Dna Ancestry Test Kit Review: Autosomal DNA Test

Ancestry DNA is an autosomal DNA test

AncestryDNA tests only autosomal chromosomes; that is, non-sex chromosomes. These are the 22 chromosomes everyone has regardless of gender.

AncestryDNA will provide an ethnicity breakdown, as well as relative matches to anyone in the database who shares DNA with you. ALL of your family lines will be represented. Gender is of no relevance.

An individual receives approximately 50% of their DNA from each parent; 25% from each grandparent; and so on and so forth. The further you move away from an ancestor, the lesser their genetic contribution to you.

Autosomal DNA will provide matches reliably up to 5 generations. However, it is not necessarily unusual to have 6th, 7th and 8th cousin matches too, especially for those who are from endogamous populations. Autosomal DNA testing is, by far, the most popular test offering today.

The real value is in one’s relative matches. These are the connections that will enable you to expand your genealogy. Or, connect you to your birth parents. Or, lead you to that lost branch of the family. Or, perhaps the break was due to the ravages of war.

You can learn a lot about your roots, even some very unexpected discoveries when they provide you with information about potential family members. So just be prepared that one or both of your parents might have lied to you.

Ancestry test is most useful if you have an Ancestry.com membership so you can connect with your matches, and view Ancestry documents, i.e. immigration papers, census records, etc. to fully investigate your history. Plus, it’s easy to build a family tree and access other relatives’ trees as well.

DNA Ancestry Test Kit

DNA testing for genealogical purposes is an incredible tool and the perfect complement to traditional genealogy. We should be grateful to live in a day and age where this technology is available to us.

Ancestry DNA will enable you to make some incredible connections, that would not have been made possible otherwise. It is also wonderful to receive validation of years of research because the bottom line is DNA doesn’t lie (but families sometimes do)!

Those with colonial US roots tend to fare the best when it comes to matches, but the recent expansion of sales into the UK, Ireland, and Canada has been a welcome addition to the database!

What this test will NOT do: test for diseases or health conditions, nor will it show genetic mutations or if one is a carrier of a particular trait.

There is NO DNA company that can tell you what Native American tribe you descend from. There is no such thing as a Cherokee database. It’s just a bogus claim designed to part you from your cash. Don’t fall for it!

The Ancestry DNA test isn’t for East Asians as they cannot breakdown Asians by ethnicity. Maybe their database has little information for Asians, but you can use WeGene.com, which is a Chinese company that analyzes your AncestryDNA or 23andme data and gives a more detailed analysis of your results.

No access to results allowed from outside the United States. Although the company does not disclose this problem on their website, customers cannot view their test results on browsers outside the United States.

DNA Ancestry Test Kit Family Tree

It is of benefit to have a family tree done and uploaded to Ancestry’s website, even if you only know a little. Ancestry has access to so many records and more are being made available every day.

Ancestry DNA results can be accessed without a subscription. However, to maximize the experience, I recommend one. The Insight subscription is $49 for 6 months. You must call and request it since it isn’t offered online.

Order the kit and then get a temporary membership or even a one-month membership to ancestry (start with the US Discovery membership which is under $20). Then enter your family tree information (individuals who are living are not visible to others).

When your results come in, you will be able to see DNA “matches”, that is anyone who also tested their DNA and has shared genetic markers with you.

Ancestry will tell you in what way they suspect the person connects to you and they are usually spot on. They can even see if a person is a distant cousin (5th through 8th). If your match also has a tree online, you will be able to view it and see how you connect.

Looking for Biological Family? DNA is the way to go

– So much cheaper than hiring investigators to dig up your background
– Cheaper than the courts
– Best way to by-pass closed adoptions

Ancestry is OK for understanding who you are and where you came from with many particular limitations, as any of the others your mileage may vary. Useful for anyone trying to locate missing family members who may also be registered on the site

This kit serves best those who are interested in genealogy, however, do keep in mind that with DNA all closets become unlocked, and more than a few have been made aware of some unexpected relations, also consider your privacy, more on that later.

Ancestry takes a bit of time to navigate to learn what to do during the free period Often there are sales but worth paying for a year if you truly want to find your family. For some people it took 2 years and lots of work, so don’t give up.

The ethnic portion is very interesting but should be taken more like an estimation. Advances in DNA testing will enable improved accuracy, like getting more specific. It is nice how they group family relationships under “close family”, “1st cousins”, 2nd cousins, etc.

It is important to read the tutorials on the website. They are well researched and very informative. There is a load of information that would really enlighten many people and answer questions, but I’m not sure if this is happening. The test is quick, easy to do, and offers answers to many questions both online and on the phone.

With all that said, once you understand this, ask yourself what it is you are looking to get out of the test. Are you simply curious about your ethnicity? Do you have any interest in your genealogy (family tree)? For those who wish to learn about their genealogy, it can be very useful.

Ancestry Dna Test Kit Instructions

The sampling process is simple “spit in a tube, mail it in” some people prefer cheek swabs but this gets the job done.

Do NOT forget to activate your kit before mailing! The code is on the tube and the pamphlet insert.

Ancestry DNA Activation Kit Online

How to activate an ancestry DNA kit

The instructions are clear and concise. You must first activate the kit by going to the provided URL at which you enter your specific kit ID number as well as your contact information (email address, name, etc).

You are also asked whether or not you would like to consent to be a part of scientific research as well as (separately) if you would like to be discovered by others on their website. You then spit in your test tube and mail it off.

Buy DNA Ancestry Kit on Amazon






Ancestry Dna Test Advice

Purchase when it’s on sale for $79 or less. If you do so through Amazon, there is no charge for shipping and it is expedited for Prime members.

If your parents are available and willing to test, test them both! Even testing one parent will enable you to sort your maternal from paternal matches. If your parents aren’t available, ask their siblings, aunts/uncles, test your grandparents. Testing multiple relatives goes a long way in isolating family lines.

Also, always test the oldest generation first. Not only do you not want to miss out on the opportunity, but they are generationally closer to your ancestors and will have matches that you do not have.

Ask your siblings to test too. Even full siblings will have different matches beyond 2nd cousin. You will likely even see differences in their ethnicity breakdown.

Once results become available, transfer the raw data to Family Tree DNA for just $39. This will add you to their database for less than the $99 price tag and your results are available in days vs weeks.

[VIDEO] A DNA Test Reveals A Surprise in One Family Tree (short version)


[VIDEO] – (Full version)


Ancestry Dna Test Kit Information

* The ethnicity estimate is just about equal to everyone else. You can get more detail running your own models via Gedmatch but for the curious or beginner, this is the easy result.

* There’s no medical interpretation – most don’t anymore. You can get good medical results running your raw download through Promethease for a few bucks. If you want to know medical propensities then Ancestry won’t help much on its own.

* The relationship calculations are pretty accurate and the database is huge. Compared to the other tests, this one returned far more and much closer connections.

If you’re looking for birth parents and such, this is the place to start. Just remember that the calculator is an estimate and other possibilities exist.

* The user interface is pretty simple for newbies but doesn’t offer much in the way of analysis tools for those who have DNA experience. Gedmatch can make up for the shortfall in analysis tools if you can get your matches to upload there.

* The ease of creating an attached tree makes for some particularly easy genealogical research to confirm/refute family connections, for others prevalent errors in family trees.

* yDNA and mtDNA predictive markers are hidden in these results if you want to make an effort to dig them out.

One problem is the marketing of this tester has created a large database of folks who were only interested in ethnicity and won’t reply to genealogy queries. Many haven’t logged back in since they got their results back.

There are people expecting the test to return an easy result to “grasp it all” in a few minutes. The more you want to dig, the more complex the understanding will become. If you get hung up on needing to understand it all in a few short hours then you’re going to get very frustrated. Take it in a little at a time.


DNA Ancestry vs 23andMe

The differences between the top three services 23andme, Ancestry DNA and Family Tree DNA are negligible.

23andMe does offer the capability of seeing how much DNA, a relative shares with another relative in your database which is very helpful when trying to piece together relationships and you don’t want to bother others with sharing invitations

Ancestry is better for finding relatives and info on heritage with more than 1.4 million people in the database, and 23&me emphasizes genetic characteristics and also provides more specific details (mtDNA, yDNA, haplogroups).

If you are interested in medical results like the ones 23andme formerly offered (the FDA offering is pared down considerably and not worth the $199 price tag), take your raw data and upload it to Promethease for $5.

The origins portion of Ancestry is along the lines of 23andMe results. There is not much difference in how they presented those results either.

Ancestry is good if, after you have paid for your DNA test, you also pay to do a family tree but be forewarned, you have to continue to pay monthly or lose access to all of your work.

23andMe doesn’t charge anything after you have submitted your test, but have no ability to write a family tree. You do get DNA relative information from those who “opt-in” to publicly identify themselves.

Choosing which to use comes down to what you are looking to do, neither is going to give you everything.


Ancestry DNA Tips

A few tips to get the most out of Ancestry DNA and your overall experience:

Upload your raw data to GEDMATCH for FREE. Why? Unfortunately, Ancestry DNA does not provide a chromosome browser, which is a very important tool in genetic genealogy. Also, you will generate matches from 23andme and FamilyTree DNA, who also uploaded.

Download the Jeff Snavely Chrome Extension. Your results will be far more manageable, especially if you are handling multiple tests. It takes seconds to download but the initial scan can take hours. Be patient. You won’t regret it.

Don’t overlook New Ancestor Discoveries (these are potential ancestors that aren’t in your tree but Ancestry suggests them based on your DNA matches).

Ancestry hasn’t yielded on the chromosome browser, but they did unveil the “Shared Matches” feature and now provide us with the amount of DNA shared (centimorgans). Don’t overlook these tools to help you figure out your connection to your matches.

Build a public tree. This way you can benefit from DNA Circles and increase the likelihood of making valuable connections. Genealogy is about an exchange of information.

Where Can Someone Find Information On Dna Ancestry?

If you’re an adoptee, or you’re searching for a close relative and need help with how to get there using DNA, check out DNA Detectives on Facebook. It’s a wonderfully supportive group with lots of knowledgable people and plenty of reunions to buoy your spirits and encourage you.

For more education on DNA testing and/or genetic genealogy, check out the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) on Facebook.

Understanding Ethnicity

Before you purchase this product it is important that you know a bit about exactly what ethnicity is. It is not nationality or not necessarily even country of origin. Most people don’t understand that ethnicity is inherited RANDOMLY.

For argument’s sake, let’s say you know for certain one parent is 100% (unlikely) Greek, and the other parent 50% French and 50% Belgian. This does not mean the child will be half Greek and a quarter French and a quarter Belgian.

The child could end up with only 25% Greek or any number of combinations – including part of a different ethnicity altogether from their “deep ancestry” from several generations ago.

Ethnicity is like any other characteristic/trait – a person may favor one parent more than the other. While everyone gets half of their chromosomes from each parent, this is NOT so when it comes to ethnicity.

In fact, sometimes a part of one parent’s ethnicity may not even get passed down at all.

Likewise, it is possible to have a grandparent born in Austria (and for all practical purposes be mostly Austrian), but not have any Austrian passed down to the grandchild. Just like perhaps the eye color isn’t the same or the height or hair texture.

Another thing to remember is that the county of origin or nationality is not the same as ethnicity.

For example, many people left their homeland to emigrate to England. After a generation or so, they adopted the language and customs.

Perhaps then they left again and went to Canada, leaving future generations believing they are British. Then they have their DNA tested and no British appears, Why? Because their true ethnicity is not British.

Another instance could be that a particular ethnic race settled in a country and reproduced within their race, the ethnicity would remain as such until another ethnic line is introduced.

Lastly is the “Native American” phenomenon. While many people like to believe or have been told that an ancestor was a Native, or, if indeed it is true, it is not likely to show up in a DNA test.

The introduction of ethnicity in one’s ancestry will not likely manifest itself in a high enough percentage to be of significance, although it is possible.

In regard to ethnicity breakdowns. It’s an evolving science. Different companies use different algorithms and have different reference populations.

Don’t take the ethnicity component too seriously. They are pretty accurate at the continental level but this aspect of the tests should be viewed, overall, as estimates.

Read The Agreement

Ancestry.com owns your DNA and can use it against you

Be aware that Ancestry.com takes DNA ownership rights from customers and their relatives.

Buried in the Terms of Service, Ancestry.com warns customers, “it is possible that information about you or a genetic relative could be revealed, such as that you or a relative are carriers of a particular disease.

That information could be used by insurers to deny you insurance coverage, by law enforcement agencies to identify you or your relatives, and in some places, the data could be used by employers to deny employment.”

To use the AncestryDNA service, customers must consent to the Ancestry.com Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. These are binding legal contracts between the customer and Ancestry.com. The most egregious of these terms gives Ancestry.com a free license to exploit your DNA.

Customers must understand that turning over their DNA means a loss of complete ownership and control. Ancestry.com customers should also know they’re giving up the genetic privacy of themselves and their relatives.

Before purchasing, individuals are advised to fully read and consider the Ancestry.com Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. If you become a customer, Ancestry.com owns your DNA for life and longer.

I hope this helps you with your decision! Good luck and have fun with this!