AncestryDNA is one of the largest online DNA testing services and now has over 10 million customers in its DNA database. This DNA testing service finds out information about your ethnicity and where you came from (these results are called Ethnicity Estimate and includes 26 ethnic regions) and distant relatives of others who took the same test. AncestryDNA was launched by Ancestry.com in the United States in May of 2012 and a few years later became available in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and other countries. AncestryDNA does not require a Ancestry.com subscription and is ordered separately, but results can be shared across accounts allowing you to find other relatives if you so desire and expand your family tree (for those interesting in Genealogy).
To test your DNA all AncestryDNA requires is a saliva test. They will mail you a kit which you then return, and in as little as 6 weeks you can go online and get your results. To generate the result reports, AncestryDNA uses microarray-based autosomal DNA testing to infer your ancestry traits and find distant relatives in their database that share your DNA. Your entire genome will be surveyed and more than 700,000 genetic markers of your DNA will be analyzed by AncestryDNA.
How It Works
First you need to visit the AncestryDNA.com website and place your order. You will create an account at the same time which is used later to view your results. Once the order has been processed a AncestryDNA kit will be mailed to you which should arrive within 6 days (depends on shipping option selected.
Once you have received your AncestryDNA kit it only takes a few minutes for you to collect the required saliva. You must make sure not to eat, drink, chew gum, or smoke 30 minutes before giving your sample. When you open the kit you will find a set of easy to read instructions (with images), a tube with a funnel and a cap (that contains a blue liquid stabilizer), a collection bag to place the tube in once the sample has been taken, and a prepaid mailing box to return the sample.
When ready you first should log into AncestryDNA account and activate your DNA kit with the Activation Code found on your tube (4 sets of letters and numbers). You then can go ahead and fill the tube with less than a 1/4 teaspoon of your saliva using the funnel. Once you have enough saliva you can take off the funnel and replace it with the cap which you turn to tighten. Once tight the stabilizer fluid will be released into your sample. You then shake the tube for 5 seconds to mix. The stabilizer solution keeps your saliva safe while being mailed. When finished put the tube into the collection bag and seal it, and then the bag into the mailing box. That's it, all you need to do now is drop the box in any mail box or at the post office.
Once mailed your AncestryDNA test results usually take about 6 to 8 weeks to process from the time that the lab receives your DNA sample. Please remember to activate your DNA kit online or the processing of DNA will not begin.
When your results are ready, you will receive an email from AncestryDNA notifying you. The email will contain a link to view your results or you can log directly into your AncestryDNA account to view them as well.
When you create an account on AncestryDNA you do have to agree to their terms and conditions. It is a lengthy document but it does say in it that any data derived from your DNA is yours and at anytime you can log into the website and delete your data.
AncestryDNA protects your data using a variety of physical, technical, and administrative procedures. Access is restricted at their data center and data is encrypted when stored and while in transit. When the lab handles your DNA it is only referenced by the bar code. Plus, if you choose to opt-in for your data to be used in studies like the AncestryDNA Research Project, your data is pooled together with others and identification information like names and birth dates are removed.
As the DNA sample owner, you control who (other AncestryDNA customers) can see your final results. Using the Account Manager on the AncestryDNA website you can share results with other users (either as viewers or collaborators) by clicking the share button and enter their email address so they will receive a invitation.
Services & Costs
AncestryDNA offers one test for $99 USD (may be a different price in other countries). Shipping costs extra with the standard costing $9.99. There are 5 sections to the results report.
AncestryDNA Traits costs $9.99 and requires the purchase of the DNA testing kit. You can either purchase Traits after you get your DNA results, or at the time you purchase the kit.
All prices in USD unless specified other wise. Prices may or may not include shipping, handling, and taxes. If available in other countries prices may be different. Costs were last checked on February 20, 2019.
This shows a break down by percentage of your ethnicity by 37 different regions. This is also displayed on a graphical map which makes the information easier to read and understand. On the map you can click on the different regions and read more about what countries are represented (for example Europe West). On the left side of the report is a chart that shows your ethnicity regions from greatest to least along with additional information like the percentage of accuracy of the result (which can be higher than 50% in some cases).
Genetic Communities are groups of AncestryDNA members who are connected through DNA most likely because they descend from a population of shared ancestors, even if they no longer live in the area where those ancestors once lived.
Based on your DNA this report will show what Genetic Communities you may belong too and rate how likely your ancestors were a part of these communities. You can belong to more than 1 community. On the report you will be able to find more information about the community and how large the population was from different time periods along with their common migration routes.
On this part of the report you find out who you share a genetic connection with from other members of AncestryDNA (as of 2017 over 5 million). Most matches will be distant (4th to 6th cousin) but some members have found much closer relatives. Of your matches the report displays when they last logged into their account, their ethnic mix, and it also allows you to send them a contact message. If you are a Ancestry subscriber (Genealogy service) (and the match is as well) you may also view your relatives public family tree.
AncestryDNA Traits allows you to find out about your genetic inheritance. It is an extra cost (over the original DNA testing which is required) but it allows you to find out about 18 different traits you may share with people of similar heritage, country and family members. For example if one of your cousins has had a DNA test done at Ancestry you will be able to compare your traits to see how much you both are a like. Traits you can find out about include:
- Male Hair Loss, Hair Type, Hair Color, Hair Strand Thickness, Unibrow
- Eye Color, Iris Patterns, Freckles, Cleft Chin, Finger Length, Skin Pigmentation, Earlobe Shape, Earwax Type
- Sweet Sensitivity, Savory Sensitivity, Bitter Sensitivity, Cilantro Aversion, Asparagus Metabolite Detection
Using Ancestry online tool you can build a family tree. As you add relatives to the tree the tool will indicate if any public records are found for your ancestors. By subscribing to Ancestry.com you would get access to these records (and the ability to search) which will add more information, pictures and other relatives to your growing tree.
DNA Circles allows you to identify living relatives according to the direct-line ancestors that you share with other AncestryDNA members. By using your family tree information and those from members that are related to you, you can find long lost relatives. A DNA Circle will form around an ancestor in your family tree if your tree is public and linked to your DNA test, and if two or more of your DNA matches other members. DNA circles are only possible for Ancestry.com subscribers who have done the DNA test and have a public family tree.
AncestryDNA supports their customer in a number of different ways. First they have an in-depth Support Center where you can find a large number of common support topics and quick tips from everything to billing questions to, questions about your DNA results. If you don't find your answer online then you can contact them directly via email or a toll free phone number. Ancestry also has an online forum (Message Boards) setup which is really popular with members. This is also a good place to ask any questions you have as most likely one of the members reading knows the answer.
- Largest consumer DNA database
- DNA test results can be used to help build your family tree on Ancestry.com (genealogy service)
Disclaimer: While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of our information at Review Chatter we shall not be held responsible for any discrepancy. There is a possibility that the information provided here is outdated or wrong, please check with the companies website directly for the most recent information. As always you should read your terms of service before purchasing any product online or signing up to any online service.