Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Ancestry DNA Kit Reviewed

Genealogy Made Easy 

ancestry image
Someone's ancestor painted this
Have you considered getting an ancestry DNA kit to find out what your heritage is? It is something that I have wanted to do ever since I found out that it was a possibility. At first the cost seemed rather expensive to me and I would think that perhaps it was something that I could ask for as a gift. Then I would feel guilty thinking that it was rather an expensive thing to ask for. 

This year, the various companies that offer this service have placed their ancestry kits on sale. Suffice it to say, they got my attention. I also saw a report a few weeks back comparing the top three selling kits. This report used a set of identical triplets to send the samples to. All three were accurate and came up with the same results. That was really about all I needed to hear to make me take the plunge. 

I decided to go with the one from Ancestry.com (not an affiliate link) because they have the largest database to look into. To be honest, at first I decided to give a kit to my father for his Christmas present this year. Once I had put it into my cart, I decided to treat myself to one too.

Both kits arrived at my door very quickly. So, I decided to go ahead and send my sample in. Dad won't get his until Christmas morning. It is all pretty easy. They send you a vial to spit in (ewww!) and then you send it to the lab. There is a number on the vial that you have to register so that they can identify whose kit it is. They send you an email to let you know that it has been registered and I just got an email telling me that it has arrived at the lab and is waiting to be tested. The drawback is that it will take 6 to 8 weeks for them to test it and send me the results. I am hoping that by the end of February I will get the report telling me where my ancestors came from.

While I am waiting, I decided to get a membership on the site to begin the process of finding the names of some of my ancestors. That is not a requirement to get the results of the DNA testing, by the way. You get matches with the test but you are limited in what you can search for without a membership.

On my maternal side, I had a pretty good feel for what my heritage is from that branch of my family tree. A few of my uncles were curious about our genealogy back in the days when they had to go look for records in courthouses and such. Plus, my mother's family was very good with oral history. For as long as I can remember my maternal family has been proud to have come from Scotland and Ireland. As I work through building a family tree on the site, that information is holding true. Many of my ancestors did immigrate from Scotland, Ireland and England.

What has been interesting is working on my paternal branch of the family tree. I found a few ancestors who crossed the ocean from England, a few more from Ireland and Scotland but the surprise was the number who came from Germany. My grandfather's people hailed from Germany for the most part. Perhaps I should consider getting a pair of lederhosen! So far, I have been able to trace ancestors as far back to 1550 in Germany on the Rumler side of the tree. That is incredible!

Oddly, I am having difficulty finding my paternal grandmother's people. Well, not so odd if the truth be told. Our family lore on her side was always a little guarded. Legend on this side has always been that my great-grandfather was Native American and ran away from a reservation. This may turn out to be factual. Oddly, the only records that I can find for him are of his marriage to my great-grandmother and the children they had together. Beyond the marriage certificate issued in 1896 there are no records of him. Other family members have stated that he was born about 1873 but they do not indicate exactly where he was born. Even odder is that I can't find birth records of his wife, either. She was supposed to be Caucasian so why can I not find records of her birth and her parent's names? Did they disown her when she married an Indian?  Well, it would be one thing to say she is disowned but it would be another to destroy records of her birth, wouldn't it? Quite the mystery! She did seem to suffer from a bit of an identity crisis. The marriage certificate names her as Leanna. Later census reports sometime name her as Lena while others name her as Anna.

I can hardly wait to get the results of the ancestry DNA testing kit! From the research that I have done already it should show a strong presence of German, Scottish, and Irish genes. Will it show a presence of Native American DNA? Time will tell.

How about you? Do you know your own genealogy? Have you considered getting the kit or have you already done so? Have you considered giving one as a gift this holiday season? 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

8 comments:

  1. I have always enjoyed the stories about our family heritage. I did a pretty thorough search several years back. Some lines were very easy to follow all the way back to biblical days and others seem to dead-end just as yours did with your great-grandmother. I am very proud of my family and I am perfectly content to be a blend of blood from several great nations, including American Indian. I've actually never considered the "spit" DNA testing, but that does seem like the natural next step in my own venture into our family's past. An excellent suggestion!

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  2. I have always wanted to do this - maybe this is the year! I so appreciate you sharing your experience! Do let us know your results.

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  3. I have been noticing the special prices on DNA testing lately, and would be interested in doing it too. I know that I know that my maternal grandparents both had ancestors who came from Scotland by way of Canada, so I am half-Scots. Then my father's people were English and Dutch with a little French Canadian. I haven't actually done a real genealogy search, but know a bit and joke about the fact that I could be part-Canadian as I have ancestors who came to the U.S. from there on both sides of the family. Maybe some day soon I'll see about tracking my family history further. It would be interesting to see what my DNA would tell me.

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  4. Bev, you've embarked on a consuming project. There's always more information to find, so you never run out of family mysteries to solve. I was quite pleased with the connections I've made since taking the Ancestry DNA test. Now for Christmas, hubby and I ordered the 23AndMe DNA tests because we want his family history back to France in the 1600s which has been a dead end so far. Also we wanted the health information. Looking forward to learning lots more about my ancestors.

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  5. I've always been curious about this, but so far I've been content with the records my mom kept for her side of the family and my dad's sister kept for his. I would delve deeper into this if I still had children, but their own DNA would be different that ours anyway, since they were adopted. Were they still living I would definitely do this for them, since I know they'd be interested. I'm quite sure they had some German in their background, but I'm not sure what else. I'm Scotch-Irish on my dad's side, and I know my ancestors on Mom's side fought in the American Revolution because I have the paperwork for a DAR membership should I want to join.

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  6. A friend of mine actually had her DNA done and there were a few shocks to be found which her and her sister had a few giggles about, if their parents had still been alive there would have been a few questions asked!

    My daughter is really curious about getting hers done, I've traced my lines back quite a way although there is a bit of a skeleton on my mothers paternal side. A great aunt revealed a scandal (turns out my great grandfather was quite the scoundrel) and then also passed on a family 'story' which I'm not sure we could ever get collaborated although a DNA test might be one step closer.

    I hope you share your results with us Bev.

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  7. That is so interesting Bev. My father managed to trace back his ancestry using the old methods of searching church records, land records and such. He managed to get back to 1775. The oddest thing is that he was searching for his family crest and found a helmet covered with shamrocks. Our heritage is Swiss back to many generations. He always joked that the Irish were really Swiss immigrants! I am as eager to hear your results, I do hope you will share some of it with us!

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  8. I'm a member of Ancestry and have an extensive family tree built - it's so fascinating! - I've been thinking about the DNA kit, but honestly, this would be an excellent gift for my stepkids too! I know they would love it.

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