In previous posts, I discussed about my excitement about submitting my Ancestry.com DNA results and I also discussed my annoyance at how vague the tools were. My expectations as someone who was adopted were pretty high, but I’ve learned a lot since writing last since my husband (who has an adopted father), Mom and Dad have all submitted their spit for Ancestry.com DNA results.
I’ve had some really interesting experiences and I am happy to share! I hope this information is helpful to people who are debating whether or not they want to purchase and take the test too.
After convincing my parents and husband to take the Ancestry.com DNA testing I’ve learned a few things and these are the following:
Your results are only as good as the amount of family members you have who previously submitted the test.
My parents, husband, and myself all had various amounts of contacts generated from the test. Some of us had many suggestions, while some of us did not. Devin actually had 16+ DNA suggestions mentioned to him which apparently was just recently piloted while I only had 1.
It really can link you with family members.
Devin was able to connect with a 2nd cousin from his Dad’s biological family and his great-Uncle who took the test also showed up on the result (we didn’t know Ed had taken the test). We thought this was fun because my biological Aunt, whom I know, had also taken the test and I didn’t realize it.
People are not good at responding to the messages within the Ancestry.com website.
I have seen this consistently and I have had several people message me months later to explain that they don’t know how to use the messaging system.
A lot of people buy the test, but don’t keep up their subscription for the website.
This means that they are notified when they receive messages, but they aren’t able to see them. My guess is this is a big reason why I did not receive a lot of messages back that I sent.
Your information is constantly updated in the database as you add information or as people add the tests.
I wasn’t aware of this, but it is a really nice feature! I didn’t have a lot of information in the beginning, but as I figure out more, I am given more “hints” and “cousins” according to my DNA matches.
It isn’t an exact science, but it is pretty close!
Your information on your results is rated by many scientists and then you are given the percentages and average ranges. After being able to figure out all of my family tree, my ancestry results are pretty accurate!
Your raw Ancestry.com data can be submitted for health research and to give you more information.
This was a huge factor for me in getting my Ancestry.com results. I was curious about some health information and so was Devin. Although it isn’t an exact science, a lot of the information has been true for what we have seen! (I will be doing a post about how we did this later.)
Some information may not be welcomed and there is an emotional factor to this.
My Mom’s family showed no Native American ancestry. However, she showed like 15% Portuguese, North African, etc. My Mom was always told that her grandmother was Native American, however, her grandmother was pretty much orphaned at a young age and could not read. This was very upsetting for my Mom as someone who is an avid genealogist and took a lot of pride in her Native American ancestry. I was also told that I had Native American ancestry, but I actually had none through genealogy or DNA testing; I think family folklore like this is more common than people realize.
Many people use Ancestry.com DNA results to find out family secrets.
I actually fit into this category since I was looking for paternity, but many of the people who were very eager to message me back were on the same searching mission I was. In some cases, that can actually work. In my case, it actually did! I already had some information though, kept seeing the last name pop up in the system for a while, and it took a day or two to sync within the system to show my DNA matches after I input my paternal line. I tried it on a whim and it worked.
My journey in submitting my information was an emotional one for me, but it also helped me feel resolved and get useful information. I don’t plan on ever contacting my biological father, but it was nice to know and move on. It was interesting to me how folk lore about genealogy can be perpetuated in families, it was fun to make the connections I have made online, and I’m glad I was able to get the information I did!
Now that I am four months post seeing my DNA results, I can confidently say that I am happy with my decision to spend the $80.