LivingDNA Relative Update May 24, 2020

It’s been a long time coming, but LivingDNA has done a major update to relative matching. I had very few relatives listed on LivingDNA before today. I now have 662 matches (30/page), mostly in the U. S., but a few in Canada or the U. K.

The options with LivingDNA is to either transfer results from another company – 23andMe, AncestryDNA, FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA), MyHeritageDNA, etc. or to test directly with them. Initially, I transferred my 23andMe results to LivingDNA as 23andMe’s v3 chip had the highest SNPs tested of any of the companies I had tested with at that point. I later ordered a test through that used the LivingDNA test to run my results.

You tend to get better matching results if you test directly with a company than if you do transfers since you are comparing apples to apples. When you transfer results from other companies, the number of SNPs in common often go way down. That’s true even if you test with a different chip with the same company. Here’s the basic SNP comparison chart from ISOGG: I don’t know when I uploaded my 23andMe v3 chip results to LivingDNA if LivingDNA was using v1 (177,455 SNPs in common) or v2 chips (314,836  SNPs in common) compared to 683,503 SNPs in common when comparing LivingDNA v2 chip with other LivingDNA v2 chips and 401,315 SNPs in common when comparing to LivingDNA v1 chips. If you use the ISOGG SNP comparison chart, you can see how few or how many SNPs the LivingDNA v1 and v2 chips have in common with the other companies and with each other.

The same goes if you transfer tests to FTDNA, MyHeritageDNA, or GEDmatch. The SNP differences can make a huge difference in determining possible relationships, from 98,965 to 702,442 SNPs in common. It’s no wonder that some relationships are predicted at not very close relationships when comparing between different companies, especially when so few SNPs are in common. It’s also why I waited for a great sale on MyHeritageDNA to order the more expensive Ethnicity + Health test from them for $99.00 instead of its usual $199.00 regular price.

It’s a shame most DNA experts don’t bother to point out this issue as it can have a major effect on how close or distant you appear to be relationship-wise when comparing between different chips or different DNA companies. In some cases, you could have a close immediate family member appear to be a half-sibling because the amount of SNPs in common is so small. I have tested directly with FTDNA (v1 chip), 23andMe (v3 chip), AncestryDNA (v1 chip), MyHeritageDNA (v2 chip), and LivingDNA (v2 chip). I need to do 23andMe and AncestryDNA‘s latest chips as FTDNA doesn’t normally allow upgrading to the newest chip as they only want one sample, either transfer or FTDNA chip set for autosomal comparisons.


About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
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