Posted by Juliana Szucs on April 23, 2019 in Website

The short answer is, How many people are in your family? If you’ve already taken the AncestryDNA® test, you may think you’re done.  You could test other family members, but since you’re related, they will have the same results as you, right? Not exactly.

Both you and your biological family inherited your DNA from your ancestors, but like most inheritances, who actually ends up with what can get a little messy. It’s true, you share DNA with other members of your family, but each of you gets a unique mix and different amounts from various ancestors. So the closer you can get to a DNA source, and the more sources you can identify, the more you can learn about your family and grow your family tree.


You get half your DNA from Mom and half from Dad. One of the most powerful benefits of having their DNA tested is being able to assign your DNA matches to a specific branch of your family tree. Ancestry will now call out DNA matches as “Mom’s side” or “Dad’s side” for parents you’ve had tested. Also, getting them tested lets you dig into the half of their DNA that you didn’t get. Odds are they will have DNA matches that you don’t have. Imagine the possibilities!


If you’re lucky enough to still have living grandparents, having their DNA tested can pay even bigger dividends than testing your parents. Remember, not only does it allow you to assign matches to even more specific branches of your tree, but your grandparents’ DNA has mixed once since coming down to your parents and twice since coming down to you. So, while your DNA can give you high confidence matches 5–6 generations back, your grandparents’ DNA matches can connect 7–8 generations back from you with that same level of high confidence.


Unless you’re an identical twin, your siblings received a different mix of DNA from your parents than you did. While results can be similar between siblings, ethnicities can vary, and a sibling may also connect to DNA matches that you don’t. This may seem counter intuitive, but remember, DNA inheritance involves a great deal of randomness. Testing a sibling opens the possibility for you to discover new cousins and new insights into ethnicity and historical communities, especially if your parents aren’t available to test.

Comparison of AncestryDNA Ethnicity Estimates for two siblings

Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins

Your aunts and uncles have a significant link to you and can be a great proxy for, or supplement to, your parents’ and grandparents’ DNA. You will likely share similar matches, which can help determine which branch of your family tree a match belongs to. And like your parents, grandparents, and siblings, the matches you don’t share could lead you to new discoveries in your family tree. Plus, it’s a great way to get others in the family involved in your family research.

Your Spouse

You may have a lot of things in common with your spouse, but DNA matches are not usually one of them. So your DNA test won’t help trace your spouse’s family tree. Having your spouse tested can also be lots of fun. You can compare your ethnicity results, see who gets the most matches, and share your findings with the rest of your family. If you have children, testing both you and your spouse’s DNA can help paint the picture of the heritage you each passed down to them.

Your Children

While testing your children may not solve any genealogical mysteries for you, assuming you have already tested, it can inspire interest in their family story. A 2010 study from Emory University found that children who know stories about their ancestors had better coping skills and higher levels of emotional well-being.  And who knows, you may be inspiring the next generation to take up the genealogical torch.

Things to Consider

  • Test Older Relatives First. By testing the “oldest” DNA in the family tree, you get the strongest connection to the past. Consider this: a fourth cousin to you is a third cousin to your parent and a second cousin to your grandparent. Because the relationship is closer, you can go further back in time with more confidence by testing older relatives. And, sadly, our older family members are our most endangered. So it always makes sense to test the oldest living relatives in your family tree on each of your branches.
  • Pinpoint new cousins on your family tree. Think of your family tree. It starts with you, then immediately splits into two branches: your paternal and your maternal relatives. You got DNA from both branches of that tree—but your parents didn’t. By testing multiple people on both lines, you may find more distant cousins that point to a relationship to a particular grandparent, great-grandparent, etc. Using shared matches, when you identify the branch of the family a cousin is associated with, you can create custom, color-coded groups to remind you how you are related. Testing gets really exciting the further back you can go.

  • Find more cousins. Depending on who you test in your family, you could have some of the same DNA matches, which can give you clues about who the shared ancestor is for that match. But other family members may also have matches that you don’t, which could mean new discoveries in your family tree as well. Either way, it’s a win.
  • Have some fun. Getting other family members involved in your family history research is just downright fun. You can compare your ethnicity results to see who got what mix of ethnicities or who has more matches on which side of the family. DNA is a cool new technology that can get the rest of your family more interested in their ancestors. Trust us; we’ve seen it happen.

So, now it’s your turn. Get started and get testing.

[1] Fivush, Robyn, Marshall Duke, and Jennifer Bohanek, Emory University, (Atlanta, Georgia). “Children Benefit if They Know About Their Relatives, Study Finds,” Journal of Family Life. Press release dated 3 March  2010. Emory University ( accessed 23 Apr 2019).

Juliana Szucs

Juliana Szucs has been working for for more than 20 years. She began her family history journey trolling through microfilms with her mother at the age of 11. She has written many articles for online and print genealogical publications and wrote the "Computers and Technology" chapter of The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Juliana holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program.


  1. Bonnie

    I wish Ancestry made it easier for Americans to gift tests to potential relatives overseas. I tried to send a test to Ireland and it was darn near impossible with Ancestry. Luckily was able to help me with that and I found a match to my Irish family line in Ireland. This is one area where Ancestry needs to fix their policies.

    • Liahona

      I had a similar concern but then learned that in some countries DNA testing are not authorized (in France for example, where I’m from) so it’s ‘easier’ to have the people come to the USA and do it here.
      It seems that ancestry policies are taking that in consideration. Hope it helps!

      • Patrick F.

        Interesting that France does not allow DNA testing. I’m from France and most of my family is there. has a French website. What is that about if testing is not allowed? It’s no wonder I never see any matched relatives except for my kids and 4th and more distant cousins.

        • Kitty

          I don’t speak French but, at, I clicked on Partenaires (Partners) and found tons of French resources. provides resources for researching your family tree.’s partners seem to be resources you might find useful in your research. Ancestry is about more than just DNA testing.

  2. Sharon Gire

    When my sister’s DNA results came in, I was surprised at the different matches she had from mine. Then I thought about how we don’t necessarily have the same DNA from each parent, and then it was clear. It has opened up more family connections.

    • Sunday Galiano - Porcelli

      Hi Sharon,
      My son and daughter are from my husband and I and yet my son is 38% Italian and my daughter is 48%.
      It’s such a big difference.
      Also, my mother is half French and my first cousin has 26% French. my son & daughter each have 5% French and my sister thru my mother also has 5% French and yet I have none or it’s hidden in the English. ( when you open up the English side it also says English Irish French)


        I recently received a report that my DNA was updated from multiple nationalities to 100% Italian. How can anyone be 100% anything??

        • Lucille Langelier

          Exactly. My results were updated from no French at all to 100% French. So strange that with European history anyone would realize that 100% anything is ridiculous.

  3. Herbert Drouin

    Good afternoon,
    This is going to hard to explain.
    I have tested myself, and my 2 children, and my second wife.
    I have noticed that I can share the same person (5th to 8th cousin) that my wife does, and I know that I am not related to my wife.
    The same thing is happening between my children and my wife.
    How can a person be related to me, and be related to my wife, and yet I am not related to my wife. I have been trying to link one of these situations together without any luck.
    Any explanation would be helpful.

    • mary lee keane

      You ARE related. You might be sixth or seventh cousins, meaning you shared an ancestor in the early 1800s. Most people today don’t even know who their third cousins are. In my family, where we’ve done lots of research, we know of a fifth cousins marriage and a ninth cousins marriage.

    • Nayte Lewus

      Your cousin could be related to your wife like for instance his cousin but comes from the side of that parent your related too, hard to belive but unless if your related, it is not possible

    • Krista Greiner

      5th-8th cousins is pretty far removed. We found my husband’s parents share ancestry back to the Mayflower…that’s only around 10 generations ago! MANY americans can trace ancestry back to the Mayflower. So, not unusual to be related distantly if your roots are from similar geographic regions. For us it’s almost all New England so there’s plenty of cousins popping up more than once here and there. It’s also relatively recent for marrying cousins to be socially unacceptable.

      • John Brogger

        I guess that would depend on your definition of recent. My 5th GGrandfather’s marriage in the Scotland Parrish records was noted “first cousins” and double underlined.

      • Susan Brooks

        Surprisingly, it is legal for first cousins to marry in 20 states with no restrictions, including: New York, New Jersey Massachusetts, and California. Seven more have restrictions. I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t have any first cousins I’d want to marry!

    • Kathryn Allen

      My husband and I share a cousin too. We figured it out by talking about a family name that we had in common before DNA testing was so prevalent. He had done a lot of research that he shared with us.

    • Sandra McLemore

      Actually, my husband is my 5th cousin 1x removed. Turns out we share a Revoluntionary ancester in NC. My husband was born in Alabama, and I am from eastern Mississippi. Descendants of this common ancestor migrated into Georgia, and then into western Alabama. That’s where the descendants met and married and intermarried. It makes for an interesting family tree.

      • Barbara Hulsizer

        I’ve got a McLemore from Alabama in my tree, a Mary ‘Mollie’ Edna McClemore who married Edwin Butts. I think I’m related to about 98% of people living in Alabama. 😀

    • Berends-Sheriff Penelope Jane

      You share 5th-8th great grandparents. If you go back 5-8 generations you may be lucky and find the link along one combination of hereditary lines it could be as complicated as a husband wife husband wife step backwards. We are all linked to each other.

    • Edward Tabron

      Humans and mammals have simular Dna. The Holy Quran says(evidences)
      in the 4thsura(chapter)who we can mate with and cannot mate with because of nearness to one another…

      Incest, is really the begining of earths population. So Incest moral from an animals perspective is not observed as the Humans.
      A mother and son of dogs for example in its species is not forbidden.
      The Bible indicates the 3rd throughout the 4th generation would not be the same.
      So bible and quran agrees that if we are a prt of the same geographical landmass, chances are( WE ARE COUSINS.
      SO UNCLE’S(1), their offspring
      * sons(2)their offspring – offspring(3)
      * daughters(4) and their offspring.
      The quran says 3rd cousins can marry.
      The bible 3 or 4th GENE- ratio or generation are not the same but has distinguished helixes of dna…
      In short.
      We are all related.
      How near is the ???.
      Elo willing.
      This info has helped.

      • Pat

        Science and genetics are very interesting and we yet have more to learn.These days people travel all over and intermarry and dont mary
        It is diffecult to say who belongs to who. So of you can track this you are accomplishing a lot

    • Dawn Williams

      Upload all (you, wife, kids) of your raw DNA to the site. That may help you figure out where the connection is.

    • Pam

      My husband has this in his family. His grandparents had siblings that married each other. What I mean is grandma’s brother married grandpa’s sister. So their children are double first cousins. Same goes with other relatives. They have aunts and uncles that are kin to both sides of the children but grandma and grandpa are not kin to each other. I hope that makes sense. It can be very confusing.

    • David Chamberlain

      I’m not an expert on DNA, but I think I can reliably tell you this. Sharing a few DNA matches does NOT make you related to your wife. The number of ancestors increases geometrically with each generation going back. So at, say, the 5x great grandparent level, each of us has 128 ancestors (256 for 6xGGP, 512 for 7xGGP, etc.). A match that shares one 5xGGP with you is a 6th cousin, well within your 5th – 8th cousin range. You share at least one of these 128 ancestors with each sixth cousin in your match list, and so does your wife. BUT, it is very unlikely that the common match shares THE SAME 5xGGPs with both of you. I have at least two such DNA matches that I share with my wife, but it certainly doesn’t follow that my wife and I are related! (Of course, all humans are related if we go far enough back!! But the kinds of tests that DNA services provide cannot reliably tell you anything further back than 7xGGP, and there is doubt even at that level!) Hope this helps.

    • Mia

      When I had DNA tested at a national medical center after a breast cancer diagnosis, the genetic oncologist , who was interested in the results of the of the Ancestry DNA said that they do make some assumptions based on things like last name. In my case I was told that I was 1% Jewish originally and I believe it was from a connection to a 4th cousin whose mother (on my side of the family) married a Jewish man. Later that was retracted and I was 0% Jewish.

    • Santiago Alfonzo

      When you are talking about 5th to 8th cousins, there are so many degrees in between you, that your family does not consider them cousins. However, that does not mean you do not have a common relative in your tree. I never considered my wife a cousin, but after my sister got her as cousin in her DNA matches, I started researching her side and was able to find that I am indeed her 5th cousin, although my wife did not showed as such in my DNA test.

    • Lisa

      Herbert, I might also add that you look into the history and culture of your ancestors for clues. When I started to explore more on my mother’s side, which is 100% French-Canadian going back to the 1600’s, I was shocked at the amount of duplicate names throughout 7-10 generations I found. Turns out there were many historical influences that resulted in a smaller gene pool. While they were not marrying recent cousins, there were many families that ended up marrying relatives of ancestors. The more I studied the history, the more it made sense. Several French-Canadian genealogy blogs and podcasts were very interesting and helpful in this. These stories are what keeps me fascinated by the research.

    • Barbara Hulsizer

      It’s not absolutely necessary. However, since Ancestry uses autosomal testing, it’s entirely possible that some cousin matches will be missed. It’s also fun to show your kids their results.

    • MM

      My siblings and I are teenagers. When my parents had their DNA tested through ancestry we all became super interested in it, to the point where we all received one as a gift the next Christmas. It was amazing to see how different my DNA is from my siblings — while it may not be necessary it is definitely worth getting the kids tested too because you can’t correctly mathematically predict your children’s genetic heritage even if you know the percentages of the parents. It’s all random. When parents pass on their genes to their kids, they may (completely by chance) pass on more Irish genes to one child than they did for another, for example. I ended up being more Irish than both of my parents, and my sister is even more Irish than me. I’m also studying biology, so this test gave me a new appreciation for and interest in genetics. We learned a lot, and talk about our results together all the time. I’m so glad my parents got us each tests. I would recommend doing the same!

  4. mary lee keane

    It is my understanding that if both parents test, it is not necessary for their children to test. You seem to be saying this is incorrect?

    • Juliana Szucs

      Genealogically speaking if you and parents have tested, you are correct there is not an added advantage of having children tested, but as I mentioned in the article, it is a way to get them interested in the family history, and there are benefits even if they don’t take up research, just knowing the stories and who their ancestors were is good for them.

      • Xxxxxx

        I’m trying to figure out why when I did the ancestry DNA test it came out a little different from all the others I took and even one we had through the doctors ,,,the others match up but ancestry DNA does not in the smaller percentages below 10 percent ,,,,tired to see if I they could retest but customer service was terrible and very rude

      • Robin Crockett

        just a thought on both parents getting tested and the child,(never know in some cases parent may actually learn their child they raised isn’t even theirs cause people sometimes makes mistakes on who they name as the Father and some cases incest may come out as well

  5. mary

    How can you have the gall (or is it cluelessness?) to publish this article about the value of cousins’ tests on the same day that you ELIMINATE my ability to compare DNA results with the multiple family members whose tests I administer? One of my main tools has been to check against multiple first cousins’ tests to see if there is a match at slightly lower than 4th cousin. I am furious!

    • Juliana Szucs

      Hi Mary, there were some temporary issues yesterday with viewing tests, but this should be resolved now. Please let me know if you’re still having trouble.

      • marypryde

        Thank you. It was completely gone an hour ago, but now it is available. The drop-down list of available test results is still somewhat garbled, but hopefully that will clear up when Ancestry stops “tinkering.”

      • Neo

        I’m still having the same issue as Mary, my drop down list of dna tests when viewing a persons profile has disappeared.

      • Sandra McLemore

        I’m with Mary on this issue. I purchased an Ancestry test for my son-in-law, and set up a tree for him which I also administer. Checked it again a few weeks ago, and I still cannot see his dna results. We live in different states so it’s difficult for us to get together and call Ancestry to try and resolve this issue. The whole purpose of my buying him the test was so I could look at his dna matches.

    • Barbara Hulsizer

      People need to calm down a bit. If you’ve noticed, Ancestry is rolling out some improvements. Whenever that happens, there are always temporary or transient bugs that get fixed.

    • MakeLikeATreeAndLeaf!

      Ms. Mary, the author isn’t “” first of all, so rudely attacking her was not appropriate. Love and kindness goes a long way. So, dole out a few extra doses of it the next time you decide to post something. Be the change in the world, don’t be the negative that prevails. Sending a hug and hoping it helps with positivity going forward.

      • Hazel. Brissette Andros

        I pray you take your time in researching your family. You will be amazed at what you can find. Good Luck.

  6. MKath

    Juliana Szucs, that feature referred to above hasn’t been fixed. I can’t find a way to compare DNA results of the trees I manage. I can’t even figure out if new matches are on maternal or paternal side. (My parents are deceased; my paternal uncle tested.) Without this feature, Ancestry DNA is practically useless to me. I’m trying to find links that go six or seven generations back. Basically, I’m counting and comparing centimorgans.

    • Juliana Szucs

      You might want to clear cache and cookies and see if that works. Also, people who have opted into the new beta don’t seem to be having any issues. If you’d like to opt in, just log into your account and go to

      • john siner

        Don’t clear your cache and cookies. It will be impossible to replace them. All is working now. But, I had to go to a different site than google to get might to work.

      • David Chamberlain

        I have not been able to compare DNA with matches on the profiles page for about a month or so, now. I saw your advice to another frustrated user to clear cookies and caches and/or try a different browser. None of that worked for me. I am very frustrated and don’t know what to do next. I called Ancestry customer service a couple of weeks ago for help, and got “put on a list.” The lady who answered said that there have been a lot of complaints. You seem to be trying to help. All of the betas that have been introduced are not worth near as much as the capability that I lost. If you or someone could help me, I would be very appreciative.

  7. Jojo

    The biggest problem with Ancestry DNA is that you cannot upload a DNA file from another company, unlike all the other companies that allow you to do this.

    • Jojo

      I was wrong. 23andme only allowed Ancestry uploads for ONE DAY back on 25 April 2018. Now Ancestry and 23andme are the two major DNA companies that each require you to buy a separate kit DNA from them.

      At least MyHeritage allows uploads form both Ancestry and 23andme!

      It’s unfortunate that you have to be on as many services as possible if you want to maximize your DNA matches.

  8. Sandy

    I don’t see any area where you can select to mark DNA as the mothers or fathers side of the family?

    • Barbara Hulsizer

      Create a group. Red for dad. Green for mom. Or simply add a note to the profile (which is what I do). If I’ve done the research on a match, I add a note about the shared grandparent. If I can’t figure out how they fit in my tree, I add a note “paternal match, probably XYZ family” or “maternal match, probably ABC family.”

    • Juliana Szucs

      That is only available in the new beta, and if you have had one or both parents tested, it will automatically show on your matches for the parent(s) who have tested. If you haven’t and would like to opt in to the new public beta test, log into your account and go to

      • Sandy

        Okay, I’ll check but thought I was already using the new beta. I’ve been having so many secure connection problems where I have to log off every thing and clear cookies/cache (clearing just the cache doesn’t fix the problems) to get them to work, so possibly I would have had to select it again? Will check. Thank you so much. I hadn’t been able to read the newsletters for a very long time as the links had failed there too. Was able to get to those after clearing cache/cookies. Have to do it again now, just a couple days later due to failures. Will check right after to see if the new beta is set. I wish I didn’t have to do that so often. Thank you so much for your help!

        • Sandy

          Juliana; I tried your link and it didn’t work, so went ahead and did the clear cache/cookies again (even though I had done it a couple of days ago). I then got a new message in the extras section across the top and was able to select the beta for DNA tagging. I also tried clicking on your link again, and it works now.

          Appreciate all your help and look forward to trying the new feature. I have lots of blog info to catch up on, as hadn’t been able to get to those. Only noting it all in case other people are having the same problems I did. Appreciate your help so much! Thank you!

        • Anne Haganey

          I have been having the same issue using 2 different carriers. Also using both new beta version and not.

  9. Paige Lancaster

    I have been doing some research on my Lancaster family. So far it’s been going well. Thank you!

  10. Tammy pellant

    Hope I find some results I lost my mother and my father I was born in Coos Bay Oregon I have a brother named David I have a sister named Joy I have another sister named Penny

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      Hi Stephanie, the best way to get started is to visit the Ancestry website and start building a tree with what you already know, from there the site will try to help you with your research. We wish you the very best of luck! 🙂

  11. Susan Martin

    Ancestry Traits
    I bought Ancestry Traits in December and have never yet been able to see my results. A message comes on the screen telling me to refresh the page. I have refreshed the page many times and still can’t get anything on Traits. When I try for customer service, I always get a blank page with a circle at the top. Four months is a long time to wait to get Traits. What can I do?
    This is the only website that I have trouble with.

    • Juliana Szucs

      Please call 1-800-262-3787 and one of our customer service agents can look into this for you.

  12. Tim

    I have Tested everyone that’s willing to test.My youngest brother has his son managing his Test.I’m told he doesn’t match me or my eldest brother except on our mother’s side.Me and my Eldest brother are my only connections to our father’s family.

    • Dawn

      Your younger brother has a different father than the rest of you. Look for close matches for your brother that the rest of you do not have. That should point you in the direction of his father’s side. Best of luck.

    • Donna

      My daughter-in-law whose parents are Mexican & Spanish descent, came up with 29% Native American, from the tribes in Northern Mexico and South Texas. She is blonde, blue eyed and fair skin, so this was a big surprise to all of us.

    • Barbara Hulsizer

      It will either (1) show up in your DNA test results or (2) NOT show up in your results. That said, if it’s a long time ago, they only way to truly know is through documentation. If your family’s oral history claims an Indian ancestor, it’s best to test several people and the oldest person in your family because you may or may not have inherited that string of DNA.

  13. Its hard for Apoptees to figure out where they came from. We often don’t know the birth mother or birth father . Our documents are locked up in the court system . Court searches take 6 months one initiated . We just want to know where we’ve come from and some family history . Some famaily members are receiptive to inquires others are not and wont help . I was very fortunate recently to attended a family reunion on from my birth family, still not sure what side they were from. I assume they were from my birth fathers side . They were really great people it was my first chance to see my first cousins for the very first time . I also traveled with my family to see the families home town.

    • Kristen

      I feel your pain on this one as a fellow adoptee. I was lucky enough to actually be connected to my birth mother THROUGH ancestry and get further information from her on my birth father. I hope that you continue to find biological family members and attend more reunions! That’s awesome. Never would have thought AncestryDNA would have connected me to her. It was mind blowing.

    • Karen H McAlhaney

      I am 61, and adopted. I knew NOTHING about either of my parents, but after doing the Ancestry DNA test, I was matched to 2nd cousins. I responded to them, told them what I little I knew, Dad was a drummer in Phila, Mom was a single parent who lived in Harrisburg. The second cousin immediately figured out who my dad was, but he had passed in 1006. She told me his name, and where he died. I looked up his obituary, found 4 children. I searched Facebook for their names, and found a half brother. Sent him a message about DNA and possible relative, and we connected. He was tested, and now I have 4 half siblings from my dad! Have had some luck with my moms family, but not as much.

    • Jennifer McKinney

      How can u find your birth parents if you are adopted. I don’t even know where to start

    • Barbara Hulsizer

      You might also want to test with several companies because not everyone uses the Ancestry kit — but this site has the largest numbers of tested persons. I’ve helped a few people figure out birth parents. Some families welcome the idea. Others freak out. I helped a DNA cousin figure out who her grandfather was. (It was pretty obvious–the DNA said “close family.”) So I added her to that person and his living children went bonkers — because there is no way their father could have cheated on their month. Yup. No 24-year old man has ever done that.

      My main point in telling you this story is that children and families like to believe they know everything about each other. It’s a sort of contentment. When secrets emerge, it’s very difficult and sometimes traumatic.

      I helped another family figure out who their grandfather was. Their father told them he was adopted. As I traced him back, I realized he was born out of wedlock. Using DNA results matches (I have myself + 6 close family, and collaborate with 3 more cousins), I figured out that it was my own grandfather. They were my highest matches just a smidge behind my nephews and niece.

      Best of luck in your search.

  14. Sandra Holt

    This article gives the information to try to explain to relatives how DNA works.
    Simple question – can’t find an answer anywhere. What is the best way to save an blog article for future reference other than downloading it as a PDF and saving it to my computer?

    • KD

      Can’t you bookmark it to a named file folder? Or copy the URL address and paste it into a named file folder in your Document file?

  15. maurice c roberts

    I would like no more about DNA Testing do you’ll do testing for kids to see if they are yours are not.

  16. Mary Sweeney

    I did the DNA test kit to find my biological father. A niece found me then everything clicked into place. I am in contact with my 3 younger brothers, as well as other nieces and nephew. I found them all to be so welcoming and loving. We plan to meet after I am healed from surgery. Although the niece that found me – she is so special and I love her dearly. We have met and are very close. All my life I never looked anything like the rest of my known family. Now I know why!! I look like my biological father!

  17. Gabriel

    On 23&me and myheritage, I have a match from my farther’s side that is not shown on his account. Can someone explain? Can I have more dna than my father on a specific segment?

  18. Larry Thomas

    Do ancestry retain all DNA in file and for how long? Are the samples available to anyone whom requests it (them)? How about the Family Tree a availability?

  19. Jorge Alvarez

    Both my grandparents are alive but in their 90’s. I would love to get DNA results from them but can’t see how someone at that age would have the strength to spit half their saliva in a container. I wish they had a mouth swab to make it easier for them.

    • Joanne Handorff

      Jorge, I had my father and Aunt both due the DNA test, spitting into the tube. It took awhile but they both got it done. Don’t give up on them cause they are in their 90s. The results will be worth it.

    • Linda

      I am 82 and found problem spiting the full amount also. Some one please find an easier and better way.

  20. Gabriel

    On 23&me and myheritage I have a match from my father’s side who is not shown on his account. Can someone explain? Can I have more dna on a segment than my father?

  21. Joe

    Is it possible for Ancestry to test a hair sample from a hairbrush, or anything like that, of a parent who has deceased?

    • Ebony

      Yes, same here. Loss my mom and my grandmother (mom’s mother) within a year from each other. I have hair strands from them both. It would make knowing my mom side a lot easier. I hope it’s possible.

    • kasia

      1. I have same question Joe re. How to test other kinds of samples if parent & grandparents deceased. If one was cremated, do the ashes contain DNA? What about hairs on clothing? Or an old toothbrush, etc.?
      2. Like others, I too have had Many problems with Ancestry, which is inexcusable given the cost. Ancestry has asked for our feedback, yet don’t see Ancestry answer the concerns — while, meantime, Ancestry charge members large fees to investigate family trees + potential linkages, along with charging for DNA, yet all the work we do provides ” free info” for Ancestry, which is also owned by Mormon Church. So we are paying them to do their work for them. Ancestry needs to significantly lower costs or perhaps pay users after a year, for providing them (& Morman church) with invaluable info for their genealogy data base.
      3. A non.blood relative did DNA test & lst cousins showed up who are a generation younger than he is & his tree has no shared surnames. Please explain how that’s possible & how they all find out why they are listed as lst cousins?? Againthrre are no shared surnames between him & the lst cousins shown by ancestry.
      Genetically , what accounts for this — Could Ancestry DNA test results be flawed; or .. what? How is this resolved?
      4. Also when we received ‘ refined’ Ancestry DNA results earlier this year, they showed significantly different countries of origins & percentages. It is good if results are more accurate, but also makes us question how careful or accurate Ancestry is in testing DNA.
      5. Agree with poster who said while other DNA tests will allow comparison with other companies tests, Ancestry doesn’t: It needs to change that policy.
      6. Thank you in advance for response from a knowdgeable DNA expert at Ancestry.

      • Dawn

        In looking at your results, pay no attention to surnames. Look at the amount of DNA shared with others. Best of luck.

      • Dorothy

        Surnames: Prior to 1909 I don’t think it was required to legally change your name-people just did it. People were often not very educated and wrote things phonetically. I have a signature of a mother and son with different spellings. The whole concept of census was pretty foreign and the takers weren’t educated. People used diminutives for children on the census sometimes. I have one instance of a Ruby-girl, turning out to be a Ralph-boy ten years later. I think he was called Ruebe, a diminutive for Rueben. He also, on the military document no less, said he used Wilse as a last name sometimes. Even more difficult is people keeping their immigrant name with their family and using an Americanized name for legal documents. I just got in touch with a second cousin who insisted that her mother had not changed her last name prior to marriage and yet I have it on a number of documents. So be openminded, it is not just misspellings.

        • Roxi

          I have had several people contact me when they found DNA results matched my husband or me. With any clues they have, and other matches, we have been able to trace their family through my extensive tree

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      Hi Joe, thanks for your question! Unfortunately, the AncestryDNA test is a saliva only based test, so hair would not be something that could be tested. Apologies for any upset that may cause for you.

  22. Mike Montalvo


    1. The “Traits” addon for Ancestry could include more. By uploading to I got a lot more “traits”, although they are individually listed.

    2. sub processes need to be updated to calculate off of my “Updated DNA Estimates”. The updated DNA Estimates is MUCH more accurate for me based on my known ancestry.

    For example, when I look at shared DNA ancestry between myself and my uncle, it uses my old DNA mix not my updated to compare. It should either use my updated DNA or have the option to choose.

    3. I am 72% Scotch, Irish, Welsh and some English thrown in. I am 9% Native American via north area of Mexico. My “Additional Communities” under DNA lists Mexico Communities (Which were more recent in Ancestry) but does not list ANY Scotch, Irish, Welsh Communities such a being a member of the McDougall Clan (Scotch) and Lindsey’s (Irish). There are also other Scotch/Irish/Welch ancestries in my tree. What triggers “Communities or Migrations” on It’s frustrating not to see some I clearly know have been established based on my tree entries.

    • Mike Montalvo

      4. When viewing tree, it would be nice if you had an option to show only direct parent relationships. Mother/Grandmother/Great, etc… and Father/Grandfather/Greate, etc…
      This would make a nice direct ancestry printing tree.

    • Juliana Szucs

      Hi Mike, While your ethnicity estimate may evolve as we get more data and the science advances, your matches won’t change. You will still match your uncle at the same degree you match with him now.

    • Jane

      Hi Mike, Correct me if I am wrong. I believe Scotch is a liquor and Scottish is a nationality. My good friend who is a high percentage Scottish corrected me years ago.

      • Ivy

        The word “Scots” refers to the dialect of English found in Scotland (although some assert that the Scots dialect is a North Germanic language related to, but distinct from, English).

        The word “Scotch” is not supposed to directly refer to people; instead it describes compounds from Scotland such as Scotch pine or Scotch whisky, etc. The phrase “Scotch-Irish” found in America is incorrect because Americans do not speak Scots. “Scots-Irish” is the correct term.

        “Scottish” is the preferred adjective for the Scottish people as well as the literature, character, or ancestry of the people of Scotland. Thus, the people and culture of Scotland are correctly called “Scottish.”

        Here is a mnemonic to remember the difference between these words: “If you do not speak Scots, you may ask your Scottish host for a drink of Scotch whisky.”

  23. Katherine Winn

    Isn’t in the fee and my DNA sample and unless I’m mistaken, I never received a reply. Please send my long overdue results. Thank you.

  24. Cheena Curtis

    I have others that match with a distance of 0 and 1, but cannot find any common family link. One person just said we must not be related and shut the door on communication. Is it possible to have matches that are not related to you?

  25. Carrol Brown

    My husband wants to do this but doesn’t know who has access to his results. Can anyone get other people’s DNA results? How secure are these?

  26. Linda Perez

    I am a loss due to not being able to identify my biological father. Mother has passed only she knew who he was. How do I start to find him?

    • Alison Welch

      When it comes to DNA testing with Ancestry, I am somewhat disappointed. From the beginning [with just my DNA test results] I would get an email or “message” on Ancestry that said we have updated your DNA results, and I finally figured out that it was changing AFTER I had posted a lot of additional research on family members. It was “fine tuning” the location in the USA or Germany based on the new documents I had posted including newspaper articles/obits. As time has passed, many people have connected with me, because I show as a 2nd cousins. Four out of the six have been someone researching for a friend or family member who was adopted or did not know one of their parents family history. When these inquiries began, I felt differently about the DNA test and the cost of my membership. I thought ‘what if I were adopted?’. As it is I knew very little of my birth father; my brother and I through other means were made aware of an older half sister and a younger half brother. Using Ancestry I have found a lot about my father’s family and about him in year books, newspapers, and a cousin he visited every summer on the family farm. This cousin had a photo of my father when he was 9 years old (on Ancestry). We connected and I learned so much about my father’s childhood. His cousin is an avid researcher who has helped me tremendously. He also knew very little of my father’s family and used my research to help complete that ‘branch’. My older half sister always felt like she didn’t belong because she did not look like anyone in her mother’s family. Respecting her mother’s wishes, she never ask about her father. When her mother died she began her research. Our father was deceased by that time. But we met up in Calf. and I had a wedding photo of my parents. My sister looks just like our father! For the most part the research and public family trees have been the greatest asset. Not all persons from private trees have responded to my request for information; but apparently they are no longer or infrequently doing research. May be some day I will study the DNA results and options, but I was not impressed by the Beta ‘trial’ as it did not show me any new information, relations, etc. I might find it beneficial in the future and/or if I understand how to use it to my advantage.

  27. Carrol

    My husband wants to do this but doesn’t know who has access to his results. Can anyone get other people’s DNA results? How secure are these?

  28. Lucille Artuso

    I had the same problem so I purchased my heritage and was able to just swab.
    I just read that u can link ansestry Dna to my heritage hope this helps

  29. Dave Davis

    I started our very doubtful regarding, and my Test I sent in. Now I’m a BIG fan and have added many relatives to my family. Very interesting and Yes exciting Plus it doesn’t seem to end. Thank You.

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      Hi Dave, we’re so glad to hear that you had such a positive experience after taking the AncestryDNA test, thanks so much for sharing your feedback with us. 🙂

  30. Jack Walsh

    I and my three siblings all have done the Ancestry DNA test. We would like to go back another generation, as this post suggests, by testing our mother. The problem is she is 103 years old. I got a DNA test for her, but after multiple attempts we were unable to get her to spit. She is the last surviving sibling or cousin of her generation. I know that some of the other DNA testing companies do a cheek swab. We could do that, but then it would be in a different data base. Are there any solutions?

    • Karen Beanland

      YES! After testing, download results into a ZIP file. Upload the zip file into GED Match Genesis, 23andMe, My Heritage and FamilyTreeDNA. If people are having difficulty with spitting, use a company that allows a cheek swab like Family Tree. We’ve found many new relatives by expanding beyond just one DNA company.

      • Debra Wassom Heldt

        My mother couldn’t spit either, so when I took her to her dentist appointment with a 1/4 teaspoon measure, and the dental assistant held her tongue back with a metal/mirror long handle which made her saliva flow more (before any dental procedures). I collected several little spoonfuls until the solid liquid reached the wavy line (bubbles above the line) and mailed it to Ancestry DNA. Got results 4-6 weeks later, a few weeks before she died, thank God–fascinating!!

  31. Gerald Brickwood

    I really wish Ancestry would identify the portions of DNA from paternal and maternal lines from the sample given them, even if they must charge a little bit more to do so. The “new” analysis makes less sense than the original for myself. For example my father’s forebears going back 6 generations are ALL (male and female) from the same village in Devon England, but, in the English faction no tie to Devon is listed and my DNA analysis is well below 50% English? On my Mother’s side the family for all generations is either French Canadian or French. But somehow my estimate is 58% French. I’m also shown with 10% Native American with 2% of that being Andean. How can that be unless it is a cumulative from both parents?

    • Juliana Szucs

      The bits of DNA we have inherited can go back further than our paper trails. Also, given the proximity of England and France, it’s not surprising that there might be some French mixed in. We have to remember that DNA isn’t confined to our modern geo-political boundaries. Hope this helps explain a bit.

      • Gerald Brickwood

        I understand that, originally Ancestry used to say the DNA goes back 1,000 years, but that would mean that the preponderance of Western European DNA would be Celtic as the Celts were generally very widespread covering most of Western Germany, France, Iberian Peninsula and the British Isles my own DNA show a higher percentage of Spanish and Portuguese (18%) DNA than English (7%). Mixed in with the Iberian and English and French DNA, I’d expect to see traces stemming from Roman and North African invader/occupiers. Or maybe I’m just mixing too much history in with what is a more random occurrence. Never the less, I still wish Ancestry would detail the analysis based on maternal and paternal lines.

  32. Linda Domowicz

    My DNA , my son’s and husband ‘s was updated awhile ago. My brother and 2nd and third cousins were never done.
    Can you please update the DNA from Anthony Barbera ( my brother ) and my 2nd and 3rd cousins. Thank you . I called your customer service concerning this matter and it has not been resolved yet.
    How can we compare our DNA if theirs has not been updated. Thank you .

    • Juliana Szucs

      Hi Linda, Whoever administers the test will have to go in and accept the new ethnicity estimates. But that shouldn’t change how you match to that person. Your matches will stay the same. It’s just that as we get more data and the science gets more accurate in regards to ethnicity that we are able to update those estimates and the Communities you receive.

  33. David Parker

    I am trying to help an adoptee find her blood relatives. She has lots of DNA cousins and I have figured out some great grandparents. Is there anyway to determine male or female side given that she was adopted at birth and has no knowledge of any relatives?. (apart from a birth certificate thought to be false.)

    • Juliana Szucs

      There’s not a hard and fast rule, but I look at locations of the families. Sometimes you will find they are all from the same place, but every so often you’ll see that one side is from the same location where the baby was born, and the other is from somewhere else. I typically figure the local person is the mom, although we have to bear in mind that often women were sent away to family in another location or to a home for unwed mothers in a remote location.

  34. Kristin Ziama

    I wish I COULD get my parents’ DNA tested, especially my father’s. Unfortunately, my parents and their entire generation of siblings have died. My cousins probably have as much Scandinavian and British Isles as I do, but from their mothers. (except the one whose mother is Italian). Half my DNA is Norwegian and Swedish, which should be from my mother. (You had that total at 66% at one point). The other half seems to be VERY mixed, Finnish-Russian, Middle European, Scottish-Irish-Welsh, Middle European (I forgot what you called it), Eastern European, Southern European and 1% Jewish. I found the variety astonishing, since GENERATIONS of Woestehoffs/Westhoffs have been traced back to Germany (Prussia, specifically). You do keep changing the percentages, which amazes me. When I complained about the lack of Germans, you did change the mid-European one to Germanic something of other, but that was still a very small percent. My Norwegian went up, but my daughter’s went down. I’ll address her in another comment.

    BTW, why is it that when I look up the name, I am informed that they are 100% con artists (you used a different term…I forget what) ? My family tree is full of professors, teachers, educational administrators (I even found a German text by someone of that name in education), farmers, and my grandfather worked for the railroad.

    • KD

      Just click “forgot password” at the login site and change your password – then write it down and save it

  35. Brenda Gamez

    I had my DNA done, it says I have no native American in me. But my grandma told me we have it, she told us about her grandmother’s village was raided and how her grandmother was raised by white people. Can you explain why

  36. Kristin Ziama

    My husband was born in Liberia, though his father was captured in a border war with Portuguese Guinea. He refuses to take the test. Maybe I can get one of his nephews to take the test. My daughter DID take the test, and her results were AMAZING, to say the least. No Liberian, but DNA back to South African Hunter-Gatherers, Bantu, Benin-Togo, Mali, Senegal (I think that was the highest percentage of her African heritage), Iberian Peninsula (which makes sense to me, as the Portuguese came down the coast, but you took that away), and a trace Nigerian. When I watched Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s “African Civilizations,” I was amazed at how much his story matched my daughter’s DNA profile . Of course, she has a great deal of European DNA, especially the Norwegian-Swede, but when you upped my percentage of that, hers went down. I found that very curious.

  37. G. Odle

    My brother and I were both tested. He passed away shortly afterwards and before he was able share all results. What I can see is that we only share 39.5% of our DNA. That seems really low. What is the range of DNA sharing amongst full siblings?

  38. Sabrina Traweek

    I was adopted at 3 days old. I want to find my birth parents, can help me do that?

  39. Heather

    I recently tested both my parents. They both were very surprised. My questions is when would my DNA results update. I’m listed as having 20% Swedish when between them they only have 13%.

  40. Darlene Cupp

    My husband, my sons and I have all taken the test which was extremely interesting. My husband’s grandmother was Cherokee and grew up on a reservation in Oklahoma. Oddly, there was not a percentage of Native American in him at all. We don’t have the opportunity to test his father who has passed away. How can there be absolutely 0 DNA related to Native American in him?

  41. Kristin Ziama

    Why is it so hard to get information on actual ancestors by name. I know someone in my dad’s side did a genealogy long ago. I was only able to get the Norwegian side (Mom’s side) done because there was a family reunion several years ago, and a booklet was printed with the relevant information. BTW, I accidentally deleted Ole Virum (1570) from my ancestry, and couldn’t get him back. Please reinstate him. The Swede genealogy is almost impossible to reconstruct. I have only a couple of generations beyond my grandfather, and then it ends. My only clue is that my great grandparents on that side were first cousins, but I only have the record of great grandma’s parents. Then it stops.

  42. Roxanne Ochs

    I and my siblings have had our DNA tested. One of us has country of origin DNA that the rest of us don’t have. Is this normal?

  43. Deborah

    I have been in contact with only 3rd cousins. They can’t tell me what I need to know. I sent a 1st cousin a message about 4 months ago. He hasn’t responded yet. I don’t know who my biological father is. He probably has the information. I have done 23andMeDNA, MyHeritageDNA and AncestryDNA.

  44. Virginia Rhodas

    My parents are both deceased. However, before Dad died, I put his DNA out on 23 and Me because, at the time, they were the leader in this field. Now that he is gone, I really need to transfer/copy his DNA over to because that is where most of my family DNA now reside. Are you folks going to provide a way to do that ever?

  45. Robert Miner

    I had my dna tested by myheritage and ancestry. Myheritage has me with 33% Iberian and ancestry doesn’t have any Iberian. How could there be such a big difference? I emailed myheritage on 4/10/19 they sent me a support number, but no answers yet.

  46. Jayni Roxton-Wiggill

    I am SO overwhelmed. I have NO idea what test to order for my dad who is 91. He wants to know his ethnic origins and my brother and I want to know lots of other things….We live in South Africa and these tests in our currency are very dear; therefore I want to know what plan we should follow. Please help!

    • Karen Gregorio

      My son got a very vague report. We have been having a difficult time with it. Save your money, I would research the other ones.

  47. Carter Vann

    I would like to see how much of my family has came over to America from Nigeria because of slavery.

    • adknative

      A dna test is not going to tell you that. Research and documented records (hard to locate particularly in reference to slave records) are what you need.

  48. Karen Gregorio

    My son did his about a year ago, we have been having a difficult time reading the results. For instance it says Native American from the Chihuahua Region. Well, there are several tribes from there. Then there was from Europe, well that’s nice but, WHERE!! It just left us with more questions.

    • adknative

      It’s called “research” for a reason. DNA is not genealogy on a silver plate. If that is what anyone is looking for, forget it.

    • Karen Gregorio

      $100+ You may be able to hit a special for $69 but the report my son received was a very vague one. Waist of money.

  49. Angel Calkins

    My identical twin daughters were tested, and we’re wondering how they have different percentages in their results??? How is this even possible?!

    • adknative

      Very simple: you inherit half of your dna from each parent and, even ‘identical’ twins do not have exactly the same dna. It depends on when the original ‘egg’ divided (after contact with sperm) and how evenly the division was separated in the egg. At a very early stage, when the first cells are still developing, there is more chance that subsequent cells (as the egg forms and grows) will not develop ‘exactly’ the same as the other part of the egg. It also depends on how evenly the egg divides: if it divides ‘precisely’ in half, you may get not only ‘identical’ twins but ‘mirror’ twins (ie, opposite, mirror image twins: one will have a mole on their left cheek, the other will have the same mole on their right cheek… in fact, with mirror twins, often one is left-handed and the other is right-handed).

      To put it simply: both twins were given (essentially) the same number of cement blocks, stacks of lumber, number of windows, etc. and told to build a house… but the separated eggs, while using same (or close to same) supplies, each built slightly different houses. The twins will look much more like each other than like any of their other siblings, but they will not be ‘exactly’ the same. If the egg divides further (into three or four or five) you will have ‘identical’ triplets, quadruplets or quintuplets, NONE of whom will be ‘exactly’ the same but ALL of whom will be confusingly similar. Moreover, if the egg(s) have divided very, very early, they continue to develop with “slight differences” between them. And if the twins were fraternal or maternal twins, they never started from the same egg at all, and can even be a male & female, brother / sister pair of twins … or two boys or two girls who share no more in common with each other than they share with any other sibling.

      Lastly, when you contribute a saliva sample, it’s a broad-range spectrum of results which is compared to a ‘base average’ sample of any specific cultural identity in the ancestry database of their core 300+ groups to see how closely your dna matches any section(s) of those groups: my spouse and I both have very early New England roots (think Mayflower, Puritans, English deportees) and we both show up as MORE English than people living in England in modern day, because England continued to marry and merge with other European cultures, whereas our early English ancestors…? Oh, yeah: they married other early English ancestors and kept the strain more ‘pure’.

      And ancestry will keep refining the dna sample matches because, the more dna samples and documented trees they have in their database, the more accurately they can refine the matches. And about that Native American which did not show up in your test…?

      The dna ladder is MILLIONS of rungs long and ancestry only tested one segment of the ladder. It may be 700,000 rungs long in the part they looked at, but if your Native American heritage is in another section of the ladder, it won’t show up in the ancestry test. Period. Does not make the ancestry test a bad test, just means what you were looking to prove is not on that part of the ladder that the ancestry test looked at.

      Lastly: people lie, dna does not. When you ‘KNOW’ something is a “fact” in your family tree because someone said it, keep in mind: they are telling you what they believe, or what they were told, or what they want you to believe. None of that makes it (necessarily) true. They can be mistaken, misinformed, or flat out lying.

      I used dna to prove that my gr-gr-grandfather was NOT, in fact, my gr-gr-grandfather … then, I used dna to prove who my gr-gr-grandfather REALLY was.

  50. Patsy L. Cole

    My DNA did not show my INDIAN blood line . My grandma is full blood Cheroke and my mom is half that makes a quarter . Very disappointed with your testing

    • adknative

      Remember two things: 1) ancestry compares their dna tests against a group of base samples to find what percent you sample matches their core samples: if they don’t have a Native American or Cherokee base sample, then there is nothing to match it to.

      2) The dna ladder is MILLIONS of rungs long, but ancestry only looks at about 700,000 rungs: if your Native American heritage is somewhere else on your MILLIONS of rungs of your own dna ladder, and NOT within that one segment they look at, it won’t show up. Period. Not their fault. Not your fault.

      Statistical luck of the draw.

  51. D. Dudek

    My parents and grandparents are deceased. Is it possible to get DNA results from something like hair (from hair rollers, for instance) or toothbrushes?

  52. Don Johnson

    I sent in my test information after receiving an expensive present from my sister and haven’t heard from you in a long time.

    • adknative

      The test kit explained this to everyone: you wait about 4-6 weeks, then log into ancestry to register / link your test to yourself in your tree. You access your results via the dna tab on the website. – And no, I don’t work for ancestry so don’t yell at me. I handle 20 dna kits linked to my tree.

    • Juliana Szucs

      Don, please call 1-800-262-3787 so that we can have a representative look into the status of your test.

  53. Andrew Lemos

    I was wondering if you guys will be able to send me a kit and DNA kit my grandparents are still alive and maybe we can document their DNA for your records.

    • adknative

      you can order the test kit via the ancestry website (google it) and it’s also available via

  54. William J. Curtis 90 Yrs Old

    I have been interested in my Ancestry years before came to be. My Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, one a Stage Coach driver all came from Hempstead NY. plus Curtis from very early US Census of Hempstead, plus a genealogy written in the 1800 hundreds, of William Of Nazeing England emigrating to Massachusetts in 1500.
    So I figured after $90.00 for my DNA I’d really fill in all the blanks, but all I’ve found out are the $$$ prices for 6 month or yearly to be able to access newspapers, immigration at
    Boston, etc. etc.
    I don’t know a 4th cousin twice removed from a hole in the ground.
    All I wanted was to find out when William Curtis of Nazing England got here and someone with the name Curtis got to Early Hempstead where I’m sure my Curtis’ are from.
    I now know nothing more than my Great Grandfather’s cemetery deed and some old photos of my Father in WW1, Grand father’s photo studio in Manhattan, etc.
    Ancestry reminds me of when at Steeplechase park in Coney Island there were freak shows with one of the freaks outside the tent, with the huckster extoling the show inside, and telling you of the price to go inside his tent, where you paid, and then paid to see more, and of course to see even more. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    • adknative

      did you follow through and actually register your kit, or did you just send it in and expect something in the mail? You need to register it online with ancestry to receive your matches

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      Hi Patricia, we’re very sorry to hear that! Please check the DNA page within your Ancestry account, any updates related to your kit will have been posted there for you to review. We hope that helps!

  55. Bonnie Bowser

    I have never received a copy of my dna it was back in November when I had it done can u please send me something about what my dna said I’d greatly appreciate it thank u

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      Hi Bonnie, we’re very sorry to hear that! Have you tried checking the DNA page within your Ancestry account? Once your test results are ready, they will be posted there for you to review, if they do not show there, please let us know right away. Cheers.

  56. Armando

    I did my DNA test and the results were 87% Iberian Peninsula, 7% French, 2% North Africa, 1%Irish, 1% Basque, 1% Scandinavian and 1% Bantu. Can you tell me what part of the Iberian Peninsula I am from? The Canary Islands, Galicia, Portugal, etc.

    • adknative

      That’s why it’s called “research” Your dna kit narrowed your background down to a fairly isolated population in a fairly select region of the world. You wanted your genealogy served up on a silver platter…? Sorry but after 40+ years of real research, i am confounded by the number of people who want everything for nothing.

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      Thanks so much for your message, Lisa! We’re so happy to hear you’re enjoying your time using the website. 🙂

    • Dorothy Woitasek

      Hello Lonnie – I had the same problem and I called Ancestry. They were very helpful and the problem was corrected in about a week time.


    • Juliana Szucs

      Lonnie, please call 1-800-262-3787 so a member services associate can look into the status of your test.

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      Hi Lonnie, we’re so sorry to hear that! Can we just ask, have you tried to login to your account to check your DNA page? If not, please do that and then let us know how you get on. Cheers.

  57. zizi

    I wish I could transfer over my mom’s dna date from 23andme to ancestry. I don’t mind paying a price to do so.

  58. Janet archambault

    I would love to see my ancestry for my children’s information, however I’m a 79 year old widow
    Living i HU D housing just got out of the hospital with big bill. So I’m strapped for cash. What is the cost for this. I have an 80th birthday coming up.

  59. Mark Greene.

    I would like to have a few relatives of some of my close DNA matches receive the Ancestry DNA kit. Can this be done anonymously or even semi-anonymous? Ancestry could do it something like this: Hello, a fellow member would like to gift you a DNA kit to have your parent take the test. If you are interested please let us know and we will send the kit to you in behalf of the other Ancestry member. I could pay the kit fee and Ancestry could send the kit out, keeping the gifted member’s address private from the person who did the gifting.

    This is perhaps suggesting a new service to Ancestry. But I think this is a service that some members would be interested in. Please consider this request. If, by chance something like this already is in place, please let me know. I am ready for you to contact some of my matches with a DNA gifted kit.

    Signed , Mark an Ancestry member.

  60. Aud

    Being one of those people that has both of my parents tested through ancestry and 23andme, it would be great if ancestry would phase results like 23andme does. My results do not match my parents. I’ve inherited ethnicities that neither of my parents have. I realize that its not a perfect science, but I feel like phasing would help correct this. How can you inherit something your parents don’t have? Im talking 14÷ french, and 17÷ Germanic europe, so not a small amounts.

    • adknative

      You did not inherit something neither of your parents has, not possible. HOWEVER… please keep in mind: you got HALF of your dna from your dad, HALF from your mom (who each got half from each of their parents) … To begin with, that gives you (at MOST) only a 25% chance of getting dna from each of your four grandparents, 12.5% chance from your eight grandparents, etc.

      What screws this up and prevents it from being a simple mathematical equation is two things: 1) random recombinant dna, and 2) the fact that the dna ‘ladder’ is MILLIONS of rungs in length but ancestry can only test one “segment” of the entire length (they test a segment about 700,000 rungs long) and every segment NOT in that test string will NOT show up in your test.

      Random Recombinant dna: the term applied to chimeric DNA molecules that are constructed in vitro, then propagated in a host cell. In other words, segment of your dad’s dna, taken at RANDOM from anywhere on his ladder is COMBINED RANDOMLY with dna taken at RANDOM from anywhere on your mom’s ladder… Creating RANDOMLY a whole, new, entirely unique combination of the pairings of their dna: YOU.

      So, your dad could have something ANYWHERE ELSE on his ladder than the segment ancestry tested and it would not show up… and your mom could have something ANYWHERE ELSE on her dna ladder than the segment ancestry tested and it would not show up… But YOU could have gotten YOUR dna from ANY part of your dad or your mom’s dna ladders, including the segments ancestry did not test. Therefore, you got something neither of their tests showed them having but that does NOT mean they don’t have it: it means they don’t have in the part / segment of dna ancestry TESTED.

      Does that help?

      • Jane

        After reading many of your same answers I am finally understanding what you are saying and you have cleared up many questions my family has had. I am still a little confused. The first results showed almost all what should have been my fathers side leaving very little from my mother. My new update shows all of my mothers that was missing and now less of my fathers side. I have to study it again using the facts you have given me to fully understand. I am wondering what the next updates will show when they add more “rungs”.

  61. Julie

    I was born in Northern Ireland and live in US however all my family etc still resides in UK. Do I have to submit my DNA test to UK Ancestry to find cousin matches etc. as I have only 5 or 6th cousins showing on my results here

    • adknative

      I don’t think so. My spouse has roots in England, ancestors that only came over to America in early 1800s … but we are getting dna matches here in the USA, matches in England and also matches to his dna in Australia.

  62. Patricia Pittman

    I ordered a DNA kit for my daughter when it was on sale, and when the sale came up again, my husband wanted to get a kit to have his DNA tested (supposedly have American Indian relatives) and when I clicked on the order button it only offered the $99 price, not the $59 price. Why?

  63. Katrina

    How do i go about finding my father’s dad he left him when he was born. He heard he has brothers and sister. If i was to do a dna test will it tell me

  64. Curt Symes

    Hi, both my wife & I have been using Ancestry for family research for the past 10 years now. I had my DNA test done last year and we have connected with missing family distant cousins. My Grand-father who deceased in 1977 was adopted by his Step-father, so the chain of research is partially broken. I have a number of his personal effects – 2 WWI Wool Service Caps that he wore for VFW & American Legion events until his passing in 1977. Is there a chance you could do DNA Testing on one of these items or could you recommend/suggest a DNA Tester in Southern CT 06470 area? I am hoping to connect with his real fathers family. Thx

  65. Betty Van Zandbergen

    My son sent in in Sept 2018 for my ancestry and I sent everything in to get it and I have still gotten the results. He paid to get it. Can you help me?

  66. Marion V Ziegler

    both of my parents are gone so cannot test them, all of my brothers and sisters have been tested but it seems like non of them are interested and I really don’t know where to start. My son tested but there is no one other than me since his father and siblings are gone so no way to test them.

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      Hi Jacquline, we’re very sorry to hear that! Can we just ask, have you tried to login to your Ancestry account and check your DNA page? Any updates related to your results will have been posted there for you to review. We hope that helps!

  67. Alice Leonatti

    My grandson asked for an Ancestry DNA kit for Christmas and I was delighted to do this for him. I ordered my kit at the same time. When I received my results my grandson is listed as a 1st cousin… that seems odd, but it could just be the way the results are figure. Any explanation would be helpful. He is not a member of Ancestry so he doesn’t have his own tree. that could factor in to the dynamics.

  68. linda

    Juliana Szucs I was hoping you could help me. Even though I have done my DNA I am still stuck in the unknown I was adopted in a private adoption and my records have been sealed and even with the help of Ancestry I am still searching for any link. I would like to find out who my parents were and if I have siblings still alive. I’m in my 70’s and losing time. I hope you can help.

  69. Kitty

    At 87%, I have 2% more Irish than my sister! She has that 2% more in Eastern Europe. I wish my other sister would get tested. I want to be the most Irish of the 3 of us.

  70. Patricia

    Oh my goodness why is everyone attacking this poor girl. Call customer service with complaints. Anyway after I got my test done I had a match that was a very close family member, which was the second one on my matched “cousins”. The first was my uncle. So this girl was a clear match to our family. Who could have had a child and nobody knew about it? We figure out that it has got to be one of my uncles who were lost at sea. I figured my mother and uncles would freak out. One of the uncles was not married, the other was married and had one daughter, who has passed away. We had her daughter take a test and it showed that the married uncle had a second daughter!! We have all been in contact with her and have welcomed her into the family!! She grew up not knowing her father was her father. Her mother was pregnant when she got married and left the state! My uncle never knew about her, that’s why he never told anyone. She found out when her mother was basically on her death bed. She wouldn’t give her a name or anything. So our story had a great happy ending and I know have a new oldest cousin, whom I feel like I’ve known her forever!!

  71. Leslie Bell

    I have loved being able to solve a mystery every night with Ancestry. I have traced my maternal side to the Mayflower and I think I am going to make it also to Jamestown, VA on my mother’s side as well. What are the odds of this happening? Also in some of my research I found that one of my relatives were living in a Kentucky Colony in the 1500’s. Is this possible? I can’t find anything about this Kentucky Colony.

  72. Catherine Griffin

    So this is all great but I’ve already lost my mom and both grandmothers. That means I just lose that line or can I get my dad’s and they just figure out my mom’s due to whatever isn’t my dad’s?

    • Juliana Szucs

      Yes, you could have your father test and it would let you know which are on the father’s side. Those that don’t match him then are most likely on your mom’s side.

  73. Amy Kurtz

    Adopted at birth, had no heritage, medical or familial information. That was until I got results back in the fall of 2015.
    Along with my European roots, found 1st cousins!
    Through them found biological parent AND found that I have full biological siblings! Crazy! They are terrific and not only do I know my story now, but have a wonderful new group of people/ bio-family to love.

  74. Rebecca Voth

    We discovered through my son’s 23&Me test that one of my friends is actually our cousin. I had taken the test through Ancestry but not through 23&Me….so she decided to go through Ancestry also so we could figure out where we are related. She received her results, but is not listed as a DNA match with me. Can you explain why we would be shown as cousins on 23&Me but not on Ancestry? Thank you.

  75. Sandra Foote

    My daughter-in-law was born in Korea. Her results says she was Asian, nothing else. We already knew that. She was disappointed. The ads on TV show very detailed results on where or what ethnicity someone is.

  76. jesse92

    My mother’s DNA is 53% Scandinavian, I’m 0% Scandinavian. Is that even possible? We did the MyHeritage DNA test because my mother is not able to spit, and they have the swab test.

  77. Melody

    I question the results of my DNA test when they were received. My results were Western European with Germanic, Irish, Scandinavian. This seems more like it would be based on my married name than my DNA. Based on the Genetics of traits, I should be light skinned with light brown, blue or green eyes. I have dark brown hair and eyes and darker skin. I have never had a sunburn and tan very dark without lotions. I live at least 7 generations in the same area, tracing on paper back to the 1600’s French fur traders. However, my results say I have no Native American or French. I am regularly asked to what Native American tribe I belong or if I get the Native treatment on reservation land. I’m questioning whether my results are truly my results or that of somebody else. It is possible to have a typed an incorrect number off the tube when entering it into the software and get the incorrect results sent to you. If so, the data may have some inaccuracies when relating DNA for relatives. I asked this question when I received my initial results with no response.

    Thank you.

  78. rosalee cantrell

    I am 40% Italian, but my sons results said that he is only 2% Italian. How can this be???

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      Hi Larry, thanks for your question. After you have taken the AncestryDNA test, your DNA test results will be added to your Ancestry account on the website. If you have taken the test, please check your DNA page, as any updates related to your kit will have been posted there for you. We hope that helps!

  79. Neva K Abbott

    My maiden name is Muzingo. The first Muzingo in the United States, 1600’s was a black man. He married a white women. The family seemed to go different directions. Most stayed white, while some in SC went dark. My DNA does not show any African blood at all. Is it because it is so far removed, I did not inherit the gene, or because I am female and did not pick up the y chromosome that carried the African gene? Also, my mother is all German and Eastern European but I only inherited about 12% of that DNA. Even my father had some of that background, but again I only inherited 12%. According to the DNA I am mostly English, and I have very few English ancestors. The only ones that I can find on my pedigree are several generations back. It is very confusing.

  80. rumzi kawar

    My DNA says I’m 33% Italian. Both of my parents tested and both show 0% Italian. How can this be?

  81. I have dark brown hair and eyes and darker skin. I have never had a sunburn and tan very dark without lotions. I live at least 7 generations in the same area, tracing on paper back to the 1600’s French fur traders. However, my results say I have no Native American or French.

  82. Linda Bowersox

    I recently discovered my husband and I share at least 20 cousins (dna matches). He and I are not a match but the cousins share dna with both of us!! Anyone ever hear of this?

  83. Dan

    During my younger, more alcohol-related days, I was extremely promiscuous. I think there is a good chance that at least one of those case resulted in pregnancy, although I do not know the outcome. Is there any way to find out whether I have descendants who I am responsible for (and to)?

  84. Mardi Birch

    I got the kit “on sale” from Amazon. It was “marked down” to $100. I’m poor and trying to get into a clinic outside of London to have what they call a fecal transplant because I have terrible problems with my digestive tract. Well, I should have just saved that money for my GoFundMe. I learned quickly that you have to keep paying and paying to delve deeper into your ancestors DNA. I got information I already knew – and then…. I would have had to pay more and more for getting information I didn’t know. So, I am disappointed. Just letting people who havent done testing yet, I hope you are rich so you can delve deeper.

  85. Alex

    I have the same problem with my wife’s family. She is from Spain and have not been able to find a single connection and or information for her. It is frustrating because I have been able to find my connection with some past relatives in Spain but not for her.

  86. Lenin Santos

    What possibility exists that I sent you two tests you can verify that whether or not they are relatives?

  87. Paul44

    By now we already know to test as many family members as possibly. But do you have suggestions how to get them to do that? My family is not convinced, regarding all the news regarding privacy concerns and so on. How do you get them to want to do it? Any foolproof ( or close to it) suggestions for success? I’m a bad salesman.

  88. Leslie

    So, I actually did test my parents before I did my own test (and same with my inlaws and spouse). Dad’s 53% English, 47% Scots-Irish. Mom was similar, 64% English, 26% Scots-Irish: her remaining 10% is split evenly between German and Norwegian. For my test, I expected the lion’s share to be English and Scots-Irish, which it was (69% and 29% respectively). My remaining 2% though, came up as Swedish instead of Norwegian. Of course, there’s so much overlap within Scandinavia, it’s not shocking, but it seems as though it would be more likely that mine should have come up as Norwegian instead of Swedish.

    It seems to me, with an individual’s test and both of their parents’ tests, that there is a possibility of having some more powerful tools that can use the three tests together to do deeper, more accurate work. Has Ancestry considered going to the ‘next level’ on multi-test computations?

  89. Phillip D. Farrar

    Ok, My as much as I know which is not much. My mother was Brenda Louis Quinn. As for the biological father your guess would be as good as mine. Or maybe you do know. If so please tell me what the big secret is. So I was born with the name of Phillip Dewayne Quinn. Quinn being my mother’s maiden name.

  90. Warren L Jacobs

    My AncestryDNA® test initially (correctly) indicated that I have Norwegian ancestors. I have a direct linage as evident by my last name, with some modification, going back to my Great, Great, Great Grandfather who was born in Norway to Norwegian parents and grandparents, etc. etc. etc. Last year Ancestry DNA sent me an update that incorrectly indicated that I have Swedish ancestry rather than Norwegian ancestry.

  91. victor m zavala sr.

    my question is can you Claim any legal ancestry, like Indian type ect….my son and daughters claim they Indian type cause of their mom Indian type Now my grandpa was an Indian but from Mexico, now i don’t now if it will show up on my dad side, now if it does can i claim to be Indian….

  92. Bobby Pace

    Family testing through Ancestry sounds fun until you find out that 30 years ago little brother Billy was actually fathered by the the neighbor down the street and Mom’s been gone 5 years now. Who explains what to whom?

  93. janet (Campbell) Sparks

    I found a shared cm on my matches that is 505cm’s. This was on a maternal cousin’s “married” side so with the shared DNA this would have to be genetic and not just “through marriage” link. My question is, it is either my Maternal 1st cousin’s husband’s Father or Grandfather, but back in 1981 or even 2001 when his Father died, I can’t see how they would have done a DNA test. Is there any other way that Ancestry could have detected this strange link to my cousin’s married relatives? And btw this 505cm match was more than my 1st cousin’s son which would be an obvious 2nd cousin match.

  94. Mary Giebler Camp

    Your example for siblings lists specific towns and regions within a country. My results did not include any specific information about towns or even countries within a region. Why not?

  95. Bob Du

    I did the Ancestry DNA test a few years ago and have made contact with several relatives. My wife did the test after me and I have found a few relatives for her. I do the research and when my wife did the DNA test we added the her results to the account I had – no problem. Recently, I received an email offering additional info, for a moderate price, called Ancestry DNA Traits. I went to my account and I was able to pay the fee and get results for me but I was not able to do this for my wife’s DNA. According to Ancestry in order to get the info for my wife she would need to take another DNA test and the results need to be loaded into a separate Ancestry account. This does not seem right. While Ancestry urges its users to have family take DNA tests they really don’t tell you that each test should be in its own account. The Ancestry account lets you add Ancetry DNA tests. Something is not right.

  96. Jason Lee

    Testing multiple family members is much more meaningful when you’re using a chromosome browser and resources such as DNA Painter.

  97. Dick Bay

    My paternal grandmother was born, probably out of wedlock, in 1878. All I know for certain about her father is his name & birth state. I found a man with the right name in the general vicinity, and he is my #1 candidate for her father, although his obituary lists only his [legitimate] children with a later wife. My DNA Matches include 3 people with candidate#1’s parents in their tree and 8 more with his maternal grand-parents. BUT, my grandmother had a twin brother and, while 2 of his descendants are among my DNA Matches, neither of them match any of the 11 folks with candidate#1’s parents or grand-parents in their trees. From what I read in the article it sounds like it’s not uncommon for some descendants of the same ancestor to match and others not to. So . . . just how confidant can I be that candidate#1 is my great-grandfather, given these matching results?

  98. Pamela Wall

    My mother’s brother, my uncle has different ancestry than myself and sister. I don’t believe his parents could be my grandparents or maybe just one of them. It’s not so unusual since I just found out my brother has a different dad than my stepfather and my mother even gave up a kid for adoption that just came back to haunt her. All these family secrets.

  99. Maggie

    How can my youngest brother have 98% Great Briton and I am only 52 % Great Briton. We both had the same parents.

    • Maggie

      Why does my younger brother have 98% Great Briton and I have only 52% Great Briton, we had the same parents.

  100. Gabriela

    How is it possible that in my results there are 2 geographic regions that my parents didn’t have in their results??


    I send my DNA test already may 20th and I haven’t got my DNA test at all and I didn’t put my name on the box because I was told that you will send my DNA Test to my Yahoo Email

  102. Linda

    I found four half sisters and ahalf brother thru DNA of Ancestry, I always knew I had a biological dad that I never knew,now I found the siblings,kinda overwhelming

  103. Barbara

    “Consider this: a fourth cousin to you is a third cousin to your parent and a second cousin to your grandparent.” I assume someone else noticed this error, but I don’t have time to read all the comments. My fourth cousin is NOT my parent’s third cousin. Errors like this, especially ones posted on Ancestry (!) are what make genealogy so confusing . (That person’s PARENT is my parent’s third cousin.) Credibility, anyone?

  104. Nancie Willey

    My parents are elderly, in senior housing, no email. They were thrilled to spit in the tubes, can’t wait to see their results, but I can’t register their tests and send them in because they don’t have email, let alone separate emails. I’ve tried setting up gmail accounts for them, but that needs phone numbers, and they have one older flip phone that doesn’t text. So what do I do? My phone number won’t work since it’s registered to me, not to them.

  105. Jacsac

    I just sent off DNA-Kit test, should I wait until I get the results before linking it to family tree or does it matter?

  106. rumzi kawar

    May 23, 2019 at 11:59 am
    My DNA says I’m 33% Italian. Both of my parents also tested thru ancestry and both show 0% Italian. How can this be?

  107. Ramon Eugene Bassett

    I payed around $100 for my DNA and received the first page on 13 Oct. 2018 and whether I received the total results and deleted it I don’t know. Please send it to me.

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