AncestryDNA’s autosomal testing combined with their range of features can help you unlock more information about your heritage.
With AncestryDNA, you can connect your genetic results with record-based findings. This will help you to explore your family history, connect with long-lost relatives, and build an extensive family tree. If you want to get started, the process of ordering a kit online is easy and we will break it down for you in this review.
|Largest DNA database available||Lacks some tools and utilities that are available at other databases|
|Features and website are user friendly||A subscription is required to access some ancillary features|
|Provides access to a vast number of genealogical records to help build your family tree|
|Test turnaround time is quick|
AncestryDNA offers a selection of packages so you can pick the best plan that meets your ancestry needs. Sales regularly occur during the holidays, so we advise to keep an eye on the prices during the summer, Christmas and New Year periods. If what you want is to run a single test and access the results, then a subscription is not required.
|Autosomal DNA Test||£79 + postage ($99 USD + tax & postage)|
|All UK & Ireland Subscription||£13.99/month or £69.99/ 6 months|
|Everything on Ancestry Subscription||£19.99/month or £99.99/ 6 months|
If you are not already an Ancestry member, signing up and purchasing the test is a straightforward process.
Once your results are back you can begin to explore your results on your Ancestry DNA homepage. First in the list is your ethnicity estimate. Clicking on your ethnicity results will take you for a closer look at your ethnicity estimate breakdown. Inside your ethnicity breakdown, you can learn more about how Ancestry analyses your DNA against ethnic populations around the world. You can also learn how you compare to native populations for a given ethnicity. You may also find data for any recent migration information they have pinpointed about your ancestors. It is worth noting that Ancestry regularly updates their ethnicity estimates as they gather more data meaning your ethnicity results will change and become more refined over time.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of Ancestry’s DNA results is that of your DNA matches. Your autosomal DNA is made up of random segments inherited from your ancestors on every ancestral line. As your autosomal DNA recombines every generation, you have less DNA from more distant ancestors than recent ones. Therefore, your list of DNA matches can range from close matches, like a sibling or parent all the way out to 6 – 8 generations in the past; roughly 7th cousin range. Ancestry groups your matches into categories of relatedness on how much DNA you share with that match. Your match list will display your closest matches first and continuing out to your more distant cousins.
Clicking on a DNA match in your list will bring you to their DNA profile. You can view their ethnicity estimate if they have shared it as well as finding out exactly how much DNA you share with them by clicking the “i” icon which displays shared DNA in centimorgans. Using the amount of centimorgans shared, you can utilise relationship charts online to further determine your likely relationship. The matches tab on each matches profile will show you a list of matches you and each match have in common. If the match has attached a family tree to their results you can view the surnames and other information in their family tree to try and determine how you may be related.
To really get the most out of your DNA results, attaching a family tree to your own results opens up access to a number of fascinating features at Ancestry. While a subscription to Ancestry is optional for testers, it is really worth your while subscribing for a month or perhaps longer to help you put together your own family tree. Ancestry has a wealth of family history records from all over the world available with their subscriptions.
With a family tree attached to your DNA results, Ancestor Discoveries can help you figure out how exactly you are related to your matches i.e. find shared surnames and ancestor locations. These additional features include:
Ancestry also has many privacy features. You do not have to display your real name to matches and the same goes for the living people in your family tree. You can opt out of being shown to your DNA matches altogether, although you will not see any of your matches either. You can also delete your test at any time. But, before you do, you will want to download your raw DNA data from the website.
Downloading your raw DNA data from Ancestry, there are a number of ways you can utilise this data to find out more about your health and your genealogy. You may upload your raw DNA data from Ancestry to Family Tree DNA, myHeritage and GEDmatch for free of charge to find more matches, more about your ethnicity and take advantage of different tools and utilities.
Furthermore, as Ancestry does not offer any health-related information with their test, you can upload your Ancestry raw data to Promethease or Genetic Genie for a health report or make your DNA data available to medical researchers of your choosing and get paid for it by uploading it to Encrypgen’s Gene-Chain. These added advantages make testing with Ancestry DNA excellent value for money.
Ancestry has a thriving community on their message boards where you can seek help or collaborate with others on research. Ancestry also has a number of guides, FAQ’s and videos to help you learn how to use all the features and services they provide. If you need customer support, they are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and give advice. You can get in touch via telephone (0800 404 9723) or alternatively, sending them a message to their head office:
Ancestry, 1300 West Traverse Parkway, Lehi, UT 84043
Ancestry is a site that launched in the UK in 2002 and has become widely known for its long list of genealogical records. A decade later (in 2012), they launched a DNA testing service, AncestryDNA and since then, over 10 million people have used with the service making their database a genealogist’s first stop on their journey into the world of ancestry research and DNA testing.