There are many reasons to take an AncestryDNA test – below are top five reasons, in no particular order:
1. Learning Your Ethnicity
Anyone can discover what their ethnic origins are going back 500-1,000 years or more by taking an AncestryDNA test.
How can we do this? We take your DNA and then compare it to the DNA from the 26 different regions around the world.
After the comparison is made we then give you an estimate of which region your DNA matches up with. This estimate is based on research we have done today and may change as time goes on and more research is done as science and technology are advancing to help us discover more about ourselves. Read a recent story shared with us about how Lexi found a connection to one of her ethnic groups. What is your unique mix?
2. Breaking Through a Brick Wall
We are combining two powerful things — DNA and family trees — to provide a tool that can help us answer the questions we have about our story. Since we inherit DNA in a unique way (50% from mom and 50% from dad) the results are unique to each person and even a sibling wouldn’t have the exact same set of results that you would.
Julie and Susan had always thought they were 2nd cousins until recent rumors surfaced that perhaps their great-grandmother hadn’t provided all the details of who fathered her first born child (Julie’s grandfather). They wanted to know if DNA could help answer the question. Yes, it can, and we identified who else needed to take the test to provide a higher “confirmation” to their question. They took the test and the results were conclusive-yes, they shared the same great-grandfather and, yes, they were really 2nd cousins. They put that rumor to rest.
3. Leaving a Legacy
What is that one thing you wish you had from your grandfather or your great-grandmother? Or from any of your ancestors? Samantha J. from Florida said, “I wish I had their family photo album or the journal of my grandmother who emigrated in the early 1800s. I have now preserved those things for my kids and I believe for my descendants they are going to be asking if DNA testing was done on me. So, I took the test to preserve what I got. I don’t know everything they will find out, but I don’t want anyone shaking their fists up at me in heaven and saying, if only grandma would have spit into a tube so we knew what her DNA was telling us.”
When Samantha shared that with me, it got me thinking. I recently inherited a beautiful dining room table from my great-grandmother. She needle-stitched the chairs to have a matching set. When my mom called to ask me if I wanted it, she told me that she remembers having many special meals at that table. I was excited. Not only did I need a table, but it was something from family — it came with the stories. I also received the chair that she sat in to make the needlepoint. If only the table and chairs could talk — I would be rich with information.
DNA wasn’t available to be tested back then, but I agree with Samantha. I believe it’s one of those things if we don’t take advantage of it now someone will most likely be asking for it later and regretting that they don’t have it.
4. Connecting to a Cousin
Who has the wedding photo of your great-grandparents? Do you have all the information on all of your family lines? DNA testing is being used to connect with others who are working on the same family lines to network with each other, verify research that has already been done, and share stories and photos. Each of us has part of the story and it’s our job to share it with others. It’s an opportunity to use other tools that search other records — the genetic records inside us and then comparing ourselves to others. My AncestryDNA test lead me to a wonderful family treasure.
5. Making New Discoveries
No records available? If written records aren’t around to answer our questions, what is our next step? DNA is another record that is inside us, ready to tell us something unique about ourselves, and this genetic record can be tested to unlock a piece of our story. Each record has a purpose in providing us information and no other record, marriage, census or pension records can do what DNA can do.
The best part is that DNA is the record that keeps on giving. Once you take the test, your results are updated when AncestryDNA makes updates to the tools.
Why did you take the AncestryDNA test? If you haven’t taken it yet, why do you want to take an AncestryDNA test? Share with us in the comments below.
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.