Posted by Ancestry Team on November 30, 2017 in AncestryDNA, Holidays, ProGenealogists

AncestryDNA kits make perfect holiday gifts. They’re unique, interactive, personal, and fun.

However, when your friends or family members first unwrap their kits, they might be a bit underwhelmed by receiving what appears to be a box with a plastic tube in it.

While the excitement that will come with their results is sure to thrill them eventually, here are eight tips to enhance the recipient’s initial experience of receiving a gift of personal discovery:

    • Get them salivating. A successful AncestryDNA test requires a healthy slug of saliva. Give a favorite candy bar or other treat along with a kit and a note saying you hope it will get those juices flowing. Once the spitting is finished, your gift recipient can savor the treat as a reward for a job well done.
    • Put the puzzle together. Many people find that the results of their AncestryDNA tests help them fill holes in their family trees. Give a person who is looking for those kinds of answers a puzzle with the kit, but before you do so, remove several of the pieces. Then, after your gift recipient has sent in her test, give a few of the missing pieces every week while they’re waiting. Once the results are in, pass along the last pieces so everything falls into place.
    • Assemble the ingredients. This is similar to the puzzle idea, but with a sweet twist. Along with the AncestryDNA test, provide the dry ingredients for your favorite cookie recipe in a jar. Include a note telling your gift recipient that he/she will soon understand his own “ingredients,” but in the meantime, he/she can enjoy a batch of cookies.
    • Give them the world. Not all of us are experts in world geography. If your ethnicity estimate includes nations or regions you’ve never heard of, your surprise could be tinged with frustration. Alleviate this by providing a small world map or atlas along with the kit, removing any doubt about the exact location of the Iberian Peninsula or Benin/Togo.
    • Offer tastes of home. Once your happy gift recipients receive their results, they’ll likely want to learn more about the areas their ancestors called home. Find a world market or grocery store that sells a wide variety of international foods or other products, and get a gift card to wrap up with the AncestryDNA kit. When the results are in, take your friend shopping for items from areas that match their ethnicity estimate.
    • Make a game of it. Part of the fun of receiving an AncestryDNA kit is pondering what the results will show while you’re waiting for the lab to process your test. Create an online forum that lets friends and family members guess what the recipient’s ethnicity estimate will include. When the news is in, give a treat or other small prize to the person or people who made the best guesses.
    • Plant a tree. One of the best gifts you can give along with an AncestryDNA kit is a gift subscription to Ancestry. Once your friend or family member receives his results, he or she is likely to be more interested in his genealogy. With the help of Ancestry tools and record collections, they can start building their family tree even before the results come in.
    • Call on the professionals. If your gift recipient isn’t the type who likes working on family history, but still wants to build those ties to their ancestors, you have options. For a luxury-level experience, give her a gift certificate to AncestryProGenealogists. Once the results are in, they will be able to work with the professional family history researchers there to build out the family tree and discover the family story.

The gift of stronger connections to one’s roots is a truly one-of-a-kind present for the holiday season. By adding a little extra, you can make the experience even more magical for all of the AncestryDNA kit recipients on your list.


  1. Kathy Suhr

    How is it possible that my Uncle and My mothers DNA results were totally different. One was done with Ancestry and one was done with Heritage.

    • Sokolee

      Each testing company has their own reference panel of people from the various regions they compare your DNA to, and they could have their own logarithms for comparison purposes. Since each human being is different, the results will be different. Also your mother and her brother should be different since they do not inherit the same 50% of DNA from each parent.

  2. Sokolee

    Re suggestion 7- Plant a tree. Why not plant a real tree? You picture what may be a family cupping a tree seedling, yet you are trying to sell a subscription to build a tree. The real tree is far more helpful to the world and would make an equally great memorial or representation of the family.

    • Sokolee

      Linda, the recipient will have to open a free guest account; this will be done when activating the kit per the included instructions. Ancestry will notify the person at each stage of the process, and when results are in you log into that account and click the DNA tab on the menu bar to see everything. Don’t forget to click on VIEW YOUR DNA STORY to see expanded information.

  3. Jenny Little

    Don’t use online banking – Do you have B-Pay? Only access Ancestry via our family research group subscription on their computer……. How does that work in relation to viewing results? Many in our area are still not on the internet – either by choice or due to the fact our reception can be lousy to non-existent here, despite what our post code says! Any suggestions?

  4. jeanne franse

    received my results and was disappointed that what I had been told all my life, and what I wanted confirmed is my Native American Heritage.
    but there was not even 1% of this in my sample.
    I know it isn’t your fault but I am so very disappointed.

  5. Sherry

    What is the full cost of the testing ? I know the $69.00 for kit, but how much to does the diagnosis of the saliva specimen cost❓I’d like to know bc I’d be one paying for saliva kit and the diagnosis of my husbands saliva. Or is $69.00 the full price❓Thank you.

    • Sokolee

      69.00 plus 9.95 for round trip shipping is the full price of the DNA. The processing of the DNA is included in that price as is a regularly updated list of DNA matches for your husband. Should you or he care to do any research at Ancestry you would need to buy a subscription to the databases.

  6. Mary A. Ramsell

    I’m trying to get through to cust. service trying to get hold of a real person v ia phone instead of a recording. I have questions about a gift DNA test for my grandson. Call at (515) 758-3846. Please.

    • Richard Soehn

      I received a kit. It is a gift for my wife. How do I get her started in her name?
      My Activation Code is H5C-3U7K-3Z9J-5E3B.

      • Member Services Social Support Team

        @Richard apologies for the delay in our response. Did you manage to get the test activated? If not, please assist your wife in creating a Free Guest Account with her email address and then proceed to the activation with the code using her account. You can follow the instructions here: Enjoy your DNA search!

  7. Katheryn Smith

    Question: I am gifting each of my sons a dna kit. I will be building and managing their trees. (I am already doing my own). What. Info do they need to include when returning the kit. What more should I do to allow me to receive their results? They don’t want to do the work.

  8. Diane Cantu

    I’m considering Buying the DNA Kit for my husband for Christmas. Before I do, Where can I read Real Testimonials+Comments from Previous People who have previously ordered and have used Heritage DNA Kits? Thank You!

  9. donna scott

    I just took the ancestry DNA….my question is: is it foolproof or sensitive? I was wondering if i accidentally shake it too hard or too long, or fill it too much, will it ruin the test…or will i have a incorrect result? Just wondering and hoping i didn’t do anything wrong to ruin it…….and will you know if i had ruined it? Hoping for good results, though!!!

  10. Genny McKinney

    Why will Ancestry no longer let a relative do a DNA test and let an Administrator of a Family Tree Activate their Kit so that it can be linked to them in that tree? Why were subscribers not told about this? A cousin was going to do the test for me in hopes we would get a DNA Circle for our Great Grandfather but was told I can’t activate their test – even though it would be sent to the person and they would return to Ancestry – thus they are aware of what is being done with their results. Some people do not even want to create a free account and fiddle with anything – I always give the person their results, etc. I think as long as the person taking the test gives their ok for it to be activated in someone else’s tree that we should be able to continue to do this.

  11. Kirsten

    I just signed up, but my name is in the profile – how do I put my dad’s name as the profile person? ( He can use my email address but I want his name to be on the profile incase any one contacts him)

  12. Rachel

    I have both an ancestry account and a myheritage account. I was able to upload my DNA results from ancestry over to myheritage also. My question is: My son received a DNA test as a gift for myheritage will he be able to link the results from them over to his ancestry account once results are in. I have not seen how to do that. Thank you for any help you can give me.

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @Rachel: Unfortunately it’s not currently possible to do this. But we will of course pass on your feedback in relation to this.

  13. Claire Link

    Getting a dna kit from our son n daughter but the kit is signed up in their names. Can they be changed to my husband s and my name. They bought them for us for Christmas. Than you

  14. michael cotton

    I sent ancestry my DNA and received confirmation at the end of October. My wife sent hers in the same time and received results in November. Where are my results?

  15. Daniel

    I followed instructions for 2 week free ancestry and got to the part to fill in my pass word and it won’t take it .

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