Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ancestry DNA

My father has generously consented to having his DNA analyzed by AncestryDNA and I am so incredibly grateful for this!

He told me from the beginning that he had no desire to do any of the activities that would follow submitting his sample. Things like uploading a GEDCOM file, following up on matches etc etc. He wanted me to manage all of that on his behalf.

Could I do that? Was it possible? And how would I do that once we started the proceess?

Can You Purchase A DNA Kit For A Family Member?

Thankfully I discovered the Facebook group Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques and so I posted some questions:


I asked:
"Can I purchase an ancestry.ca DNA for my father and upload his results or does he have to purchase an ancestry membership as well?"

I received many responses to my query. One in particular came from Lesley Anderson whom I had met at the 2016 Ontario Genealogical Conference in Toronto and at the 2017 Ontario Genealogical Conference in Ottawa.

Lesley Anderson wrote:
"You can purchase an AncestryDNA kit for anyone and they can activate it online themselves and send it in. They do not need to purchase a membership but if you have one they can benefit from it to have additional features by inviting you as a contributor or manager under the DNA settings page."

 Which DNA Kit Should I Buy?

Well, that was all I needed to know and now I needed to know which DNA kit should I buy?

Because I had been building my family tree on Ancestry.ca since 2008 (and researching my family history since the 1980s), I was hoping that the AncestryDNA offered the "best bang for the buck".

I researched the topic to learn that the whole area of DNA and genealogy is a lot more complicated and that there were no easy answers to "Which DNA Kit?" anyone should buy.

This is a well prepared comparison of the five top companies that do Autosomal DNA testing for genetic genealogy purposes: 23andMe, AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, Family Tree DNA and the Genographic Project.



At the end of the day I chose AncestryDNA for my father because:
  • there are 5,000,000 people (DNA) in the database 
  • we can contact any "cousin matches" through Ancestry.com’s messaging system
  • it is possible to download of raw data fileof the DNA results
  • Overall accuracy and sophistication of the biogeographical ancestry analysis was 4.5 (only surpassed by the  23andMe DNA test)
  • Special feature: Comparison of overlap of ancestral origins between matches and automatic identification of common ancestors, surnames and birth places between matches' family trees
The support offered by Ancestry was excellent. I made inquiries about shipping and they responded quickly and with an 800 telephone number if I had any additional questions.

Waiting For The Results

We mailed the sample the same day and were surprised at how AncestryDNA has kept us up to date every step of the way. 

The DNA kit came from Utah and then we mailed it to Ireland. We were notified when it arrived and when it entered the lab for processing.

We are now waiting for the results....and getting ready for the next step "You've Received Your Results. Now what?"

Part I 


Part II 

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