We get a lot of questions about DNA. Here are 5 of the most common and the answers:
1. Is it true that only men can take the test?
AncestryDNA is an autosomal DNA test that tests 22 pairs of Autosomal testing allows you to find family across all lines in your family tree. That means both men and women can take the test, and the results are not limited to just the direct maternal or paternal lines.
2. I’ve done my DNA test and I’ve seen my ethnic breakdown. Now what?
Check out the information on the history of these regions by clicking on each ethnic region and explore the history of the people your DNA matches. Remember these results can go back 500-1000 years ago.
Start building your tree. And build it wide. If you work on only one branch you may be missing cousin hints from all those other branches. And be patient. You never know when that cousin you need to make a breakthrough will take the test and show up in your hint list!
3. I’ve been told where my ancestors come from, but AncestryDNA tells me something different. How do I know what to believe?
Your family tree stretches back hundreds of years, and AncestryDNA can reach back hundreds, maybe even a thousand years, to tell you things that aren’t in historical records—things you might never have known otherwise. And if you’ve been told that you were Irish or German or some other background, it may be so far back that those markers didn’t make their way to your DNA.
4. My sister and I have different ethnic percentages. How can that be?
This is actually very common. You get about 50% of your DNA from your mom and 50% from your dad. But which segments of DNA make up that 50% are completely random, so the odds are actually against you and your sibling getting exactly the same segments of DNA from each parent. You’ll match as being a very close family connection, but your ethnic breakdowns can, and will, be different. And you may also connect to different people with DNA hints. That’s why testing more people is always a good idea!
5. I’ve always been told that I am Native American. But your DNA test says I’m not. What gives?
There are a few possibilities. First, maybe that is simply a family myth. Second, it is possible that your Native American ancestry is far enough back that not enough of it was passed down to you for the test to detect. If your parent didn’t receive any Native American markers in the 50% of the DNA that came from his parent, then you can’t have it either. Third, you may come from a Native American ancestry that isn’t being identified by our tests. Don’t ignore good old-fashioned research. There is always more than one way to get to an answer.