More and more people are turning to ancestry DNA testing to find out where they came from, and to learn more about the history of their family. If you are interested in taking an ancestry DNA test, here are 7 things you need to know before getting started.
1. There are different types of DNA tests
Not all ancestry DNA tests are the same. The Y chromosome (Y-DNA) test can only be used to determine the direct father’s line ancestry of a man. A mitochondrial (mtDNA) test can track the matrilineal heritage of both men and women, and an autosomal DNA test can track both of their family lines.
2. Ancestry DNA tests can’t provide you with a complete family tree
If you think taking an ancestry DNA test will provide you with a complete family tree, you are mistaken. Your test will help you understand where you came from, and it will tell you a lot about your origins, but it will not tell you exactly who your ancestors were.
3. Not all providers of ancestry DNA tests will provide the same level of accuracy
Some companies claim that they will compare your DNA against 700,000 genetic markers, while other companies use less markers that are backed by scientific research. Providers of ancestry DNA tests will be able to provide you with different levels of accuracy when then deliver your test results.
4. Collecting your DNA sample will be a quick and painless process
You will need to send a DNA sample to the testing company, but rest assured that collecting this DNA sample will be quick and painless. All you will have to do is gently rub the inside of your cheek with the swab provided in your test kit, and send it back to them so they can analyse it.
5. Ordering your ancestry DNA test kit is easy
It’s easy to order an ancestry DNA test kit online, but you have to make your research first. Make sure you are choosing a reputable testing company, and that the test will be performed by experienced scientists. Just because an ancestry DNA test kit is more expensive than the others does not mean it’s a better investment.
6. Your privacy should be taken seriously
You should also make sure the company you will choose will take your privacy seriously. They should insist that your DNA data will be your property, and that they will never share your name or any other private information with anyone without your consent.
7. Costs and processing times are factors you need to pay attention to
If you are still searching for the right ancestry DNA testing company, keep in mind that they all offer different prices, and that they will announce different processing times. Ancestry DNA tests can cost as little as $100, and it can take up to 2 months before you can finally receive the results of your test.