This AncestryDNA review will serve as a well-rounded introductory course for the brand pertaining to the largest genealogy company in the whole world. We’re talking about Ancestry.com LLC, a private Internet company located in Lehi, Utah. The said enterprise was founded in 1983 and has since launched numerous brands and products. Apart from AncestryDNA, it incorporates Ancestry, AncestryHealth, Archives.com, AncestryProGenealogists, Find a Grave, Family Tree Maker, Rootsweb, Newspapers.com, and Fold3.

From June 2014 onwards, it has provided access to 20+ billion historical records with 2+ million paying subscribers. The users have generated over 700 million names in family trees, with 200 million scanned documents, written stories, and photographs.

Under its subsidiaries, it operates foreign websites, services, and region-specific records in their own languages. These include Canada, Australia, China, the UK, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, and others. In this AncestryDNA review, we will focus on Ancestry’s most famous service, so keep reading to discover more about AncestryDNA. 

AncestryDNA Homepage

How AncestryDNA Works

With AncestryDNA, performing a DNA test is pretty effortless and straightforward. The whole procedure includes just 5 simple steps:

  • Online order – This is done directly through the AncestryDNA website.
  • Sample collection – After you place your order, the test kit should arrive in a couple of business days. Once you have it, just fill the saliva collection tube. Filling the top line of the tube with saliva might prove challenging. It’s completely natural if it takes you a couple of minutes to do it. There’s no need to worry about your sample not arriving at the lab in an optimal condition, as the tube cap features a chemical solution for keeping your sample fresh and bacteria-free.
  • Returning the test kit – Once your sample is ready, simply mail the kit back to the company using the return mailer. Keep in mind that mailing the kit back doesn’t incur any extra charges.
  • Activating the kit – You will do this with 15 alternating numbers and letters found on the collection tube. This is necessary to connect your sample to your account.
  • Explore the results – This is done directly on the website. Once your results are ready, which can take between 6-8 weeks, you will receive an email notification to inspect your report.

The test kit contains:

  • Full instructions on handling the kit
  • 1 sample-collection tube
  • 1 sealable bag
  • Pre-paid return mailer.

Why Choose AncestryDNA

AncestryDNA is a natural expansion of Ancestry.com to incorporate genetic testing. With AncestryDNA, we can “travel” up to 50,000 years in the past, which is something we would never be able to do using only genealogical sources.

Having said that, here are some of the main reasons to perform your genetic and genealogical research with AncestryDNA:

  • Part of a conglomerate dedicated to reaching the ultimate levels of genetic science
  • It features a high-quality DNA test
  • The test is not segmented; you are offered all the utilities in a single testing solution, meaning there are no additional expenses
  • 700,000+ genetic markers checked, which is beyond impressive and results in high accuracy and test reliability
  • 350 geographical regions covered, which is significantly more than any other ancestry DNA test on the market includes
  • Insights into your potential Native American ancestry
  • Purchasing the test grants you access to one of the biggest databases with countless family trees and documents uploaded by users. The AncestryDNA database has over 7 million people
  • Good security and safety of your personal information – only you choose what you want to share and with whom
  • Substantial number of research projects you can be a part of, contributing to the advancement of genetic studies
AncestryDNA Why Choose

Test

AncestryDNA offers a single test simply called Ancestry DNA Test at a price of 99$. This test examines your entire genome, which means it addresses both autosomal and sex chromosomes.

Every human being has 23 pairs of chromosomes. In every pair, one comes from our mother, the second from our father. The first 22 pairs are called autosomal chromosomes and they are used for determining our entire family ancestry. The 23rd pair decides the gender of the person (thus sex chromosomes). Y stands for male, X for female.

Y-chromosome helps determine the direct paternal lineage whereas X-chromosomes or “mitochondrial DNA” reveals direct maternal ancestry. Mitochondrial DNA passes down from mothers to children unchanged, so it can point to direct maternal relatives.

The quality and precision of the test depend on the number of markers checked within our DNA. The more markers, the better. AncestryDNA test surveys 700,000+ locations in your DNA. To put things into perspective, solo Y or mt tests check 25, 37, 65 markers within chromosomes.

Another key difference is the fact that both men and women can take the AncestryDNA test. The same locations in their genomes are inspected and they both carry relevant DNA.

Understanding The Results

The accuracy of the results is held at the level of 98%. If any of the results fails to meet the required standard, the company will call for a new sample collection.

The test results include:

  • DNA matches – Your DNA is measured against one of the most unique and comprehensive DNA collections in the world. Every potential match will be followed by a “confidence percentage.” It ranges from 0-100%, so you should focus on the higher percentages for closer relatives. You can then add the newly found relatives to your family tree, located on your AncestryDNA page.
  • Ethnicity map – This is an easy and interactive way for you to visualize/interact with the results of your DNA test. The colors on the map correspond to the colors found on the pie chart of your ethnicity results. Ethnicity maps might show a completely different picture than you hoped for, but this happens on a regular basis.
  • DNA circles – It provides a way for DNA matches to come together around at least one common ancestor with shared DNA.
  • Map and Locations” map – This is an option Ancestry Magazine subscribers have. If both you and your DNA matches have family trees linked to your DNA results, you will have access to this feature. It’ll show pins in different colors, indicating the birth locations of all the direct-line ancestors in your family tree within 10 generations or less.
  • Raw DNA download – You can download your raw results and use them on genealogy research sites or with other DNA testing companies.

The company no longer offers stand-alone Y or mt test results, so there is no way of separately viewing your ethnicity from your mother’s/father’s side of the family.

AncestryDNA Family Trees

Research

AncestryDNA aims to advance research in the fields of human genealogy, genetics, health, and anthropology. It offers its customers the opportunity to support these research attempts by participating in the Ancestry Human Diversity Project.

Your data will be bundled with millions of results in order to:

  • Help make important advances in understanding human history and migrations;
  • Improve and learn more about human health;
  • Explore the connections between human traits and genetics;
  • Improve or develop new diagnostic tools or therapies for treating diseases and other conditions.

You can find more info on the projects in the “informed consent” section of the site, where you can also authorize AncestryDNA to use your data. You can always review, change or even withdraw your consent, no questions asked.

The research may be conducted by academic institutions, scientists from AncestryDNA, non-profit/for-profit businesses or government institutions.

Privacy And Security

With AncestryDNA, DNA samples are processed in a secure third-party lab in the US. All the steps from handling your sample to providing you with your results fall under the company’s Privacy Statement and Terms and Conditions.

Once you purchase and activate your test, you will become its administrator. You’ll be able to choose who can see your test results. If you want to use the invite option, you will have to share your info with your target audience. For example, if you want to send an invite to your ethnicity matches, you’ll have to share details on your ethnicity.

You can also share access to your account by granting people editor or guest titles. They will be able to inspect your DNA results and even modify your info to an extent.

You can also transfer your administrator rights to another person, but you’ll then lose those rights and be listed as an editor. The main point is that only you decide who sees your personal information. You can share nothing or everything with whoever you choose, it’s all up to you.

Shipping And Handling

The Ancestry blog states that the AncestryDNA test is now available in 35 different countries. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t provide too much information on shipping and handling, except for stating that prices may vary depending on location. We did a bit of research and found that you can order your test kit through Amazon Prime and get free shipping. Unfortunately, not all countries have access to Amazon Prime. Shipping cost and other expenses should be clearly stated on the website and the excuse of providing semi-worldwide shipping is simply not good enough. This is one of the aspects of AncestryDNA’s service that we feel needs the most improvement.

Bottom Line

Our AncestryDNA review painted AncestryDNA as a superb choice for all your ancestry-researching purposes. It does have its misgivings, but they all pale in comparison to the high quality of service provided.

What we like the most about this company is its proactive approach. You’ll never see AncestryDNA standing still, not for a moment. There’s always new data to be uploaded and users to be matched, new projects to take part in, and new scientific grounds to break. That is what makes AncestryDNA one of the best choices for your ancestral explorations.


AncestryDNA Rating

Our ratings are the result of an objective and independent evaluation of AncestryDNA, generating the final rating that reflects the overall quality of the company. Ratings may change as the service changes.

Scope Of DNA Test(s)
Test Processing Times
Privacy & Security
Value For Money
Overall Experience
Final Rating9.8/10

User Reviews (33)

    AncestryDNA user rating based on 33 user reviews.

    The reviews listed below reflect the opinions and experiences of real users and are in no way influenced by the reviewed companies. Before publishing each review, our team checks whether it was submitted by an actual user in an effort to prevent false or spammy reviews.

  • Submitted By Ronald roberts on 05/01/2018
    Underwhelming. This test added almost nothing to what I already knew. For me, this test was a waste of money, but their family tree research site is excellent.
    Reply
  • Submitted By D P on 04/24/2018
    What a joke. It helped connect to some of my relatives, but not my brother. It says I have lots of European DNA nothing specific. But It could not find any Native American., Joke so I did all that for nothing. I have since found I have 6 family lines that are Native American. This is a waste of time and money
    Reply
  • Submitted By CB on 04/15/2018
    If you are looking for a DNA test to tell you what "ethnicity" you are or what country your ancestors were from, then you need to read a bit more about how DNA works. The ethnicity estimates for any company are different because they use different methods for calculation. The big strength of Ancestry DNA over other kits is the easy family tree matching and very user friendly interface for matches. It was very useful in establishing some more certainty regarding some family tree "hunches" and helped to make my searching more directed. The ability to download the raw data is where you can really get into analysis. Download the raw data and upload to Gedmatch or FTDNA. Use chromosome painting to establish links. It is useful to solidify preexisting family tree matches and reveals links you may not have considered for further research.
    Reply
  • Submitted By Ellen Butler on 04/13/2018
    Ancestry was my second DNA test. The results between tests are like day and night.. One test stated 41% Scandinavian, the other stated 1%. Huge difference! My issue with Ancestry is the sloppy presentation of results and the fact that everything on website could be printed except the DNA RESULTS!
    Reply
  • Submitted By Jerelena on 04/04/2018
    My dna test looks more like a weather report than actual results. For example its say im 95% African 4% Europe and 1% Pacific Rim but when looking at the ranges i have to deal with results such as Nigeria 0-18% Benin/Togo 0-30% Cameroon 1-28%. So i spend another $250 to test both of my children, what a waste its like they are 2 completely different children even though they are are full siblings. One of my kids has Asia South and the other one has 13% mali, which is a little interesting because i only have 1% of mali, and since it makes up her regions technically she only got 29% of my dna and 71% of her father's dna. very strange. If my dna isn't even showing correctly just think about all the other people that could be looking at results that aren't accurate. I guess they think because there are pretty graphics and access to family trees its supposed to make up for the flawed dna test. Another lady did the test Ancestry claims shes 100% African but after transferring to dna.land.com realized she actually has some Indian in her dna. Thanks Ancestry for taking over $370CAD from me, for random results.
    Reply
  • Kay on 04/22/2018
    Sometimes the DNA tends to skip generations. What's found in your DNA might be different from your kids as they may have more DNA make up from previous ancestors. Everyone in the family will show different results depending on the amount of mixture in your lineage. But I agree, they might be flawed but it is a possibility that DNA from past ancestors are showing up in you kids hence the variety between them.
  • Submitted By Paul on 04/02/2018
    Complete waste of time. Told me nothing new. No insights into my heritage at all. Note that they consider eastern Europe everything between Germany and Russia. Your aren't Polish or Lithuanian, but just Eastern European. I'm sure they can do better. Basically they just want more personal info to input into their database. Waste of money
    Reply
  • Submitted By Shearon on 03/21/2018
    My results showed 30% Ghana, 29% Britain, 9% Nigeria, and 7% Senegal. That left 25% "inconclusive other"! That's a lot of "inconclusive". I was pretty sure there was Native American Seminole somewhere in my DNA. I don't think they have a good data base for Native American. So if that is part of your background they have nothing to match it with. The other DNA matches were pretty good. I saw family names of my mothers cousins. However you can only access that information for a short period of time. Then you have to sign up for subscription services, for more info... which of course has a fee. Just seems like tricky marketing especially when you are giving them family information that they can use to enhance their services. My adult children will be using 23 and me and not Ancestry.com
    Reply
  • Submitted By Bernadette on 03/13/2018
    Disappointed in that I used it to see if it could identify dna links unknown to me. Instead it failed to identify that which I knew which was my maternal heritage of Italian, Eritrea and Native American ancestry. Instead it identified the 30% Cameroon/Congo connection and its "Virginia & Southern States African Americans" connection .
    Reply
  • Submitted By Leah on 03/12/2018
    I've always been told I'm half Japanese half Irish, but because my father passed away when I was a baby I never really knew what my ethnicity actually was, so I decided to do this DNA test. It's great if you're looking to see what European countries you're from, but as far as my Japanese side goes, it lumped it into one vague "Asia East" category. Like no shit??? East Asia is very vast and they're just going to group all the countries into that? Like you mean to tell me that you can pinpoint the migration path of my white ancestors but can't differentiate Japan from China? Even if I wasn't 100% sure where in Asia I'm from, I definitely could've at least guessed I was East Asian based on my features and wouldn't have wasted 2 months of my time and $80 for some half ass estimate. Basically if you're of Asian heritage, don't use Ancestry DNA because the only thing you might find is that you're partially Polynesian.
    Reply
  • Submitted By Mark Stricklett on 03/08/2018
    I hope your experience isn't the same as mine.... Purchased as a christmas gift for my wife. We mailed it in early January, it's now March and no results. About once a month we get an email saying "we have received your sample and are processing." My responding to the email just gets a return - not a valid email address. No contact information could be found on their website - just an offer to sign up for $189 a year service. NOT impressed.
    Reply
  • Anita Andersen on 03/18/2018
    I have submitted 2 samples to Ancestry DNA. The first was rejected as unuseable within a week from their receipt. The second was rejected for the same reason - more than a month after they received it. This was between the end of December and 2nd week of March of this year. No explanation of the problem was given on either occasion. I think they are over-extended and/or the lab is having issues. I will try one more time.
  • Submitted By Lambert Westera on 03/04/2018
    What, if any, is the guarantee that the HEALTH AND LIFE UNSURANCE INDUSTRY doesn't have access to the information you pay for. What is the guarantee that such entities do not buy your info, have stocks in, buy the company outright or start their own company. In Canada we don't have to worry about the health part because like most civilised countries we have universal health care. We do, however, have to be concerned about life insurance if our DNA shows an anomaly the insurer doesn't like. Imagine being doubly penalized in the US if your info got out. In Canada we dumped the health insurance companies re health care. The provincial governments provide that service and extended benefits are the crumbs we left for the insurers. Canadians live longer than their American cousins and this is directly related to the lack of universal health care. There is too much money and too many powerful conglomerates that lobby US politicians with their cash. Checking your DNA could be a dangerous course to follow if no one is vigilant. As a lark.......NO....... Life & death......YES.
    Reply
  • Submitted By Sharon Grover on 02/20/2018
    Really seems to be a gimmick to grab more money from you. The information they give you is probably what you knew already. At least in my case it was. They gave me 2 very vague and wide spread areas that I hail from. ( Great Britain and Western Europe) That is all I got, nothing more and nothing less. Now if I want more information I need to spend big bucks on monthly subscription and then there is no guarantee that there will be more information available. I would research other products first. I am sure there are probably better ones out there.
    Reply
  • Submitted By Linda Ham on 02/10/2018
    I want to thank Ancestrydna for their most recent commercial. Showing Americans are from all over the world thru the testing of the US hockey team. Maybe those living in the US that believe American means white and only from America, will think agaiinl
    Reply
  • Wow on 04/28/2018
    How would you (or anyone else for that matter) assume that Americans are white AND somehow native? It saddens me to think this might be a real person... This has to be an employee or troll, right? Even if you live in a very white, sheltered af community, you'd still have access to the interwebs. There is simply NO excuse for ignorance like this in 2018. Please educate yourself.
  • Submitted By Mark Kimball on 02/09/2018
    I guess it can be fun for people who know nothing about DNA.
    Reply
  • Submitted By Simone McKinney on 01/25/2018
    Why does everyone have to be so negative?! These people are true professionals, really nice, and my family loved the whole experience. If you think it’s stupid, don’t buy it, don’t spoil it for the rest of us!
    Reply
  • Submitted By Patricia Sedlak on 01/19/2018
    Waited forever for my results and when I finally got them, they made no sense. I want my money back!
    Reply
  • Submitted By Emma on 01/16/2018
    I bought 3 kits on black Friday. Both my daughters and myself submitted our samples. I was so excited when I got my results back. I took a screenshot & sent it to my daughters. Over next few days we poured over my results. My daughters were more excited than ever to get theirs. This is on me (although why ancestry offers it to brand new clients doesn't make sense). I wanted to save my results to my computer. I downloaded the raw data. Having no clue that raw data was bunch of #s that I'd never understand. I honestly thought I was saving the DNA pie chart, ethnicity info, to do side by side comparisons with my daughters. Well I called customer service. Was on hold for a long time, but when I finally spoke to human being, she was lovely. She tried every which way to help me. She could not retrieve any information using email/username. She told me that she was sure that it was retrieveable but that I should call back with my activation #. Next day I call, wait on hold. Reach a human who tells me "hmm that's what the red letter warning is all about. You should have paid more attention. Sorry we can't help you" I was so disappointed. This had been family project and now I have nothing & customer service was kinda snotty about it & made me feel like an idiot. A few days later my daughter received email saying that after multiple attempts, ancestry could not get good DNA from her spit. They were lovely about it and are sending her a new kit in the mail. So that was nice of them. What was supposed to be fun family thing has lost it's sparkle. I can't afford a new kit (I just bought 3). I know it's my fault (as customer service made me feel 2" tall when she hammered that fact home. For future reference - maybe it's not a good idea to give raw download option to person who has only just received their results. We're not all scientists. Most of us just want a joyful Family experience. Thanks for reading. 😞 Sad Emma in NH
    Reply
  • Anita M Andersen on 03/18/2018
    I agree with your assessment of Customer Service....they seem to be poorly trained "help desk" personnel. Certainly not up to Ancestry.com standards. I have also had 2 samples rejected....getting ready to submit my 3rd.
  • Submitted By Roger Wallen on 01/12/2018
    Totally inaccurate, did get the Irish close, nothing else. Native American was not even listed and I have a STRONG paternal heritage. Waste of money
    Reply
  • Submitted By Laura on 12/18/2017
    Very Disappointed ! Purchased the DNA kit as a birthday gift for my husband. We activated online we discovered after providing the sample the test was defective. I searched for the hidden customer service # which I actually found via google and not through ancestry I waited nearly 15 minutes to speak to a representative. After we determined that the test was indeed bad you'd expect an apology and we'll be happy to send you a new test. Nope instead I was told to expect an email in about 48 hours with a link to reorder a new test. When I complained about the timeframe I was told that it was because the test had been activated so there was nothing they could do to expedite the process. I asked to speak to a supervisor who regurgitated the same half hearted apology and blamed everything on "the process". Oh I was offered a credit on my monthly subscription which would entail closing my account and me having to go online or call in to reactivate. I declined the offer since apparently there is no customer service at ancestry just lots of excuses and blaming the process for the lack of consideration and service to their customers.
    Reply
  • Anita M Andersen on 03/18/2018
    Ancestry surely has outsourced Customer Service. It should be renamed Customer Dis-service.
  • Rosalie on 12/27/2017
    Laura, I'm sorry that you had this kind of experience, but so grateful to you for sharing it. For me, more than half of such things are about how they're handled. Poor and disinterested customer service is enough for me not to go with this company. Thanks for your review.
  • Submitted By Linda Hughes on 12/10/2017
    My sister and I found so many relatives we knew nothing about. A really interesting and exciting experience.
    Reply
  • Submitted By Mark Johnson on 11/19/2017
    The holiday discount is more than generous so I picked up these tests as holiday gifts for an entire family.
    Reply
  • Submitted By Carl Roache on 09/24/2017
    Rather disappointed not with the results, but rather with all the way in which the report explained things. I am really pretty knowledgeable about DNA testing , but I think that Ancestry is rather misleading about how accuarate their results are. The commercial about the man who turned in his liederhosen for a kilt is misleading. Your DNA is determined by the sperm and egg that joined and even among siblings results can vary widely. There's a difference between your DNA and your heritage. You may very well have a considerable amount of German heritage and still have no indication of it in your DNA.
    Reply
  • Submitted By Jean Cally on 09/01/2017
    Test results showed me thing I didn't really expect. A true revelation. I couldn't believe my eyes, but my sister took the test with me, and the results match.
    Reply
  • Submitted By John Gray on 08/27/2017
    I got this kit as a gift from my husband and I loved it! The results were kinda slow though
    Reply
  • Submitted By Martha Keen on 07/23/2017
    It all went smootlhy and look on my nanas face when I showed her my spanish dna was priceles
    Reply
  • Submitted By Rick Bosworth on 05/22/2017
    We had to wait entire 4 months for the results!
    Reply
  • Submitted By Darla Johnson on 04/19/2017
    The test confirmed my Cherokee heritage and showed me much more. A great investment if you're into this kind of stuff
    Reply
  • Show More Reviews ...

Want to know even more about AncestryDNA?

AncestryDNA is the business unit of Ancestry.com, the largest genealogical conglomerate in the world. It offers a precise genetic tool for exploring your ancestral origins and matching with unknown genetic relatives. If you have additional questions after reading our main AncestryDNA review, our extensive list of additional resources is at your disposal.

AncestryDNA Review
Updated : 2018-05-16
Rating : 9.8/10
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