All About Ancestry DNA

Recently I took the Ancestry DNA test (read about my experience here), and it showed some surprising results. I originally wasn’t going to take it for a few reasons, but I’m really glad I did. Now that I’ve had some time to go over my results, I’d like to share what I now know about Ancestry DNA and the benefits it has on your journey to discover your family’s history.

What Does Ancestry DNA Cover?

Geographic Locations

Ancestry DNA covers over a thousand different areas. It uses your genetic markers to compare with neutral samples from around the world to map out your lineage. It uses these neutral samples as definitive points around the world, and then uses other people’s DNA to geographically confirm these markers. As more and more people enroll in the DNA programs, the results will update and become more precise.

The DNA map predicts your results for heritage with the amount of information it has at any given time. They create a pie chart, and show you estimated percentages of each country or area based on your DNA. This leads you to pinpointing where your ancestors may have hailed from, and gives you a starting point if you’re currently blocked from a certain line.

The pie chart leads to a breakdown of each percentage, and Ancestry provides a bit of back story on each location which may provide clues as to how your ancestors lived and what hardships they may have faced. It can give you answers to try and figure out why you ended up where you are today. It’s also a fun visual graphic that gives you a summary of your information.

DNA Matches

In addition to all the geographic locations, Ancestry also matches you with relatives all over the world. The matches are sectioned by the amount of cM you share, and the more cM means the closer they are to you. A second cousin would have more cM than a fourth cousin for example.

Ancestry allows you to see what common ancestors you share, where they are located in the world and what their ancestral DNA profile looks like. It’s fun to compare just how different some of these look compared to your own, especially if they’re a close relation. You can also categorize your matches into different groups if you desire by using a “star” system. This way you can keep track of those who you’ve messaged or want to contact.

Thru Line Technology

Ancestry has offered their Thru Line Technology, which is where they show you where in your family tree your matches are. They show you how you’re connected, what ancestors you have in common, and provide access to their trees if the other person has theirs set on the public setting. I discovered a fourth great grandparent I didn’t know I had using this application. The tree goes up to the fifth great grandparent only, but I guess if you think about it that covers a span of around 200 years.

This technology visually shows you how your matches are all connected, and provides you with a way to work together to dig towards the truth of your family history.

Have you had the test done yet? Were you surprised by your results? Let me know below!

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