These are frequently asked questions that we receive at SMGF. Click on a question of interest to see our response. You may also click
Show All Answers
Hide All Answers.
An independent lab will process your sample. We will then add your DNA sequence and family tree (of ancestors born before 1906) to the Sorenson Database on this website. Your genetic and genealogy information is stored at SMGF in a secure database, and your DNA sample is identified only by a code number and kept in secure storage. The lab keeps no personal information on the sample provider.
Donating a DNA sample and pedigree chart to the SMGF Project adds to our collection of DNA and genealogies from around the world. The information from these samples is used to build and refine our online database, to study human genetic history, and to develop tools to search for ancestors using DNA.
You will not receive your DNA results directly back from SMGF. Your DNA results and genealogy may be added to the Sorenson database, and you can find them by searching for your surname or your DNA sequence and looking at related family trees.
Simply go to our Search page and enter your surname of interest. You may also choose to enter known DNA test results or to use default DNA values. See the Help section of the Search page for more information.
The Results of your search will show the values for all participants that match your search criteria. In general, a higher match (e.g. 35/36 instead of 34/36) means a closer genealogical connection. We also provide links to pedigree charts and the Time to Most Common Ancestor (TMRCA) for closely matching results. The TMRCA and Results pages show further information to help with interpretation.
Due to privacy concerns, we cannot display non-matching results directly. However, you can determine the values of non-matching markers by changing the input values for the markers in question, and then looking at the results until you see a closer match.
The SMGF Y-chromosome markers represent a set of stable markers with reasonable mutation rates and enough genetic variability to be useful for genealogical purposes. Note that we do not include some markers used by other testing companies, but there is a large enough overlap that comparisons with other companies can easily be made.
To protect privacy, SMGF does not reveal any personal information of our participants, or the names of any ancestors born after 1906.
Anyone may search the Sorenson Database by surname and/or DNA results. If you or someone in your family has been tested by a commercial lab, you may enter those result values into the boxes on the Search page. Even if you have not been tested, you can search for individuals in our database whose genealogy includes your surname of interest.
Joining the SMGF project involves submitting a DNA sample and pedigree chart to us when your order a DNA test through our affiliate, GeneTree
. The DNA and genealogy information will become part of our research and be posted in our online database.
Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation is not affiliated with religious organizations or government agencies. The goal of the project is to help people make new family connections through the application of molecular genealogy.
The purpose of the SMGF database is to help people find links to the past using genetic signatures and genealogical records. In order to do this, the charts that we receive from participants are extended, using records available online, to include ancestors beyond those of the first few generations which are typically provided to us. Once a pedigree has been extended, SMGF genealogists check for obvious problems, such as parents being born after their children. During this process, if there is a question as to the correctness of data that cannot be resolved using records and resources available online, the questionable information is removed to avoid including lines that may be unreliable. The purpose of this is to ensure the genealogical information contained in the SMGF database is a true reflection of the biological ancestors of the participant and thereby correctly linked to the genetic signature of the participant.
As we extend charts that are provided to us, our database becomes even more valuable for those who use it for genealogical purposes. If you have additional generations that you would like to share, or corrections to information you find in our database from your own research, please send them to along with where and when you participated.
The number appears to have decreased due to clean up and consolidation of the database. For example, ST JOHNS and ST. JOHNS were previously counted as separate surnames and are now counted as one.
Please check the "Incomplete Data" and "All Paternal-line Surnames" checkboxes under the Results Display option to see the full number of matches for a given surname. For instance, the surname "Jones" may have 56 entries without the checkboxes checked, and 75 entries with the checkboxes checked.
AFN references that appear in some pedigrees are hyperlinks to Ancestral File Numbers on http://www.familysearch.org
that extend a lineage further back in time.
Familysearch.org does not permit transcription of AFN records, though our genealogists review their accuracy before linking to them. Note that details in Ancestral File entries may show minor variations from pedigrees submitted to SMGF due to reliance on different primary sources.
Please see www.familysearch.org
for further information on Ancestral File records.
Note also that the links provided from the SMGF website to Ancestral File at FamilySearch.org do not constitute or imply endorsement of SMGF website or its activities by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The smgf.org site will be updated with DNA and pedigree data for the last time in July 2012. This update will include the Y-chromosome and mtDNA haplotypes that were generated by SMGF over the course of its operations. Please note that some SMGF DNA samples were not tested for Y and/or mtDNA markers and will not be included in the online databases. Following the final update, the smgf.org site will continue to operate for the foreseeable future with static databases.
The SMGF database will be updated for the last time in July 2012. There are currently no plans for subsequent updates, although the site will continue to be available.
Yes. The SMGF database will continue to be available for free.
We are no longer accepting new participants to the SMGF project.
We are no longer accepting SMGF kits.
This service is not currently offered by Ancestry DNA, but it's something that is being considered.
Genetree.com will be discontinued on January 1, 2013. Following this date, access to family trees and DNA results will no longer be available through the GeneTree site. GeneTree has developed an export feature for both DNA results and family tree information.
You can import both family tree gedcom files
and DNA results
to an Ancestry.com account at no cost.
Genetree.com will be discontinued on January 1, 2013 and access to family trees will no longer be available through the GeneTree site. Your tree information will remain as-is until the site is discontinued, but we strongly encourage you to export your information and save it in another location as soon as possible. GeneTree has developed a feature for exporting family tree information into gedcom files. Your gedcom file can be used to transfer your data to most other family tree products and services. Ancestry.com and AncestryDNA welcomes GeneTree customers to import your gedcom file. If you choose to import your family tree gedcom file to an Ancestry.com account, you will continue to see your tree beyond the life of genetree.com and gain access to various family tree services. (See question 12 below for more information about Ancestry.com accounts). To view instructions on how to export your family tree information, click here
Genetree.com will be discontinued on January 1, 2013 and access to DNA results will no longer be available through the GeneTree site. Your DNA results will remain as-is until the site is discontinued, but we strongly encourage you to export your DNA results and save it in another location as soon as possible. GeneTree has developed a feature for exporting your DNA results into text files. Ancestry.com and AncestryDNA DNA welcomes GeneTree customers to import your DNA results. If you choose to import your results to Ancestry.com, you will continue to see your DNA results beyond the life of genetree.com and gain access to various services. (See question 12 below for more information about Ancestry.com accounts). To view instructions on how to export your DNA results, click here
Genetree.com will be discontinued on January 1, 2013. Following this date, access to your PDF will no longer be available through the GeneTree site. We strongly encourage you to download your PDF report and save it in another location, or print it as soon as possible.
You will have contact with your current connections/matches until GeneTree.com is discontinued on January 1, 2013. All genetree.com customers are highly encouraged to import their results to Ancestry.com to gain access to the various services provided by Ancestry.com.
GeneTree is no longer accepting orders. If you would like to purchase a DNA test, please visit dna.ancestry.com
and you may do so there. Ancestry DNA offers the same type of Y-DNA and mtDNA testing services that GeneTree previously offered as well as new autosomal tests.
Customers who have not yet sent in their kit, or who returned a DNA kit after April 30, 2012, will receive a full refund of the purchase price. Refunds will be issued within 6-8 weeks either by automatic credit card payment or a refund check will be sent by mail.
This service is not currently offered by Ancestry DNA, but it's something that is being considered.
Yes. Once you import your family tree gedcom file and DNA results to Ancestry.com, a connection/matching feature will provide you with an even larger database of people to potentially connect/match with.
Yes. You have control over the privacy settings of your DNA results and trees on Ancestry.com.
Your DNA sample will be securely stored in a similar method to that which was used by SMGF/GeneTree.
Ancestry.com offers free guest accounts with family tree tools and basic DNA services. If you choose to subscribe to Ancestry.com, there are varying levels of subscription to fit your budget. Purchasing a US Discovery or World Explorer subscription will give you access to records and the Ancestry.com member community along with other features beyond what a free guest account offers.
If the GeneTree results you have are for a different type of test or a different person than your Ancestry.com DNA results, you can manually enter the results to your Ancestry.com account.
If your Ancestry.com and GeneTree tests were for the same person with the same type of DNA test, you can choose to continue to use these results on Ancestry.com or upload the results from GeneTree in addition to your Ancestry.com DNA results. If you choose to upload the GeneTree results, you will have to create a new separate guest account on Ancestry.com and manually import your GeneTree results to the Ancestry.com guest account.
If you already have Ancestry.com DNA results, they will remain intact on Ancestry.com DNA. No action is required of you. If you need help accessing your Ancestry.com DNA account, contact Ancestry.com Member Services at 1-800-ANCESTRY.
There will be no affect on your existing Ancestry.com account.
This service is not currently provided by Ancestry DNA, but it's something that is being considered.
On January 1, 2013, you will no longer be able to access data from your managed accounts at GeneTree.com. If you manage results for other people, you will need to create a guest account on Ancestry.com for each person and then have them join your group.
If you have a question not listed above, please contact us
and we will try to respond as quickly as possible.