How to Shop for the Best DNA Ancestry Test

Your Free Guide to the Best DNA Ancestry Test

Why should you look into your ancestral past?

All of us have a past, but for most of us, we can only trace our ancestry back a few generations using conventional methods like speaking to grandparents and digging up old paper records.

Along the way you may hear intriguing stories or rumours about your ancestry that you would like to confirm or investigate further.

Unfortunately, traditional methods cannot go back very far, have limited accuracy and provide limited useful information.

Do you really want to know the truth?

DNA Ancestry testing, which was once an exclusive tool used by die-hard genealogists, has now gone mainstream. It’s fast, reliable, and can provide you with the truth about your past, confirm old stories, and even dig up new ones. With just a swab of your cheek, you can easily trace your ancestry back 1000's of years to find out just who you are. What's more, you can even search for long-lost relatives and join exciting ancestry projects.

What to look for in a DNA Ancestry test?

With so many DNA tests in the market, it can be confusing figuring out the differences and which ones to get. Also, why are some ancestry tests very cheap and others so expensive? Not all DNA ancestry tests are the same. Below are some of the most important differences you want to consider:

1. The type of DNA markers they test
2. Access to ongoing projects, or simply a piece of paper
3. Tests are performed by a DNA lab or a reseller
4. Whether they can test more than just SNP markers
5. If they have the ability to offer more than one type of genetic assay (targeted SNP, fragment analysis, Sanger Sequencing)

The cost of ancestry tests depend on the types of markers they detect.

The bottom line, more comprehensive ancestry tests will give you more discriminating ancestral information, but it's very likely that these tests will be more expensive than the ones that only look at one type of DNA marker.

Now that you know what to watch out for, here is more details to help you narrow the ancestry test right for you.

Consideration #1: Always check how many types of ancestral markers are tested.

There are many different types of ancestral markers (mutations) in your DNA that can provide ancestral information. The most important ones are: (1) fast mutating STR markers in Y-DNA, (2) fast mutating STR markers in autosomal DNA, (3) highly polymorphic regions in the hypervariable region of mtDNA and (4) slow mutating SNP markers.

Most ancestry companies only test 1 out of these 4, the SNP markers, because they are the most easily tested. These entertainment-based tests make use of a technology called a “SNP chip” test, which is a fast and inexpensive way to examine over 500,000 random changes in your DNA. But, since they are slow mutating markers, SNPs can only provide you with % ancestry and your haplogroup.

SNP chips cannot test fast mutating STR markers and they cannot reliably test hypervariable regions of your mtDNA, the most informative part of the mtDNA. This means they can’t provide you with more discriminating information about your ancestry.

Tests that look at more marker types will give you more resolution

Consideration #2: Is the test powerful enough to confirm your matches, once a match is found?

SNP markers are not discriminating enough to provide the resolution required to confirm family matches. This means companies that only test SNP markers are unable to confirm matches once a match is found. Make sure the DNA lab of your choice can also provide STR marker testing, because these fast mutating markers have the power to confirm close relationships. In fact, STR markers are so powerful that they used by professionals in forensic investigations in a process called "DNA fingerprinting."

Consideration #3: Can they provide ancestral information using fast mutating STR markers in addition to the slow mutating SNP markers?

While slow mutating SNP markers are useful for determining % ancestry and for tracing very ancient ancestry (back thousands of years), they are not discriminating enough for recent ancestral events. Many published studies exclusively focus on fast mutating STR markers and HVR1 and HVR2 markers of mtDNA, which are 1000x more discriminating than SNP markers. That is why while some ancestry tests can only tell whether two people are from the same “haplogroup H” (meaning you are both European), the companies that can test both SNP and STR markers are able to discriminate your matches down to the last few generations. This makes the analysis much more informative, and allows ancestry projects to leverage on the most discriminating markers.

Consideration #4: Are there ongoing dynamic projects, or only a static report?

Always check whether the ancestry test provides you with a report as well as membership to access exciting dynamic ongoing ancestral projects. Also, beware that some companies charge a membership fee, while others provide a free lifetime membership for ongoing scientific updates and projects.

Consideration #5: Will they sell your genetic information?

Always ensure that you have full control over your own genetic information by selecting a company does not collect and sell your DNA data. Many ancestry companies collect your genetic information and sell it for profit. That is why they test many SNPs that are not relevant to ancestry. Choose a company will only test the SNPs that are relevant for determining your ancestry.

#1 DNA Ancestry test:

DNA Ancestry Project


DNA Ancestry Project is the only ancestry test offered by a clinical laboratory that specializes in DNA testing. They are not a consumer entertainment company that outsources DNA tests. DNA Ancestry Project is also the only test that offers a wide range of web tools which allow you to research your ancestry over 100 different ways. They offer a free lifetime subscription to access all future ancestry features as new discoveries are made in the rapidly advancing field of genetic genealogy.

Purchase options directly from the DNA Ancestry Project website:

All orders are shipped out the same day if purchased on weekdays before 3pm and shipped out the next business day if purchased on weekends or holidays.

Purchase options directly from the DNA Ancestry Project website:

What You Will Read About

• How do DNA Ancestry tests work?
• What types of DNA tests are there?
• What choices of DNA markers can be tested?
• Expansive laboratory capabilities
• What does each marker tell you?
• How to choose the right DNA test?

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#1 DNA Ancestry Test

• Accredited laboratory
• Professional level markers
• Widest range of DNA marker types
• Expansive laboratory capabilities
• Largest collection of DNA Ancestry tools
• Free lifetime membership and updates

DNA Ancestry Project Features

Ancestry Test

Mitochondrial DNA sequencing

Y-DNA STR fragment analysis

Autosomal STR fragment analysis

Advanced ethnic origins report

Recent ancestry analysis

Ancient ancestry analysis

DNA Ancestry Projects

Relationship match

Relationship confirmation

Free Lifetime Membership & ongoing updates

New features added continuously

Ancestry Test