Letting My DNA Tell My Story: Why Getting An Ancestry Test Was Important To Me
Note: This post is not sponsored by AncestryDNA. I spent my own money to get my own test in 2016, but I never shared my results with y'all.
Are you curious about ancestry tests? Well, have I got a post for you today. I was curious about my DNA because I have no roots at all to Africa, but I knew that I would have a lot of African DNA inside my bones. I picked AncestryDNA when I did my test in fall of 2016. I wanted to share the process of ordering, taking, and getting back my test results with y'all from what I remember.
Today's post will cover:
- Why I picked AncestryDNA
- What the test process was like
- What my results were
…and so much more! I can't wait to dive into this with y'all today.
Why I Wanted To Get My DNA Results
When I finally bit the bullet and got my results in 2016, getting tested had been on my brain for years. I had heard stories about Native American ancestors and I was just completely in the dark about my African roots. I wanted a test to clear things up and share my DNA makeup.
Most Americans are mutts of various countries of origin with no ties to their home countries. It was nice to dig deep and find all my roots and it turns out I am a pretty big hodge podge of DNA from all over.
Why I Picked AncestryDNA
I had looked a number of tests before I decided on AncestryDNA. Overall, I just didn't like how vague the other tests were at the time. AncestryDNA has a huge database of DNA now so their test results are super freaking rich and detailed. I felt like with the other sites all you got was “you're __% African,” and to that I was like, “no duh! give me some exact numbers!” I like that AncestryDNA gets more in depth.
There are far more in-depth tests for African DNA, but these specialized test can be quite expensive compared to AncestryDNA. I feel like AncestryDNA gets specific enough for me to feel confident sharing it and supporting it.
Ultimately, you need to pick the test that's gonna give you the detailed results you want at a price you are willing to pay.
I encourage you to go to YouTube and look up other people's test results. It's a great way to see how detailed people's results were and get their reaction to them. It also prepared me for my DNA test results and what I could potentially find in them.
What The AncestryDNA Testing Process Is Like
Getting your DNA tested is pretty easy.
First, you order a kit from the AncestryDNA website.
After you receive your kit, you read through the materials and get prepped to take your test when you can.
Taking the test requires that you don't eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum or tobacco for 30 minutes before you put your saliva in the tube.
You spit into a tube until you have enough saliva to fill it up to a black line on the tube.
Then you combine the saliva with a blue liquid they give you by combining the spit tube and the blue liquid tube tightly and shaking them together for a few seconds.
They give you a storage bag to put the tube in as well as a box for you to put the DNA sample in along with a return label so you don't have to pay shipping or anything, Drop this off in your mailbox or at the post office.
Note: Be sure to activate your test before you send it off. You can find your test activation numbers in various locations including your test tube. This is how AncestryDNA knows which sample goes with which person.
My AncestryDNA Results
A few weeks after I sent my test results to Ancestry, I received my results. I ordered my kit on September 13th, 2016, finally shipped it after procrastinating on September 22nd, 2016, and got my results by October 19th, 2016. Keep in mind, this was almost two years ago. I am not aware of their current testing situation although getting my parents tested has been on my mind lately.
Here are my results:
High Confidence Regions
- Ivory Coast/Ghana — 33%
- Nigeria — 17%
- Cameroon/Congo — 15%
- Benin/Togo — 5%
Low Confidence Regions
- Europe West — 7%
- Senegal — 5%
- Africa Southeastern Bantu — 4%
- Ireland/Scotland/Wales — 4%
- Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers — 2%
- Finland/Northwest Russia — 1%
- Great Britain — 1%
- Asia Central — <1%
- Mali — <1%
- Asia East — <1%
- Native American — <1%
- Caucasus — <1%
- Scandinavia — <1%
As you can tell by my results I am a bit of a mutt. Overall, though, I loved how detailed my results were. I have seen other tests that were far less comprehensive. AncestryDNA doesn't do that though.
How My Results Impacted Me
It was so strange to finally put numbers to the craziness that was my body.
The European ancestry was a lot for me to take in at first because I knew it was likely there, but it was still so strange to see in print. A lot of African Americans have a bit of European ancestry due in part to slavery, but it could also be because of relationships that were actually wanted. It's hard to say based on numbers alone.
This test has made me want to dig deeper into my ancestry over the years that I have had my results.
It's also pretty cool that you can find potential family matches on AncestryDNA as well. I personally have hundreds of distant cousin matches on the Ancestry site which I think is pretty cool.
My goal in the next few months is to save up enough money to get my parents tested. I want to see how their DNA is different from mine, and see if they can find any potential cousins and other matches on the site as well.
There you have it, my full review of AncestryDNA, even though it came almost 2 years later.
DNA tests are getting hella popular, and I wanted to share my own thoughts and opinions on getting a test done.
I hope that you loved reading more about the process from this blog.