Some of you have asked more about the historical quest I’m taking with my DNA testing and genealogy research. If your wondering what in the world I’m talking about, you can check out this post, where I got back my DNA results.
I took my DNA test through Ancestry.com (disclosure: this is not a sponsored, paid for, whatever…post). I used them because my mother has a membership through them for her genealogy research and had taken the test through them. From the date I ordered the test until I received my results was 6-7 weeks. They ship you the test, which must be activated with the special number. I hadn’t asked my mother what type of test it was. Be prepared that this isn’t a swab your cheek test. It is a saliva in a tube test. I’m just gonna leave that right there and move on. You send it back in a pre-paid box. They send you an email when they receive it and then the wait begins. It really does take between 6-8 weeks before that email pops into your inbox saying that your results are in.
You should know that your ethnicity estimates are unique to you. Because there is randomness in the nature of genetic inheritance, they can differ. I would guess that they are still pretty similar, but I am not a geneticist, so don’t take my word for it. You also have a list of DNA matches. These are people who have also taken the test through Ancestry.com and share DNA with you. It lists how many are 4th cousin or closer (in my case, the number is now at 460. My husband is at 693!) A 4th cousin is pretty far removed, but can still help with the tracing of genealogy. It breaks those down into 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cousins. These are estimates based on the DNA, but I’ve found them to be pretty accurate. They also list the confidence levels at: extremely high, very high, high, good, and moderate. There are also distant cousins, if you have the time to go through them all, (my page totals are 326- 9.5 pages are 4th cousin or closer). I find them helpful when I am searching my matches by surname or birth location.
I wanted to be able to research my family tree so I joined Ancestry.com to have access to the historical records. I’m not sure if it’s just through the membership or if all DNA test takers have access, but they have this amazing thing called DNA circles. These are created around an ancestor in your tree that shows who shares DNA with each other and is related to this ancestor. Not everyone in the circle with share DNA with each other, but they share enough DNA with enough other members to be confident that they are indeed related to this ancestor. They also will show you potential ancestors who are not in your tree based on the fact that you share DNA with enough members that there is a 70% likelihood you are related to said ancestor.
This has been a great jumping off point in seeing if I am related to the person. For example, I recently had one show up and when it said he died in Airdrie, Scotland I knew which side of the family I was seeking. My great-great grandparents were married in Airdrie. As I dug around, I discovered that his grandmother and my great-great-GREAT grandmother were sisters!
I am finding out many amazing tales along the way. I’m hoping to be able to share them here as I travel backwards (and sometimes sideways) through time. I tried to cover the process, but if you have any questions about it you can comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let your light shine!