Posted by on August 26, 2014 in AncestryDNA

chalk broad blog

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.

 

AncestryDNA_spit

 

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.

 

 

 

 

inheritance you Lesson 2: Genetic Inheritance

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.

 

 

ethnicity Lesson 3: Ethnicity Estimate 

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.

Click here to learn how diverse you are.  Perhaps you already have your DNA results and you were a little surprise at the results, click here to read why that could happen.

 

 

matchesLesson 4: Matching Process

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.

 

settingsLesson 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!

 

Extra Credit

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 8 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.

2 Comments

Al Grosser 

The article is missing the link to the video mentioned in the Extra Credit section, “Getting started with AncestryDNA”.

August 27, 2014 at 6:05 pm
Adrian Nunez 

Thank you for the lesson. I’ve been immersing myself with all of the research tools and very much appreciate diversifying the records database and further stratification of regions.

I’ve been building my family tree on Ancestry.com and recently received my DNA results from AncestryDNA. I have 49% Native American and 47% European ethnicity. Given my roots are from Mexico and understanding the Americas has a history of diverse peoples, I yearn to learn more about which region of the Americas I belong to genetically.

This summer, LA Times published an article that highlighted new research indicating that ancient genetic signals survived the Spanish Conquest in Mexico. In fact, the research went as far to claim that it is so diverse “where some populations remain as distinct from one another as Europeans are from Chinese.” This is huge variation within one large region I hope warrants the need to further regionalize the Americas. This research is only in Mexico (which is a recent geographic region) and I imaging the rest of Americas are just as diverse.

Are there reasons AncestryDNA only has one designation “Native American” to represent the genetic diversity of full Americas? Does AncestryDNA intend on diversifying the regions for the Americas soon?

I feel like I am missing out on information other users with more European roots are and hope too see opportunities for persons with roots in the Americas.

Thanks!

November 14, 2014 at 3:18 pm