AncestryDNA Test Reviews: Pros, Cons, And A Personal Account

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Old family photoAre you interested in having your DNA tested to find answers to your family’s lineage? The AncestryDNA test can give you a breakdown of regions in the world where your ancestors lived, help connect you with living relatives and assist you in filling in your family tree.

Ancestry.com is the most popular genealogical research tool online, and its DNA testing service merits serious consideration. Check out our AncestryDNA test reviews to see how this autosomal DNA test can help you uncover your heritage and read a firsthand experience using the product.Ancestry DNA logo

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Article Overview

 AncestryDNA

Compared To Other Tests

Review Overview

DNA Tests Offered
Storage & Privacy Policy
Pricing
Online Community
Customer Service

4.25/5.00

AncestryDNA gives you an excellent database and online community where you can compare your results, and their DNA test is among the best. Their pricing is a bit higher than some of their competitors, and we can't ignore complaints about their unreliable customer service.

AncestryDNA Key Features

  • They analyze more than 700,000 genetic markers from your saliva sample
  • Database of 7 million DNA samples
  • Get ethnicity results from 150+ regions around the world
  • Access to millions of family trees — read our Ancestry.com genealogy software review
  • Largest online community when compared to similar services
  • New Genetics Communities feature helps you pinpoint where your recent ancestors lived in North America and where they migrated from

Pros

Cons

  • Ancestry.com cost for Autosomal DNA test is competitive
  • Largest database of ancestry DNA testing companies we reviewed
  • DNA test samples and results stored securely (stores your sample indefinitely)
  • Excellent online community and customer service
  • Biogeographical ancestry analysis provided
  • Ability to connect with your genetic matches via email and message boards
  • Separate Y-DNA or mtDNA testing not offered
  • Lacking targeted genealogical DNA projects on website
  • No ability to upload raw DNA data from similar services
  • No ability to compare shared chromosomal segments via website

AncestryDNA Pricing

  • $99 DNA testing kit (saliva sample)
  • $9.95 shipping
  • Get results in 6-8 weeks

AncestryDNA Coupon

AncestryDNA often has time-sensitive coupons!

AncestryDNA Review: A Personal Account

Here is a firsthand account by Melissa Vickers who recently took the AncestryDNA test alongside her husband. We hope you will agree that her story is fascinating and inspiring!

This past Christmas my oldest daughter, who is 7 years old, was asking about our family heritage. My husband and I were curious as well and decided to try one of those DNA tests where you can spit in a tube or use a cheek swab to collect your DNA sample. We were not looking for anything too complicated or expensive.

There’s a ton of research out there about different tests and the information they can provide. Do your homework and make your own choice (we used this website to pick which company was the best for us). We were looking primarily for heritage and ancestry-related information and not so much chromosomal or medical genetic info. We also talked to a few friends who had done their DNA tests and were really happy and surprised with the results.

Why Did We Choose AncestryDNA?

The entire process was super easy and painless. We went online, ordered the kits, and within a few days they arrived. The instructions were simple.

  1. Activate your DNA kit on the website.
  2. Spit in the tube.
  3. Affix the appropriate labels.
  4. Stick the self-addressed stamped box back in the mail.
  5. Within days, we each received an email letting us know that our samples had been received and we could expect our results within 4 to 6 weeks.

In Less Than 4 Weeks, Our Results Were In

There were no major surprises in my husband’s result. He knows that most of his mother’s family is from Scotland, but he didn’t know much about his father’s side. The most interesting tidbit from his results is that small fraction of Melanesian DNA. It Looks like somebody somewhere got in trouble and spent a little time “down under.”

Ancestry DNA screenshot

My Results, On The Other Hand, Had A Few Surprises…

Ancestry DNA screenshot

I was born in La Paz, Bolivia, to a Bolivian mother and Argentinian father. My maiden name was Piscitelli, and I was told that my grandfather emigrated from Italy to Family photo of older manArgentina sometime in the early 20th century. Like most folks, I never questioned what I was told about my heritage.

Turns out I’m 32% Native American — from South America, of course. The next largest percentage is 28% and this is where the surprise came from… European Jewish! Say what?! The next largest percentage is 22% Iberian, which also makes sense. But let’s go back to the European Jewish! Where did that come from?

After a little intrafamily detective work, it looks like the previously unknown European Jewish connection is my grandfather on my father’s side. He is no longer alive, so I can’t just go and ask him, but it’s really neat to think about all the people and circumstances that had to come together to make me.

What’s crazy to think about is that sometime in the recent past, someone wasn’t necessarily telling the truth of who they were or where they came from. And for 40 years, I have thought I was part Bolivian and part Italian, when, in reality, I’m part Bolivian and part Jewish! What a revelation.

Is the AncestryDNA Test Worth It?

It became obvious pretty quickly in the process that the folks at Ancestry were setting us up for an, “under promise and over deliver” service experience. They met or exceeded each of the expectations about deadlines we were provided. My husband received his results a day earlier than mine, which is interesting because I sent mine in a day earlier. The hardest part was wondering how long it would take before my results would become available. But overall the customer experience was awesome!!

Now when I think of my ancestors, I not only envision a long line of South American Indians, but many other people and their unique stories that are all an integral part of who I am. I would highly recommend that anyone who is slightly curious about who they are and where they come from, to take the plunge and do a DNA test, with AncestryDNA or any other highly reviewed DNA company. 

I would definitely say that the AncestryDNA test is worth it. And if you decide to buy it at certain times of the year, I’ve heard that AncestryDNA offers coupons and discounts. Such a wealth of information and what a great gift to be able to pass along to the generations yet to come.

What’s the Buzz Online About AncestryDNA?

So, what do AncestryDNA customers have to say about their services and results? As part of our AncestryDNA kit reviews, we compiled both positive and negative feedback from users we found around the web. See below for a sample of our findings.

Positive AncestryDNA Reviews

I was adopted 57 years ago and did my dna through ancestry for my family to have an idea of their heritage. I have to say, everything in my results were right on. Within 2 weeks of getting my results I had found my birth mother & 2 brothers from 1 dna match!! I’ m not a genealogist and I didnt even know how to maneuver around the site, let alone understand it all. Thats how accurate the results were. This is an incredible reunion story for sure. Thanks Ancestry!!!. – Sandi, TrustPilot.com 7/18/2017

My DNA testing was spot on, based on following my ancestors back for 10 or more generations on Ancestry. I was offered the chance to upgrade my membership and they refunded the difference between the original and the updated memberships. Yes, there are times the Ancestry system jams up. What big website doesn’t jam? Ever try to order something on Amazon? I, personally, am totally satisfied with Ancestry.com, despite the rare glitches in the system. – Sally C., SiteJabber 8/30/2016

Negative AncestryDNA Reviews

I have done my research on my dad’s side and I know the his father’s side is part German, why was there no trace of that on my test? It’s like it’s all my mother’s traits but I was doing research on my dad’s side and came across some Jewish names which the test picked up a trace of that but not the German? – Brittany D., SiteJabber 7/17/2017

The 6-8 weeks for results is not even the minimum, they started my test 8 weeks after they received it, and 10 weeks later they said they could not complete the testing! No refund, nothing… Their solution is to start all the process from zero again… – Kutay, TrustPilot.com 6/7/2107

AncestryDNA Competitors

Here’s a quick look at the key difference between AncestryDNA and its top competition.

AncestryDNA vs 23andMe

  • AncestryDNA’s database has 7 million people compared to 23andMe, which has 3 million people.
  • 23andMe’s genealogical community forums are lacking compared to AncestryDNA’s.
  • Easier to connect with genetic matches on AncestryDNA versus 23andMe.

AncestryDNA vs Family Tree DNA

  • Family Tree DNA’s database is less than 1 million people, quite a bit smaller than AncestryDNA’s.
  • Family Tree DNA offers separate Autosomal DNA and in-depth Y-DNA and mtDNA tests, while AncestryDNA does not.

AncestryDNA vs MyHeritage

  • You can upload your raw DNA results from AncestryDNA, 23andMe and FamilyTree DNA to MyHeritage’s database. AncestryDNA doesn’t allow you to upload other companies’ results.
  • Ancestry.com’s DNA database is much larger than MyHeritage.

What Can You Find From Your DNA?

One of Ancestry.com’s most exciting features is the ability to have your DNA analyzed, allowing you to drill down into your family history. Check out this video to learn more about their DNA analysis.

Final Verdict: Where Does AncestryDNA’s Test Shine?

Visit AncestryDNA’s Website

If you’re searching for living relatives or trying to fill in gaps in your family tree, AncestryDNA’s testing services is a top choice. Why? Ancestry.com’s DNA database is massive, so you’re more likely to find DNA matches with others who’ve tested with their service.

They also have an extensive database of historical records to help you trace your ancestors. If you’re looking for health-related results, AncestryDNA doesn’t offer those. But from an ancestry standpoint, this test is one of the best. See how they stack up against other best DNA ancestry tests.

Would you encourage others to use AncestryDNA’s test?

An international traveler since she was under 10 years old, Sally loves exploring the world’s mysteries first hand. Her favorite destinations? Greece and the British Virgin Islands. She grew up learning to question, explore, and discover new things and ideas — it’s probably why she went into journalism as a career! She loves what the Internet has brought to research and exploration, but she still hits the ground to travel whenever she gets the chance.

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2 Comments on "AncestryDNA Test Reviews: Pros, Cons, And A Personal Account"

newest oldest most voted
Sharon S
You mention a con as separate Y-DNA or mtDNA testing not being offered. What is Y-DNA and what is mtDNA testing?
Alex Schenker
Hi Sharon, both males and females can take an mtDNA test, which reveals your direct maternal line ancestry. MtDNA is passed down from mother to child each generation.

The Y-DNA test on the other, hand, is only for males, since only males carry the Y-chromosome (so women won’t benefit from taking this test). A Y-DNA test traces direct male-line ancestry — son to father to grandfather and so on. Women can learn something from this test by having a brother, father, paternal grandfather, paternal uncle or a male cousin (your father’s brother’s son) take a test for you.

In our main DNA article we have a section on the types of DNA tests offered that gives a more in-depth explanation.

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