Spitting in the Tube Won’t Get Your Tree Spitted Back at You

Spit in the tube and wait for your tree.

It’s not as simple as that.


Autosomal DNA test results indicate a relationship. If the relationship is close (sibling, parent/child, aunt/uncle, first cousin), the predicated relationship is usually easy to immediately determine.

But beyond that it is not so clear. Based upon the amount of shared DNA, the precise relationship can be “roughly” determined, but research in paper records,  interviews with relatives, and other “non-DNA” research is necessary.

The DNA is only part of the story and spitting in a tube doesn’t mean your ancestry will be spitted right back at you.

It’s more difficult than that.


2 thoughts on “Spitting in the Tube Won’t Get Your Tree Spitted Back at You

  1. Kristin N

    My mother and her sister took the autosomal test and not only were their genetic heritage estimates incredibly different (71% Irish and 93% Irish) but several 4th cousin matches for one were distant cousin matches for the other. It just reminds me not to put too much faith in the degree of kinship estimates.

    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      The ranges on the ethnic estimates at AncestryDNA can vary widely. I’ll have to post about what mine were. That difference doesn’t surprise me too much. I don’t put too much faith in the precision of cousin estimates once a person gets past second cousins to be honest. Siblings can get different chunks of parental DNA and the amount that a parent passes to each children from a specific great-great-grandparent can vary quite a bit.


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