Some Thoughts on DNA

AncestryDNA‘s sale (through 20 August 2018) is a good time to remind about some things to be aware of when doing any DNA test:

  • this is a autosomal test–to work all lines, not just the paternal or the maternal. Know what type of test you are taking.
  • don’t just wait for the results to arrive thinking that they’ll solve all your genealogy problems–they won’t. Read our suggestions for what to do while waiting for your results to arrive.
  • other submitters will have no trees tied to their DNA results
  • some submitters will have no idea about their ancestry
  • some submitters will never respond to your request for information
  • some matches will be difficult or impossible to figure out
  • DNA won’t solve all your problems
  • DNA may alter your genealogical reality.
  •  Once you get back to your 5th great-grandparents, there is a possible chance (4.95%) you have none of their DNA. That chance increases as your extend your pedigree further back (see chart here).

AncestryDNA, just like any DNA test is a tool. One tool will never solve all your problems.