Using a test group of participants from all major population groups, we spent more than 80 hours testing five DNA services and think that AncestryDNA is the best service for most people. While each service has its own pluses, and areas that could use the improvement, our pick shows the data that is easy to understand. In addition to having the largest DNA reference pool, AncestryDNA is an accessible resource that efficiently finds living relatives and traces ethnic roots.

If you are looking to deepen and collect data beyond the tracked ethnicity offerings, our choice of update, DNA Family Tree, makes it possible. Its testing options are broader and the service has genealogical tools that allow you to connect your DNA to early human migration, as well as relatives who belong to a particular side of your family tree. While the DNA of the family tree has more features, each of them has an individual additional cost that can lead to a high cost.

Who’s this for?

In general, the level of certainty that is often advertised with DNA services is not always parallel to their underlying science. As the results approach, the recent establishment of national boundaries, the growth of reference databases and mass migration (which results in mixed ethnicities) can alter the results.

Although it is not the only resource to find information about ancestors, a DNA test provides a solid foundation for those who are trying to create a detailed family tree. Public documents, family documents and interviews can be used as additional resources that will help answer questions that DNA test results can bring.

How Family Tree Shop chose and tested

DNA testing services are useful if you need to resolve a paternity dispute, or if you want to get knowledge of genetic predisposition. Biomedical DNA tests are used to determine possible hereditary diseases, but they are more effective when additional information about the risks is required by a doctor. When researching and testing DNA services, we focus on the use case that helps determine where you come from and where you can find living relatives.

We narrowed our predictions from 15 U.S. contenders to five from selected services that were under $ 400, and identifying services that had large databases of DNA samples. According to the experts we talked to, most services use the same techniques and offer similar results. A large database is the differentiator that contributes to accuracy. Our DNA-tested Services include AncestryDNA, 23andMe, African ancestor, Family Tree DNA and National Geographic.

By commissioning a legal examination of the terms of service that each outline test, we wanted to be able to highlight any security or privacy issues. Although it has been determined that the privacy policies and Terms of service of our choices could be presented more clearly, they align with common industrial practices.

Consulting genealogy and anthropology experts, we learned that customer databases vary in terms of ethnic representation—European populations-descendants still dominate service databases by a large margin. If your ancestors have traced back to anywhere else in the world outside of Europe, your results will probably include less detail.

We tested our predictions using a group of seven participants. The three men and four women have known ancestry from South Asia, Africa, Europe, East Asia, Polynesia, the Middle East and (native) North America. After gathering at our offices in New York’s time Palace, participants recorded their kits online and dabbed the inside of their cheeks, or spit in a tube, to provide their DNA samples.

After the participants received their results, we conducted a survey that asked questions about how ancestry’s information was displayed and how easy or difficult it was to analyze the results further.

Family Tree Shop Choice: AncestryDNA


Family Tree Shop recommends Antentrydna as our best choice because it is one of the most affordable services. Our testers considered your information useful and classified it as the service that best displayed complete information. With the largest database of DNA customers, AncestryDNA is more likely than competitors to provide a successful search for contemporary relatives.

The process of taking the AncestryDNA test is simple, and its package contains instructions that are easy to follow. After creating an account, register your kit on the company’s website and agree to the terms of Service. As for whether or not you can use your anonymous results—in collaboration with third parties—for research projects conducted by Ancestry DNA, you have a choice and you must offer consent.

Thirty minutes before providing a saliva sample, participants are asked not to eat, chew gum, smoke, or drink. The test lasts 15 minutes and is sent to the laboratory in a USPS prepaid shipping box. When our group tested the ancestors, they sent their DNA samples from Texas, California and New York. The timing of the availability of the test results varies from nine days to four weeks. AncestryDNA message boards note that times are correlated with demand and the company’s website offers one that is between six and eight weeks.

Once the results are in, you will receive a link to your User Page in an email. AncestryDNA’s website will then provide an overview that lists potential relatives and presents ethnicity estimates based on the algorithm in a detailed pie chart. Since the reference database will grow more and more over time, the company allows participants to know that the percentages and overall results may vary.

Until you join AncestryDNA’s subscription service, you will not be able to see a full account of the results of the matches of family members. While these results are limited, you are provided with username and profile pictures. The photo of your profile and your username will also be visible to potential relatives.


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