Posted by Anna Swayne on April 2, 2014 in AncestryDNA

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Six weeks ago I shared my neighbor’s story with you (click here to read the blog post). I sat down with Mary a couple of days ago and showed her the AncestryDNA results.

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Mary couldn’t wipe the smile off her face as we went over her results. At almost 90 years of age, she said to me:

Life keeps giving me more to learn about. I wasn’t sure exactly where we’re from in Africa, but we knew we had an English line in there somewhere. Looks like we have everything but the dog catcher in us.”

Thanks to cutting-edge genetic science from AncestryDNA, we are now able to make new discoveries about our ethnic origins, learning about the people and cultures that have been a part of our ancestral heritage for centuries.


The AncestryDNA test provides a detailed and personalized estimate of genetic ethnicity for 26 regions across the globe.

These regions include a total of 9 African regions, of which 6 different countries/regions are within Western Africa: Benin/Togo, Cameroon/Congo, Ivory/Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.

Interestingly enough,  African American test takers have an average of at least three and a half African regions as part of their genetic ethnicity estimate, further helping them learn more about their own ancestral “melting pot.”

Mary’s story is a great example of this and reminds me, how powerful this tool can be in piecing together our own story. She now has a new outlook on her personal journey of self-discovery and wants to get other members of her family tested.

It doesn’t stop here, I’ve got more work to do—can’t wait to look at all those matches.”

Thank you, thank you AncestryDNA for teaching me about this, it’s so wonderful.


We appreciate Mary for sharing her experience with us. Now is the time, get started today.


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.


  1. Anthony Parker

    Just ordered one for my dad and hopefully both of my maternal grandparents who are both in their 80’s can last long enough for me to to order them tests. It would be nice if Ancestry had assistant collection kits for folks further up in age. And I’ve said it a gazillion times, it would really be awesome if accepted autosomal transfers like Family Tree DNA does.

  2. Toni

    I suspect an uncle married a niece and became my great great grandparents.
    Who do I need to DNA test? What could it tell me?

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