The MyHeritage Interview Series: founder of Family Tree DNA Bennett Greenspan

The MyHeritage Interview Series: founder of Family Tree DNA Bennett Greenspan


Politicians, stay-at-home dads, academics or businesswomen…they all know the value of family and the joys of staying in touch with them. But what is on their family photo’s? How often do they call their mother and what celebrity do they secretly admire? Get ready to find out through the MyHeritage interview series!

Family Tree DNABennett Greenspan is CEO and President of DNA testing company FamilyTreeDNA. He founded the company in 1999, when he decided to turn his hobby into a business. Last month, MyHeritage started working together with Family Tree DNA to offer you the possibility to uncover your family roots through your DNA. A good occasion to ask Bennett all about his family.

What is on your favorite family photo?

“A Bar Mitzvah party…of the family and it looks unrehearsed for.”

What is your favorite holiday and how does your family celebrate it?

Sukkot… eating outside with the family and friends, telling stories and looking at stars.”

How international is your family?

“Not very, but my wife’s family is much more so…the only family I have on my side was found in Argentina with a DNA test in 1999, this test started the testing service that became known as Family tree DNA!”

Are you interested in genealogy and if so why?

“Since I was a boy (1965… growing up in Omaha, Nebraska) and having only a little family in Omaha the idea of genealogy showed me that I had family all over the country… and lots of dead relatives in the local Jewish cemetery.”

How do you think technology impacts family?

“More and more everyday. Although I kind of long for the time when we all didn’t have an excuse to go to our own rooms and do our ‘own thing.'”

How does your family use the internet and what do they use it for?

“We are all pretty internet connected, from finding a place to eat to finding the hotels we stay at on vacation. In 1999 I planned a family trip to Europe… and all hotels flights and trains were booked over the net.”

What MyHeritage feature do you like most?

“I like the face recognition software… I am always trying to figure out which of my relatives I look like the most.”

What famous person would you like to have in your family and why?

“Up until the financial crash I was hoping to find that Alan Greenspan was a relative… now, perhaps not so much.”

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  • Mario

    December 15, 2008

    Have hear so much about Sukkot, would love to experience it myself. Maybe I’ll get a chance next year with some colleagues in Tel Aviv.

    Great to have you here on our blog, Bennett.

    Best Mario

  • Nicolas

    December 15, 2008

    It’s nice to hear stories about hobbies turning into businesses, specially when they have to do with family. Congratulations to Mr. Bennett for his achievements.

  • Nan

    December 15, 2008

    great interview, very interesting! I am really passionate about how technology can be used in our daily lives, Family tree DNA is a very clever product that uses advanced technology to serve people and add value to our lives.

    BR, Nan

  • Debra Katz

    January 17, 2009

    An enjoyable interview with the trademark Greenspan humor!
    This is a good opportunity for me to say publically what I say privately all the time, which is I’m very grateful to Bennett for providing people like me with a chance to take my family history research to truly exhilarating new levels. Now the methods and benefits of genetic genealogy seem so obvious, but back when Bennett started Family Tree DNA it was not obvious at all. We’re lucky he had vision!

  • Lyman Turnner

    March 4, 2010

    Yes! thought your post is a really nice read The MyHeritage Interview Series: founder of Family Tree DNA Bennett Greenspan (MyHeritage Blog)! Lyman Turnner