It doesn’t matter what clothes you buy or the school supplies you have for this back to school special, let AncestryDNA take you back to school in DNA testing. If you are just getting started this will help you understand the process. If you have already been tested but haven’t looked at your results in a while, this will help you revisit the results and refresh your mind on the power of DNA.
Below you will see 5 unique lessons/topics of what you need to know about DNA testing. If you are like a few of my classmates and need the cliff’s notes version before you read the actual book, see this blog post to give you a taste of what you can learn below.
Lesson 1: Take the AncestryDNA test
This is the first step, after ordering the kit. The collection of saliva is simple and easy but you need to review the instructions before hand.
In fact did you know how much saliva you actually need to provide? (1 teaspoon)
To review the instructions on how to provide a sample click here.
While you are waiting for your DNA sample to be processed at the lab, let’s walk you through how you got your DNA and why it’s important.
Click here to learn about genetic inheritance. It’s fun to learn about how unique you are in your family and that DNA that makes you so unique also opens up a world of discoveries to your past.
Now that you understand whom you got your DNA from and why that matters, check out the first part of your DNA results, ethnicity estimate.
Ethnicity estimate is only half of your DNA results. Diving into your matches can lead you to unknown discoveries of your own.
Click here to learn a few tips and tricks in exploring your matches.
If you can do the first one I think it’s one of the most important steps. Check it out, we don’t want you to miss any thing. Reference this post as you revisit your results every so often. As more people get tested, the more matches you could possibly have. The more matches you have, the more DNA hints you can discover.
Lesson 5: Settings and Features
The button to the left you can find on the DNA homepage.
This is where you can change the name of a test, change the tree the DNA results are linked to and share your DNA results.
If you purchased the kit for your grandmother and had the results posted to your account and now she wants access to them-you can now share them with her. Click here to get the step-by-step instructions on how to do this.
Now that you have gone through all 5 lessons we congratulate you on going back to school with AncestryDNA!
Watch this video, Getting started with AncestryDNA, and see Crista Cowan and myself walk through AncestryDNA results and answer questions from a live online audience.
The best advice I can give is, don’t give up. DNA may be a new thing to a lot of you and as you revisit your results often you may find gems along the way. I remember it took a few months before I was able to make a connection on a family line I had been researching.
DNA is another tool to help us make connections, be patient with it and with yourself as you start to discover new things about your past. Remember if you haven’t taken the test you can do so now, click here.
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.