The Phillips DNA Project News


FTDNA and the FBI

Here is a link to a letter that Family Tree DNA sent to all its customers last week. Please note that the FBI is mainly using autosomal DNA results to help solve cold cases. FTDNA calls its autosomal DNA tests "Family Finder" tests. Our Phillips DNA Project is based entirely on Y-DNA results. Y-DNA tests are of limited value to the FBI.

What is the probability that my relative and I share enough autosomal DNA to detect?

If your relationship is within recent generations (2nd cousins or more recent relatives), shared autosomal DNA will almost surely be detected. Testing will also detect many 3rd cousins and about half of your 4th cousins. It will detect a small percentage of 5th and more distant cousins.


Chances of finding a match:


Match Probability

2nd cousins or closer

> 99%

3rd cousin

> 90%

4th cousin

> 50%

5th cousin

> 10%

6th cousin and more distant

Remote (typically less than 2%)


For genealogists, it is best to use autosomal DNA to prove recent relationships (one to five generations). Our Phillips DNA Project relies on Y-DNA testing, not autosomal DNA testing, because Y-DNA is passed down from father to son generation after generation with very little change.

Consumer advocates want Washington to tackle 'Wild West' of DNA test kits

Click here to read the entire story in The Washington Post.

Phillips DNA Blog