There is no denying that is the most recognizable family tree genealogical website of them all. They sponsor a television show helping celebrities learn their fascinating pasts while we watch. They have commercials where folks find out their family history is completely different than they ever thought and they end up trading in their lederhosen for a kilt. Their site is likely one of the first many people go to when they begin to research their ancestry. So, it is no surprise they are one of several sites that now offer DNA testing to help people trace their heritage.

Getting Started

Ancestry touts themselves as the leading choose for DNA testing for family history. Which is not surprising. Their process is simple with one test, one fee. For $99 ancestry sends you their kit, directions on how to use it, and a prepaid envelope to send it back. When your results are ready they email you. Their test is a saliva test. You follow the directions to collect your saliva sample in the provided tube and you’re done. You ship your sample back to Ancestry’s labs and activate your kit online. The process is simple and painless.


Unlike other sites Ancestry’s test is available for both men and women and analyzes your entire genome, examining 700,000 different locations on the DNA sequence. The beauty of this is, of course, anyone can take the test, and you can get a complete picture of your ancestry. This can be a drawback as well. If you really only have questions about your maternal or paternal line it can be harder to figure out who contributed what when you are using a full DNA test like Ancestry’s. As we know, many people think they are of one heritage and get tested only to be surprised to learn their story is much more complex than that. With Ancestry’s test you get an analysis of your full DNA, meaning that if you have questions about one side of the tree more than the other those questions may not be answered. However, if you are looking for a low cost easy way to get a full picture of your heritage Ancestry could be the way to go.

Your Results

Once Ancestry’s lab receives your test you can expect your results in about 6 to 8 weeks. Take care to activate your kit online, because the lab won’t process it until it is activated. Your results will be compared against 26 regions/ethnicities to help you identify where and who you come from. Ancestry also compares your results to their database of others who have submitted DNA tests, providing you with a list of relatives you may have never known you had.  With over 2 million people who have already submitted their DNA tests, you have the possibility of matching up with any of these people. Once you do, that information can than be used by you to build on your family history by accessing Ancestry’s family history online site. Through Ancestry you have access to over 16 billion historical records, the matches you find through your DNA testing will provide you with definitive names to help you build your family tree and answer questions you may have.


Ancestry provides you with a percentage breakdown of your ethnicity based off your DNA as well as a map highlighting the regions your DNA contains markers from. Through their Ancestor Discoveries program Ancestry provides a new and innovative service. After analyzing your DNA they compare your markers to the markers of every other person who has tested their DNA through them, over 2 million people. They then take any matches group and analyze them for common ancestors. Through this program you may discover ancestors as far back as the 1700’s. Once Ancestry makes the match you can use their massive database of historical documents and information to learn all about that ancestor and your family history.


Ancestry is well known for a reason. They are a giant in the online genealogical industry. Their DNA testing is low cost in comparison to many other companies. For $99 you get a complete view of your ancestry and ethnicities. Their testing time is a bit quicker than standard as well. But, the big bonus is their Ancestor Discoveries Program.


The size of their DNA database is impressive. The potential for a possible ancestral match can be invaluable in building an accurate family tree. Often, when working on genealogy online it can become confusing and the potential matches or options can make it tough to know for sure you are going in the right direction. A DNA match through Ancestry provides you with a concrete direction to go in. And, their online genealogy site will provide you with documents and other verifiable sources to give you a solid foundation to build your tree around. Ancestry DNA is a good choice for a low-cost breakdown of yourr ancestry with the fascinating bonus of potentially providing you with so much more in DNA matches to long lost ancestors, both alive and long dead.