Did you know that 20 percent more women have taken the AncestryDNA test than men? Find out how AncestryDNA lets women look at both sides of their family tree—and the middle, too.
Connecting the Lines
More women are taking the DNA tests than ever before and are having their own powerful experiences. My Mom and I included. In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share some of my mom’s DNA discoveries. I gave her a kit last year, and since then we have been able to find ancestors on her direct maternal line, her direct paternal line, and a few lines in between.
One test, many lines
The AncestryDNA test is an autosomal DNA test, meaning it looks at DNA you received from both of your parents. We’re no longer limited to just testing a portion of DNA that only men have. So, good news for us ladies! And, here’s a quick biology refresher. You received about 50 percent of your DNA from each of your parents. Your parents received their DNA from their parents (your grandparents), who got theirs from their parents (your great-grandparents), and so on. So, that big mix of DNA is what enables AncestryDNA to help you make discoveries across your entire family tree.
After we test your DNA we compare your results to everyone else’s in our database (over 400,000 as of earlier this month) to see who you share DNA with. Then we estimate a relationship based on how much DNA the two of you have in common.
The exmaples below show relatives on my mom’s tree that DNA found first, and then traditional genealogy revealed the most likely common ancestor.
With one test she has been able to trace and confirm many of her lines.
Connecting to the direct maternal line
After confirming this 3rd cousin match on my mom’s maternal line, we shared family stories and reconnected our families after many generations.
Connecting to the direct paternal line
While we have been able to connect with people on her paternal line, we haven’t been able to find where my mom’s Hill line came from before the U.S. Though, we still haven’t been able to cross the ocean, with DNA testing we have been able to expand our network of relatives who are searching for the same answers.
Connecting to “in between” lines
This match helped us trace a branch on my mother’s grandmother’s paternal line. After making this connection and exchanging pictures, we realized we live only 45 minutes away from each other.
This match is on a branch of my mother’s paternal line.
Did you notice a common theme among my mother’s DNA matches in these examples? Three out of the four people she matched with were women. Women she shares a common ancestor with, women she met because they took a DNA test. This wasn’t possible until recently, and as more people get tested and the database grows, it’s going to be more and more common to find matches on multiple lines.
To me, DNA testing, and the way it’s connecting us to our past through the present, is one of the most exciting things happening in family history today—we all have a chance to be a part of it. And men, in case you didn’t notice, the women are leading the way. But there is still time to catch up; take your test today and see what you will discover.
About Anna Swayne
Anna Swayne has 9 years of experience in the DNA genealogy world. At Ancestry, she leads efforts in developing education to help our community maximize their experience with AncestryDNA. She believes there is real power behind DNA and the story it can unlock for each of us. When she is not talking DNA you can find her hiking or cycling in the mountains or cooking at home.