Finally!!!! As of June 9 Ancestry DNA is available in Canada. Obviously ancestry.com released their DNA product first in the United States. How come it became available in Australia, and the United Kingdom before us?
Over 850,000 results are in the ancestry.com DNA database.
Why should I care? What does it DNA for family history do for us?
ancestry.ca provides some answers – from their FAQ (frequently asked questions):
“1. What is AncestryDNA?
AncestryDNA is a new DNA testing service that utilizes some of the latest autosomal testing technology to revolutionize the way you discover your family history. This service utilises advanced DNA science to predict your genetic ethnicity and help you find new family connections. It maps ethnicity going back multiple generations and provides insight into such possibilities as: what region of Europe are my ancestors from, or am I likely to have East Asian heritage? AncestryDNA can also help identify relationships with unknown relatives through a dynamic list of possible DNA member matches.
AncestryDNA is part of the Ancestry group of companies. If you are not already registered with Ancestry you will be required to register with Ancestry when you proceed to purchase a DNA kit. You will need to retain your registration details in order to access your results. If you are already registered with Ancestry simply enter your log on details when prompted to do so.
2. What do my results tell me?
Your AncestryDNA results include information about your genetic ethnicity estimates and identifies potential DNA matches, linking you to others who have taken the AncestryDNA test. Your results are a great starting point for more family history research, and it can also be a way to dig even deeper into the research you’ve already done.
3. What technology is behind this new service?
The AncestryDNA test uses microarray-based autosomal DNA testing, which surveys a person’s entire genome at over 700,000 locations, all with a simple saliva sample. Additionally, the new online interface integrates state-of-the art tools for you to utilize your DNA results for family history research.
4. How is this DNA test going to help me with my research?
Your DNA may hold information to help make new discoveries about your family’s past, your cultural roots, as well as confirm information in your family tree. Using your DNA test in combination with an Ancestry subscription (which is a separate service offered by other Ancestry group companies) gives you hints that can guide your investigations and connect you with new relatives. These new relatives that you discover may have additional information, a piece of your family story to tell or photos to share.
Your DNA test results also provide information that’s more relevant and recent—targeting your family history a few hundred or even a thousand years ago, as compared to the Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA tests, which have a 10,000 to 50,000 year time focus.
5. Can a woman take this test?
Yes, women and men can take the AncestryDNA autosomal test since we all carry the DNA that is being tested. In fact, men and women are tested in the same way for the same number of markers.
Unlike some other DNA tests, which only analyze the Y-chromosome (and can only be taken by a male to look at your direct paternal lineage) or mitochondrial DNA (can be taken by a male or female but only looks at your direct maternal lineage), AncestryDNA looks at a person’s entire genome at over 700,000 locations. To learn more about the differences between the DNA tests you can click here.
6. How does the new AncestryDNA test differ from other Ancestry.com DNA tests?
It’s more comprehensive. Unlike the Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA test, AncestryDNA uses an autosomal DNA test that surveys a person’s entire genome at over 700,000 locations. It covers both the maternal and paternal sides of the family tree, so it covers all lineages. The Y-DNA test only reflects the direct father-to-son path in your family tree, and the mtDNA test only reflects the direct mother-to-child path in your family tree. Learn more about the differences between the DNA tests here.
The test is gender neutral. Both men and women can take the AncestryDNA test and are tested in the same way for the same number of markers providing the same level of detail in the results.
It predicts your recent genetic ethnicity. Thanks to advances in DNA technology we’re able to compare your DNA to samples from around the world, to find out more about your family’s background and ethnic history—not just ancient history, but the people and places that matter to you.
Enhanced DNA matching. Unlike the Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA tests, the new AncestryDNA autosomal test looks at a much broader range of your DNA, which helps identify matches throughout your entire family tree—along both your paternal and maternal sides.
The information is more relevant and recent—targeting your family history a few hundred or even a thousand years ago, as compared to the Y and mtDNA tests, which have a 10,000 to 50,000 year time focus.”
(Source: http://dna.ancestry.ca/legal/faq#about-1 – and there is more information available)
Why Ancestry DNA? To get a broader look at the topic of DNA and Family History go to the FamilySearch Wiki and do a search for DNA – I know I usually teach people to search by country but there is a lot more in the FamilySearch Wiki! – including an article called “Hiring a DNA Testing Company” that gives a good overview to DNA testing https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Hiring_a_DNA_Testing_Company – that includes a link to a series of articles by CeCe Moore “DNA Testing for Genealogy – Getting Started”
Peter Calver at Lost Cousins in his June 15 newsletter suggests some reasons to become involved in DNA testing now. http://lostcousins.com/newsletters2/latejun15news.htm#DNAnow – article Why You Should Test Your DNA Now.
He encourages autosomnal testing like Ancestry uses but he has chosen to work with another company called FamilyTree DNA. There are several companies to chose from!
I like the Ancestry product because of the ethnicity profiles and potential to link to the large Ancestry client base – if more people get the test! I haven’t found any close cousins . . . yet!
That’s it I guess, I am looking at the potential and possibilities for DNA testing to help me overcome problems in my research.