A To-the-Point Opinion on the Reality of DNA for Genealogy

No matter where you have the DNA test performed (AncestryDNA ,FamilyTreeDNA, etc.) remember that the tests will not immediately answer all your genealogy questions. Fast answers rarely happen despite what the advertisements say. The ethnicity results are best viewed as entertainment or something you can use to irritate living relatives if absolutely necessary. Not all submitters will have trees. Not all submitters will respond to communication. Some submitters will be impossible to “figure out” because they have no trees and do not respond. Some submitters have mistakes in their tree that they are unaware of. Some submitters will refuse to admit when their trees are wrong.

You may tear a little of your hair out during the process.  Speaking of hair…

Don’t spend the money to find out about your hair color, ear lobe attachment, etc. Check your mirror for the ear lobe attachment and check the color of that that hair you pulled out. Be honest with yourself if you colored it-who else you confess to is your own business. If you pulled it out from a toupee or wig, take it easy next time–those things aren’t cheap. Save that money for genealogy.

That said…

Some submitters do communicate. Some submitters are willing to share. Some submitters can be “figured out” even if they don’t respond. You may be able to answer some long standing questions about your past.

It won’t happen immediately. You need to be patient. You need to be willing to learn.

You may swear during the process. The world will not end if you do.