1. MyHeritage DNA- Best DNA Test For Ashkenazi Jewish Ancestry
MyHeritage DNA provides a lot of extras and interactive ways to view DNA results. You can view each of the ethnicity percentage estimates and explore your ethnic origins on a map.
- Scan your results against 690,000 genetic markers in 42 unique geographic regions.
- Get Your Results Online Within 4 Weeks.
- HG is in Yehuda, Israel.
- Choose From Over 72 Languages.
DNA Test Kit For Only $59
MyHeritage DNA will give access to a list of common Jewish ancestral surnames to track last name origins.
Editor's Note: MyHeritage DNA seems like a good choice when you want to test your Jewish Heritage while tracking family members and surname origins.
Bottom Line: In addition to ancestry, MyHeritage matches users that share genetic sequences. Users can also upload their raw DNA data from other DNA testing companies to match with relatives.
Read MyHeritageDNA Full Review
2. Ancestry DNA - Best For Worldwide Research
AncestryDNA specializes in helping customers trace their genetic roots and find family members.
- Largest global database of users.
- Strong focus on mapping Jewish heritage.
- Over 20 Billion Historical DNA Records.
- Covers 350 Regions Worldwide.
- Average Results Time: 6-8 weeks.
- HQ is in Lehi, Utah, United States.
- Founded in 2012
DNA testing kit starts at $99
Ancestry is a DNA testing service that began as a family history magazine and book publisher in 1983.
Editor's Note: Generally, Ancestry gets good ratings from customers online. Their in-depth family search tool makes it a good option.
Bottom Line: AncestryDNA allows users to make the most out of their match results and helps individuals in their ancestry-search.
Read Ancestry DNA Full Review
3. Living DNA - Best For Sub-Regional DNA Results
LivingDNA will offer a Sub Regional view of your ethnic background, showing your ancestry percentages and where they came from.
- Your genetic makeup will be compared across 150 regions worldwide.
- Shows your recent ancestry from 500 years ago.
- UK-based company.
- Founded in 2012.
- Results take 6 - 8 weeks.
DNA testing kit starts at $99
Take note that Living DNA ancestral test results focus on where people have lived rather than ethnic population groups such as Jewish Ashkenazi.
Editor's Note: If you’re looking for a detailed ancestry report, Living DNA is one of the best choices.
Bottom Line: The ancestry results that Living DNA provides can give you a head start on your journey to finding your Jewish bloodline.
Read Living DNA Full Review
4. Family Tree DNA - Best For In-Depth Results About Paternal Heritage
FamilyTreeDNA is one of the five biggest DNA test services presently available. As the only service that offers all three types of DNA tests – autosomal, Y-DNA, and mtDNA.
- Focuses on Jewish Ancestry
- Results take 4 - 8 weeks
- 2 of the 24 databases belong to the major Jewish heritages – Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jew.
- Founded in 2000.
- 2 million users.
Prices start at $79
FamilyTreeDNA’s records are so valuable that they’ve shared information with the FBI in order to find answers to unsolved cases.
Editor's Note: The FamilyTreeDNA service has a modest 2 million users, and that means that your matches will be limited to that population.
Bottom Line: There’s a deeper level of accountability behind FamilyTree DNA’s approach, However, one of the downsides is that your information may be shared with the FBI.
Read Family Tree DNA Full Review
5. iGenea- Best For Geology And Ancestry Research
iGENEA collaborates with Family Tree DNA and performs analyses through its laboratory and database. This way you know that the possibility of accurate results is big.
- Analysis by expert Swiss genealogists.
- Analyze your origins over 100,000 years ago.
- Can take up to 7 weeks to receive your results.
- Includes A Free Consultation with an Expert.
- Offers 3 types of DNA test - Basic, Premium, and Expert.
- Founded in 2006 and is Swiss-based.
From 179 EUR to 1299 EUR
iGENEA Is Only for Genealogy, Not Health
Editor's Note: Since, the iGenea founder created this to find her own Jewish heritage, I will trust the results quite a bit.
Bottom Line: iGenea has a unique connection to Jewish DNA heritage. Its founder, Joelle Apter, started the company because she was searching for her own Jewish and Polish lineage.
Read iGenea Full Review
6. EasyDNA - Best For A Fast Turnaround Time
Despite being a less well-known DNA testing company, EasyDNA has been in business for more than ten years and has offices around the world.
- Executed over 300.000 various DNA tests in its lifespan.
- EasyDNA doesn’t allow you to upload raw DNA data from another testing service.
- EasyDNA was established in 2007 in Malta and 2008 in Australia.
- Receive Your Results In 3-5 working days.
DNA Testing Kit Prices Start at $169
EasyDNA only provides an overview and no in-depth results.
Editor's Note: EasyDNA can be a great option if you want quick results in a short period.
Bottom Line: The EasyDNA ancestry tests offer the possibility to get a broad and general overview of your ancestry thousands of years ago. They cannot pinpoint relatives or locate people who might be related to you.
Read Easy DNA Full Review
7. Dynamic DNA Labs - Best For People Who Wants To Prove Paternity or Kinship
Dynamic DNA Labs offers customers several different types of DNA tests. Besides its general ancestry DNA test, Dynamic DNA Labs also offers two tests that tell you specifically if you are biologically related to your father, brother, or siblings.
- HQ is in Springfield, MO.
- Get results in 2 - 3 weeks.
- Offers three types of family and ancestry tests: two that prove paternity or kinship and one ancestry test.
- Offers Quick Support Response by Email.
- The company was founded in 2018.
Prices start at $99
According to online reviews, some people have been saying that the results are a bit too vague.
Editor's Note: When looking at what the company does, I think it can be a great way to find out certain parts of yourself, but other options will give you better insight into these things.
Bottom Line: According to reviews, purchasing the kit is easy, but results are minimalistic and they are lacking customer support.
Read Dynamic DNA Labs Full Review
Nebula Genomics uses Whole Genome Sequencing to give you a comprehensive analysis of your genetic makeup.
- Offer whole-genome sequencing.
- Dedication to privacy.
- Sequences your entire genome 30 times for accuracy.
- Founded in 2016 in San Francisco.
- Browse through your entire genome with their Genome Browser.
- Results can take up to 13 weeks.
$299, plus a subscription fee
You have total control over your privacy
Editor's Note: Nebula Genomics stands out from other commercially available DNA tests by sequences your entire genome and the company prides itself on being more careful with your privacy than other companies.
Bottom Line: While whole-genome DNA sequencing in itself is a rather unique offering, Nebula Genomics doesn’t stop there. By using blockchain technology, the company allows users to get paid when researchers use their genetic information for medical research.
Read Nebula Genomics Full Review
9. Sequencing.com - The largest DNA app store
Sequencing.com not only offers Ancestry and Health DNA testing but also Ultimate Genome Sequencing, which tests 100% of your genome.
- Sequencing.com offers whole-genome sequencing, unlike many competitors.
- Data security is important to the company.
- You retain the rights to your data.
- Over 100 analysis apps and reports.
- Access to ongoing insights, rather than one-time reporting.
- Their HQ is in Los Angeles, USA.
$69 - $399
Sequencing.com can take you beyond what traditional DNA test results can tell you.
Editor's Note: I do recommend Sequencing.com for people interested in taking a deep dive into their genome. It can also be a great resource for following the latest advances in DNA analysis.
Bottom Line: Just like Nebula, Sequencing.com offers a deep-dive into your genome, but what makes it different is that it also offers a wide range of DNA apps users can choose from.
Read Sequencing.com Full Review
10. Vitagene - Perfect For A Healthier lifestyle Through DNA Testing
Vitagene uses genetic analysis to help its customers find the best diet and exercise more effectively.
- Offers diet and fitness recommendations based on DNA data analysis.
- HQ is in San Francisco, California, USA.
- Founded in 2014 by a neurosurgeon and a businessman.
- Results: 4-6 weeks
$30 for data upload; up to $249 for DNA testing kits
In 2018, the company partnered with Family Tree DNA.
Editor's Note: While Vitagene focuses on health and diet recommendationsdeep dive, it can still be a great way to find more information about your DNA and ancestors.
Bottom Line: Vitagene’s DNA tests are relatively cost-effective, less expensive than those of other test providers which makes it a great alternative.
Read Vitagene Full Review - the review ends with a link to a dedicated brand review page on our site.
Why Take a DNA Test For Jewish Ancestry?
Jewish Ancestry is one of the richest in terms of history. If you have Jewish DNA that extends past five generations, you can easily trace your Jewish heritage. Over the decades and even centuries, Jewish migration played a big part in making the process of finding one’s heritage challenging. Jewish groups migrated all over the world. Luckily, with the extensive academic databases, tracking your family line is now easier.
With A DNA Test For Jewish Ancestry, you will be able to trace what Jewish ethnic group you come from and how you came to be. This information can provide a sense of belonging and give you insight into medical and health information that can help you in the future.
How Can A Jewish DNA Test Kit Change Your Life?
When I researched real-life stories about people finding out their Jewish Ancestry. I saw that many people had unexpected Jewish Ancestry in their DNA test results.
One story that stood out was Emma's story. She explained what the DNA results meant, and how they helped her discover an unknown great-grandparent in an article.
You can read her amazing story in the online article, and see how amazing it can be to find surprising DNA results that could change your life forever.
How To Do A DNA Test For Jewish Ancestry With A DNA Test Kit
DNA testing works by taking a closer look at the chains of DNA that you have. The fact is, throughout generations, DNA chains will change and reshuffle, but there will always be segments that remain the same. People with the same DNA segments are related on some level. A DNA Testing kit, will take your DNA sample and compare it to the results in their database.
To Take A DNA Test Sample, Just Follow These Steps:
Step 1: Visit the clinic website of your choice, and answer a few questions about yourself.
Step 2: Now order the DNA Testing Kit.
Step 3: When the DNA kit arrives, you can collect your DNA sample.
Step 4: After you collect your sample, register it on the website.
Step 5: Now it is time to send your sample back, and wait for the results.
The Five Major Types Of Jewish Ethnic Groups
There are five major types of Jewish ethnic groups that you may find your ethnicity stemming from in your Jewish DNA Test. Below, we briefly explore each of them.
- Ashkenazi Jewish - This group stems back two thousand years, predominantly from European women. This group of Judaism has been traced back to the northern parts of the Mediterranean.
- Ethiopian Jewish - This group stretches back over 15 centuries. They have a unique cultural standpoint and were predominantly nomadic. They lived separate lives in small communities, without much leadership to unite them all under one banner, so most of their traditions were only handed down orally.
- Mizrahi Jewish - This group of Jewish people comes from a Middle Eastern heritage. They share many religious customs with the Sephardic Jews, but Mizrahi Jews have active community ties, dating back to Yemen, Babylonia, and Persia. They didn’t speak just one language but rather a series of dialects that related to their specific regions.
- Sephardic Jewish - This group has by far the largest population of Jewish heritage. They were responsible for the Golden Age of Jewish culture in Spain. However, in 1492, Spain’s royalty expelled Sephardic Jews from the country, and they left Spain, opting for places like Amsterdam, North Africa, and the Middle East. Unlike other Jewish communities, Sephardic Jews had a unifying language called Ladino. It was spoken throughout the Iberian Peninsula, borrowing words from Hebrew, Arabic, and even Portuguese.
- Yemenite Jewish - Coming from Yemen, the majority of this group of Jewish population reside in Israel today.
What You Can Expect To Learn In Your DNA Test Results
Now the question might be, what exactly will you learn when doing an at-home DNA test? Well, most of the kits warn that testing your DNA can lead to surprising or life-changing results. So it is important to prepare yourself mentally.
You may learn the following facts when doing a Jewish DNA test:
- Uncovering your Jewish genetic traits.
- Find new cousins and family members.
- Where your Jewish ancestors are from.
- Learn about genetic illnesses.
- Learn about your genetic makeup and what foods you should eat to be healthy.
Which Test Should I Take for Jewish Ancestry?
Before jumping online and picking the first DNA testing kit you see, you should ask yourself a few questions about your Jewish ancestry and what you want to learn. Depending on how deep you’re exploring, you may be best served with a specific type of test. There are three kinds of DNA tests, and each can tell you different things about your Jewish Ancestry:
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)
Every human inherits a series of chromosomes from both their father and mother. Your mitochondrial DNA is the part of your genetic code that is inherited directly from your mother’s line and can show you your maternal ancestry several generations back. Both men and women can use these tests. When it comes to determining your Judaism (not your Jewish ancestry) your mother’s lineage is an important factor. Moreover, there are several haplogroups—genetic populations—that are exclusively shared among Jews. Therefore, your maternal lineage can help shed important light on your Jewish ancestry.
Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA)
The Y-chromosome (also known as the “male” chromosome) is inherited from father to son, much like mitochondrial DNA. The major difference is that only males can take a Y-DNA test, since women don’t have a Y-chromosome. Y-DNA tests can trace your paternal ancestry back dozens of generations, but they are limited only to males in your history. If you suspect your father’s family has Jewish ancestry, you can have your brothers or father tested and compare your results.
These are the most commonly used tests on the market, and they give you a much broader look at your ancestry, though it goes back fewer generations. Autosomal tests scan your non-sex chromosomes and compare the results to databases of genetic markers and ethnic regions to determine your family history and find matches for relatives in their databases. These tests are great if you’re trying to learn more about your family’s heritage and migration history, or simply if you’re trying to connect to long-lost family or expand your family tree. However, they are not considered proof if you’re attempting to convert or determine if your family is Jewish.
The Limits of DNA Testing
Even though DNA testing can show you an incredible view of your Jewish ancestry and family history, there are some caveats you should keep in mind when you order a test. Although you’ll be able to learn much more, there are some factors that can limit the accuracy of the results you receive, including:
- Surname Changes – One of the biggest results of Jewish migration is that many family names have radically changed over time. Families may replace their surnames to match local customs better, and in many cases for Jews, they also did it to avoid persecution and blend in. This means that finding relatives can be tricky if members of the same family have changed their names drastically. Fortunately, autosomal and Y-DNA tests can help match you with relatives and show common ancestors.
- Genealogical Records – Another issue with migration, and especially for nomadic peoples, is a major lack of historical and genealogical records. If Jewish families emigrate from a country, they can’t always bring their historical records with them, leading to large gaps in family histories. Additionally, many countries have not always had strict census keeping policies, so records may not even exist.
- Cultural Isolation – Even when they’ve migrated throughout the world, Jewish communities tend to be closed off and isolated. Historically, there were few cases of marriage to non-Jews, which reinforces genetic traits and results in more genetic markers in common than normal. This can throw some relationship calculations off by a few generations, leading to less precise results.
- The Jewish Diaspora – As we’ve mentioned, Jews were historically largely nomadic and thus spread out across the globe. The diaspora has resulted in small communities of Jews and distinct genetic markers that have some mingling with local ethnic groups. This means that while there are several haplotypes largely exclusive to Jewish ancestry, more than half of Jews worldwide don’t match them.
- Jewish Haplogroups – Even with the degree of variance, there are some haplogroups that appear almost exclusively among those with Jewish ancestry. Groups N1b, K1a9, and K2a2a, for instance, are highly common for Ashkenazi Jews, but not elsewhere. Showing one of these haplogroups is a good indicator that you have Jewish ancestry. Even so, the degree of separation between Jewish subgroups means that Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi Jews, for instance, have distinct genetic markers.
DNA testing can be very useful when you want to do a family history search. Surname changes and missing records can make tracing your Jewish ancestry very difficult. So, this is where a Jewish DNA test comes in.
Yes, DNA testing has some limitations, but it can still be a big help in confirming your Jewish ancestry. When finding out your results, you can start building out your family tree.
So, why wait, do you think you have Jewish Ancestry? Then take a Jewish DNA test!