In addition, FTDNA has an wonderful tutorial on their website at

    If there is a discrepancy in what this site says and what FTDNA's site says, go by what FTDNA says rather than this site as they are the most up to date on their own information.

    When it comes to price, we, as a group, get a discount. The FTDNA website normally quotes the non-discounted price and we, as a group, get a discount off their published price. When you join the group be sure you go through our link on their page and you will automatically be charged the discounted price. This is the link should you wish to join now, True&projecttype=S

    How is the test performed?

          Your genetic test kit consists of a cheek scraper and a collection tube. In about five minutes, you will be able to read the instructions and perform a painless cheek scraping. The effect of using the scraper is about the same as brushing your cheek with a soft bristle toothbrush. A backup scraper & tube is included to insure that a good sample is obtained by our lab. We intend that you use them both!

    Then what happens?

          After you have placed your order, a genetic test kit and instructions will be mailed to you. Upon its' return your genetic sample will be processed, and the results will be entered into our secure, private and confidential non-web-based genetic library. A comparison between your specific genetic markers and those of others in the database will then be performed and you will be notified if another person matches your results perfectly.

    Will I have the right to remove my genetic profile from the database at some later time?

          Yes. Just like an email list, if you decide that you want your data deleted from the database, you may email us, we will look up your ID number, and ask that it be deleted from the Database.

    If the marker analysis shows that I carry a problematic gene, will I be informed?

          No. We won't know if you show positive for a disease, as we are only testing your DNA to look at 12, 2, 37 or 67 specific Loci on the Y Chromosome. The kit does not test for genetic or criminal data

    How long will it take for me to get my results?

          From the time you return the two specimens to us it will take approximately five to seven weeks to test your DNA sample, analyze the specimens and compare the results to data in the existing genetic library.

    How far back can you determine a genetic link?

          All genetic tests from Family Tree DNA 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. Our 12 marker test gives you the following range: 14.5 generations (50%) likelihood & 48 generations (90%) likelihood. Using our new 25 marker test the 50% likelihood drops to 7 generations and the 90% to 19.8 generations.

    What is your policy on confidentiality and privacy?

          We understand the extreme need for privacy, even when the goal is genealogy rather than courtroom or medical determinants. Much has been written about privacy and confidentiality of genetic testing over the last 5-10 years, and many states have passed legislation in this area. We follow the most stringent guidelines for privacy. óWe control the Surnames Database Library, while the University of Arizona controls and maintains the genetic library on our behalf. Therefore, there is a double safety net. The first is upon us in the form of State legislation, and the other upon the University of Arizona which, is bound by both State and Federal privacy and confidentiality legislation. To the best of our knowledge, no other genetics testing company has voluntarily placed itself under such strict regulations.

    What steps does Family Tree DNA take to keep my results confidential?

          Your privacy is assured because the testing facility will not have access to your name. Only your unique number will accompany your collection tube to the testing lab. The computer-generated number is the only information about you that the testing facility will see. Once your test has been completed, the results will be entered in a secure non-web-based database, and the lab will inform us of any matches between two coded numbers. The information placed in our Surnames Database Library will only display your last name on our web site. No specific information about you will be available at the web site. .

    What does the lab do with the actual DNA sample once the test is completed?

          The DNA extracted from your sample is kept by the lab for a period of 25 years for your exclusive use. It is important to note that Family Tree DNA adopts a "double safety net" in regard to your sample: Arizona Research Labs at the campus of the University of Arizona keeps the DNA associated to a number and not a name, while Family Tree DNA offices keep the database with no access to the actual sample.

    What's in a DNA test kit?

          Click here to see what's in a DNA test kit.

          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.

          Your 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!

    Pricing of Genetic Tests

    Since the Barnette Surname DNA Project is a part of an established surname project with Family Tree DNA we receive a discount.

    Note: Best to visit the Barnett site FTDNA website for latest pricing. Be sure to join from the Barnett site to get the discounted price:

    Family Tree DNA provides a safe, accurate and exciting breakthrough in the field of Genealogy. Using cutting edge University-proven technology, we provide a service that has not been offered before anywhere in the world.

          While other companies offer to determine a relationship between a child and the father, Family Tree DNA offers that same type of test between the child and, for example, the great-grandfathers' brother's offspring or other distant relatives.

          Upon ordering a collection kit via the web or by phone, your name and contact information is logged into our Surnames' database. If you submit two samples (one for you and one for a presumed relative), we will inform you in a few weeks whether the two genetic samples have yielded a genetic match.

          Your genetic information will be added to our secure, private, and confidential non-web-based result database where you will receive an exciting potential benefit. As other people order their genetic tests, they will either be looking for a relationship to another specific individual (example above) or they will be submitting for a comparison to the database library. If a match occurs in the future, you will be informed of this relative's existence so that you can contact that person, if you desire. For more about confidentiality and privacy of your records, see the FAQ or the section entitled Legal. on the Family Tree DNA website.

          Most of the people testing in the Barnett-Barney group have tested with the 37 or 67  marker test. I (Mic Barnette) feel the 12 marker test is too vague for our group. The 12 marker test tests back about 48 generations which gets you back to a time before people were using surnames. The 37 and 67 marker tests get you into a more genealogically traceable time frame of about 200-300 years ago. Since we have as many members as we do in the group it is likely you will match someone. If you do not it will only be a matter of time when someone does test with the group and will match you. When you match someone or when they match you it is only natural to want to know how or how close you match. If you have to upgrade your test, it will be another 6-8 weeks to get your answer. Therefore, I feel it is better to start with the 37 or 67 marker test so you will not have to wait for the results of the new test.


    Many of the links below reference  Family Tree DNA and may have also been covered in the information above. While there are several other excellent companies conducting DNA testing. We feel FTDNA is possibly the best and we have been very happy with our relationship with them. In our opinion they are the front runner in the genealogical DNA tetsing business. There is a link below comparing the various companies, their servics, etc. If you are a Barnett please test through our group at FTDNA as you will be in their database and your results will be compared against others who have tested with FTDNA. Should you test with another company you may upload your results to the and your data will be compared against anyone else who has uploaded their own data to that website.

    Use these links to learn more about DNA testing:

    Comparative Chart of Testing Companies, their services and prices:

    Learn About Testing, Privacy, Privacy                                                             Learn About The Test, Privacy, Pricing


    FTDNA (Blair DNA Group) Tutorial

    Test Kit information

    DNA Video



    Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak has appeared and been the featured speaker at numerous national and local television and radio shows including PBS's Ancestor Series. She also lectures on DNA nationally. She also writes articles for Ancestry and other publications. Here are links to her two websites                   and

    Other DNA and Family Surname Project Sites                                                    This page contains links to other known surname project websites sponsored by FTDNA

    Y-Search is a public website where anyone no matter which company they test with can upload their DNA results and compare it to others who have done the same.                        

    FTDNA Monthly Newletter About DNA                                                              Use this link to subscribe to the ezine

    FTDNA DNA Discussion Forum                                                                         This online forum is a great place to ask questions about DNA and monitor to learn from the questions of others

    International Society of Genetic Genealogy Founded to promote the use and better understanding of genetic testing. They have a lot of information on their website to aid one in learning more about testing

    ISOGG Newbie Mailing List

    ISOGG Journal of Genetic Genealogy Magazine

    Books and Videos About DNA

    Library of Scientific papers about DNA Research