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DNA Testing for genealogy

To anyone who has taken a DNA test for genealogical reasons, and mainly out of interest which website did you use and was it worth it?

Also did you make any interesting discoveries regarding your ethnic background?
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Comments

  • I found out I don't like Marmite
  • bought 23 and me, havent done it yet but i did a comparison between a few of them and went with them.

    Ill spit in the tub and mail it in when it warms up. Dont want it to freeze in the post
  • I did Ancestry.com. Pretty unusual results compared to what I expected to be honest.
  • Ancestry.com. Nothing dramatic resulted but nice to know. Worth noting that everyone's family tree gets wider and wider the further back you go...but eventually it starts narrowing again. Otherwise there'd be more people in the past than now. So we all end up with overlapping lineage. It is said that every single person of European decent is related to Charlemagne for example.
  • Leuth said:

    yeah I discovered I'm one-sixteenth beagle, amazing stuff really

    Was it the chainsmoking that gave it away ?
  • Ancestry.com turns out I'm a slightly more European than I thought but no other shocks. We have a missing link on my dad's lineage and the test enabled me to confirm some relatives on that line. Also found a cousin that we didn't know existed and enabled her to find some closure on her missing father.
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  • johnny73 said:

    Ancestry.com turns out I'm a slightly more European than I thought but no other shocks. We have a missing link on my dad's lineage and the test enabled me to confirm some relatives on that line. Also found a cousin that we didn't know existed and enabled her to find some closure on her missing father.

    Mine was quite the opposite, Im less English than I thought I was...some very strange high percentage ethnic mixes make up my DNA. I know for a fact I have a half sister who probably doesn't know I even exist, I have three half brothers and another half sister...seems strange to describe them this way as they have always been my brothers, and sister...the irony and its quite unconnected in any way is both my sisters are called Lorraine.
  • lolwray said:

    Leuth said:

    yeah I discovered I'm one-sixteenth beagle, amazing stuff really

    Was it the chainsmoking that gave it away ?
    No, it was because he supports Palace.
  • Done 23andMe. Moderately interesting but mostly confirms what you already know. Scary bit was deciding whether to select locked option that reveals if you have genetic defects associated with rare diseases.

    Afterwards read book “A brief history of everyone who ever lived” written by a DNA scientist. He got a number of different DNA tests and exposes the way the reports try and personalise what is largely unsupportable evidence.

    “We have a psychological phenomenon of concluding that broadly true statements are accurate for themselves personally when they are in fact generally true for many people.”

    “It’s genetic astrology, we are all hungry for takes of our own ancestors, and it’s all well and good as long as we recognise it for what it is.”

    Puts ancestry in context. “The only way you could ever definitely say where your genetic origins lay a thousand years ago would be to dig up the bodies of everyone who ever lived a thousand years ago, and then compare them. The answer would be everybody.”

  • Okay, be very wary...

    My wife took one of these 16 months ago. Found out where her DNA comes from geographically, blah, blah.

    Then, 12 months later (4 months ago) she got a call from a woman who claimed she is her illegitimate sister. No one knew she existed or where she came from or what the deal was.

    Turns out Ancestry.com noticed this woman and my wife shared certain DNA in common and informed the woman that based on their database, my wife's father was also the father of this 48 year old woman no one ever heard of. And without my wife's approval, gave this woman all of my wife's family's contact info.

    Needless to say this has caused all sorts of problems for our family and her dad, who was married at the time and is 81 now and in no position to deal with all this. A lot of people are upset and it could even cause inheritance issues down the line.

    So be VERY, VERY wary. These companies own your data and who knows how this might come back to haunt anyone who does it down the line. Hope this helps.

    Wow, I'd have assumed that your personal data was confidential?
  • Ancestry.com for me too. Didn’t find anything more than perhaps what I already knew.

    Was it worth it? If you’re interested in that kind of stuff, then probably but don’t expect too much.
  • I took the test with Ancestry.co.uk and uploaded the results to FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage and one or two others. I don't believe the other sites allow you to do that, so it's effectively the cheapest way to get information from each site.

    The ethnicity results should be taken with a pinch of salt. See it as a bit of fun, after all how can you really measure ethnicity? Ancestors 2,000 years ago, 1,000 years ago or more recent? The further back you go you'll reach a point where you don't have DNA from every ancestor, yet if they didn't exist neither would you. Eventually we're all related to each other (look up "pedigree collapse").

    If you test (or upload results to) with other sites it's likely they'll vary between each site. It's due to each company having their own data and methods. They may still be working on it which can sometimes mean your ethnicity results change when they push out an update.

    The real value in testing comes in the matching. It's confirmed a lot of my family history research and can help knock down brick walls. It's worth taking time to read (or watch videos) on how the matching works and how best to use it.

    On potential downside there are stories out there of people finding parent(s) or other relatives aren't who they thought they were. On other hand people have tracked down family members they either didn't know about or were looking for and it's been a success for them.

  • On the face of it, my Australian wife has more English DNA than me......Im not talking about the miniscule examples of 1% African, 1% Jewish etc. The true comparison for me is going to be getting my old Mum done....my cousin in Canada is going to get his Dad, my Mums brother done so we can compare.
  • Used ancestry.co.uk

    It’s good fun and interesting results.
  • Oh by the way, I did find out I’m a Charlton fan, useful.
  • If we have broadly English descendants, aren't we all related to Edward III?

    This paper https://community.dur.ac.uk/a.r.millard/genealogy/EdwardIIIDescent.php suggests at least a 99% chance but more likely very close to 100%.
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  • Okay, be very wary...

    My wife took one of these 16 months ago. Found out where her DNA comes from geographically, blah, blah.

    Then, 12 months later (4 months ago) she got a call from a woman who claimed she is her illegitimate sister. No one knew she existed or where she came from or what the deal was.

    Turns out Ancestry.com noticed this woman and my wife shared certain DNA in common and informed the woman that based on their database, my wife's father was also the father of this 48 year old woman no one ever heard of. And without my wife's approval, gave this woman all of my wife's family's contact info.

    Needless to say this has caused all sorts of problems for our family and her dad, who was married at the time and is 81 now and in no position to deal with all this. A lot of people are upset and it could even cause inheritance issues down the line.

    So be VERY, VERY wary. These companies own your data and who knows how this might come back to haunt anyone who does it down the line. Hope this helps.

    I can only speak about Ancestry.com but you do have an option to remain “anonymous” or be visible to people with whom you share DNA. In fact if you choose the latter you get a list of people you share DNA with.

    A lot of people trying to research their ancestry would find this aspect of the test very helpful. I have.



  • Okay, be very wary...

    My wife took one of these 16 months ago. Found out where her DNA comes from geographically, blah, blah.

    Then, 12 months later (4 months ago) she got a call from a woman who claimed she is her illegitimate sister. No one knew she existed or where she came from or what the deal was.

    Turns out Ancestry.com noticed this woman and my wife shared certain DNA in common and informed the woman that based on their database, my wife's father was also the father of this 48 year old woman no one ever heard of. And without my wife's approval, gave this woman all of my wife's family's contact info.

    Needless to say this has caused all sorts of problems for our family and her dad, who was married at the time and is 81 now and in no position to deal with all this. A lot of people are upset and it could even cause inheritance issues down the line.

    So be VERY, VERY wary. These companies own your data and who knows how this might come back to haunt anyone who does it down the line. Hope this helps.

    Tell me to stop being nosy if you want mate, but is it something your wife's family think could be true or just a mix-up?
  • I'm not sure what good if anything could come of doing this. Napa has pointed out a potential pitfall of this.

    I've seen research that indicates trying to pinpoint your DNA to a specific geographical location is not an exact science.

    And either it will confirm what you thought was true or disprove something you thought was a fundamental part of your identity.

    I've been told my great grandparents hailed from various parts of the British Isles and not sure what a test would tell me that would be of benefit to me.

    Identity is an issue for a lot of people who cling onto their ethnicity or nationality like it is something truly integral to their being, usually because they lack a sense of belonging or kinsmanship that it is natural and instinctive for humans to crave. Especially when so much media attention is spent focussing on the divisions between the ethnic minorities and the native majority, usually with the angle being that the minority is the victim.

    Is it not enough just to be happy you are a human being and live in the here and now, rather than wonder where a distant ancestor might have come from? I don't understand people having pride in things they simply have no control over.
  • edited February 9

    Okay, be very wary...

    My wife took one of these 16 months ago. Found out where her DNA comes from geographically, blah, blah.

    Then, 12 months later (4 months ago) she got a call from a woman who claimed she is her illegitimate sister. No one knew she existed or where she came from or what the deal was.

    Turns out Ancestry.com noticed this woman and my wife shared certain DNA in common and informed the woman that based on their database, my wife's father was also the father of this 48 year old woman no one ever heard of. And without my wife's approval, gave this woman all of my wife's family's contact info.

    Needless to say this has caused all sorts of problems for our family and her dad, who was married at the time and is 81 now and in no position to deal with all this. A lot of people are upset and it could even cause inheritance issues down the line.

    So be VERY, VERY wary. These companies own your data and who knows how this might come back to haunt anyone who does it down the line. Hope this helps.

    My instinct, despite being keen on genealogy and receiving multiple emails, has been to resist the DNA route for exactly the kind of reasons you outline.
  • So much fear. In 50 years we’ll all be dead and no one will give a fuck.
  • So much fear. In 50 years we’ll all be dead and no one will give a fuck.

    Your grandchildren or great grandchildren might when they can't get life insurance....
  • LenGlover said:

    So much fear. In 50 years we’ll all be dead and no one will give a fuck.

    Your grandchildren or great grandchildren might when they can't get life insurance....
    Life’s too short and much changes. I wonder if my great paternal grandfafher was worrying about his great grandson ( not a pejorative comment) when he arrived in Whitechapel in 1890 ? Live your life. Don’t do harm to anyone if at all possible and don’t live in the shadow of fear. Mostly. Things look after themselves.

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