11 February 2009

FamilyTreeDNA.com: You've come a long way, baby!

"You've come a long way, baby," as that old ad slogan went. Where would genealogy be today without Bennett Greenspan's innovative idea of genetic genealogy and FamilyTreeDNA?

Today, the company issued a press release indicating that more than a half-million DNA test kits have been sold by Family Tree DNA, a major milestone. Congratulations are in order!

I remember sitting with Bennett in Salt Lake City years ago, at an IAJGS conference, and hearing about the first faint germination of this idea.

FamilyTreeDNA has made it possible for so many people to learn more about themselves and their ancestors.

For Jewish genealogists especially this has meant an opportunity to reconnect families decimated by the Holocaust, for Hispanic families to learn about Jewish roots, for hidden Polish children looking for their Holocaust-era birth families, to confirm Ashkenazi family stories of Sephardic origin and for so many others to participate in thousands of surname and geographical projects.

When a person tests against FamilyTreeDNA's database - the largest in existence and the largest Jewish DNA database within that - the chance of finding genetic matches is much better.

Thank you, Bennett!

HOUSTON, - Family Tree DNA, the world leader in genetic genealogy, announced today that it has received its 500,000th DNA test order for genealogy and anthropology purposes. This historic milestone comprises Family Tree DNA’s own customers as well as the public participation samples in National Geographic and IBM‘s Genographic Project, which are also processed by Family Tree DNA.

Founded in April 2000, Family Tree DNA was the first company to develop the commercial application of DNA testing for genealogical purposes that had previously been available only for academic and scientific research. Almost a decade later, the Houston-based company continues to establish standards and create new milestones in the increasingly popular and rapidly growing field of genetic genealogy, while other companies have come to the market space looking for the business opportunity, but offering tests of lesser value.

Presenting the most popular and wide-ranging DNA-testing service in the field of genetic genealogy, Family Tree DNA prides itself on its commitment to the practice of solid, ethical science.

Family Tree DNA is the only company that provides all customers with a guaranteed assignment of ancestral origins and places their records in our secured database—the largest in the world for matching purposes—which, in turn, means increased chances of finding long lost relatives. In that regard, Family Tree DNA is an important resource for the three million people in the United States who either were adopted or descend from adoptees.

Since its inception, Family Tree DNA has been associated with the Genomics Analysis and Technology Core at the University of Arizona as well as some of the world’s leading authorities in the fields of Genetics and Anthropology. In 2006, Family Tree DNA established the state-of-the-art Genomics Research Center at its headquarters in Houston, Texas, where it currently performs R&D and processes over 200 types of advanced DNA tests for its customers.

Family Tree DNA currently has representative offices in Europe and the Middle East.

This was great news!

Tracing the Tribe is waiting for the announcement of the millionth test kit sale!

I don't think we'll have to wait that long for the next milestone!

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