I’ve wanted to do the Ancestry DNA test forever. I’ve been extensively researching my family for over five years, and I’ve hit a few brick walls. They’re due to many different factors such as surname changes, lack of digitized records and language barriers. After months of frustration I figured, why not? Let’s do the test. In addition to being able to sync my DNA with geographic areas, I’d also be able to connect with others who share similar lines. Very cool!
The test itself is reasonably priced at $129. I, being home with two babies and relying on my husband’s income, couldn’t stomach a weeks worth of groceries on a single test. So I waited. Black Friday rolled around, and I was able to find it on sale for $69 on Amazon with free shipping. Sold.
The package arrived fairly quickly. In it was a tube, instructions and labels. As soon as I opened the box, the instructions told me to register my sample immediately to ensure I didn’t forget to. If you don’t register your sample, they can’t give you the results! All it takes is a free account with Ancestry to link your results. Since I already had an account, I just signed in and assigned my results to my tree so when they are complete, I’ll be able to align my results with the paper trail I’ve discovered.
The test itself was very basic to take. You open the package and inside is a small tube. The instructions tell you to place your saliva in the tube, up to a drawn black line. It warns you not to go over the line. After you’re done, you place a special cap on top to seal your DNA, and it releases a special formula to preserve your DNA while it’s in transition. Shake well, place in the pre-addressed box and send it off through regular mail.
I registered my sample on December 5, 2019. I am Canadian, therefore my sample has to travel overseas to Ireland. The unfortunate thing is that snail mail can take a while. I checked my Ancestry account daily to see when it arrived, but it constantly said processing. Christmas quickly came, and I was distracted with all the festivities (and norovirus thanks to my toddler). I received an email on December 31, 2019, saying that my sample had arrived. Finally! I’d begun to think it was lost in the mail.
The next step is for the laboratory to process the sample. This was done on January 8, 2020. Next came the extraction and analyzing of the data. This part is when I began to feel more anxious for the results. I’ve read stories where samples have failed during these parts and I didn’t want to start the process over again.
Then came the final, excruciating wait. The results. I checked every chance I got to see if the results were ready. I have a lot riding on these results. There’s an adoption mystery to be solved, dead ends to break through, relatives to connect with and confirmations to be made. I’m hoping that the results will blow open the big mystery that is my maternal side. My mother is from Colombia, and a lot of records from there are not digitized yet. My mom doesn’t know a lot about her family, and I’m hoping the results will connect me with people who may know something.
Finally the results came on January 17. I opened my results on my Ancestry app, and immediately saw where my DNA geographically came from, my DNA connections and much more. I’ll elaborate more on what the DNA screen looks like in a separate post.
So in conclusion, the process from beginning to end took a little over 6 weeks. The kit estimates the time it takes to be around 8 weeks so my test was completed a bit quicker. The overall process was exciting and the results were rewarding. I liked how Ancestry kept me up to date with the status of my DNA, and gave me estimated dates for completion so I was able to prepare. If you’re able to do the test, I say do it. The results answered a lot of questions for me and my mysterious family.