When I was in school, I had a friend who’s Mum was really interested in ancestry and every time I went round her house, her Mum was always on various ancestry websites, looking back over their family tree and trying to find out more about where they came from. It always piqued my interest and even as I got older, it was always something I would have been interesting in pursuing, had I had some sort of guidance of where to start because let’s face it, ancestry is a daunting topic to delve into when you don’t really know what you’re doing. I was contacted earlier in the year asking if I’d like to do a DNA ancestry test and review the service and the brand and of course, I said yes.
Living DNA offer a simple mouth swab testing kit which can then show you where your ancestors came from across 80 regions and dating back thousands of years until we get to the point in time where “we are all made up of all of us”, which is the slogan that Living DNA very much go by and I think that’s a lovely quote. Your DNA sample also explores the Motherline (for Women) and the Fatherline (for Men) and even tracing back migration paths that our ancestors took. Pretty incredible, huh?
The testing kit and process
So I was keen to give this a go, I find the whole concept absolutely fascinating and I liked the sound of what Living DNA do and what they try and show you. The website itself is incredibly easy to use, you just have to register your sample kit onto your account with your unique code on your kit, then follow the easy step-by-step instructions included in your kit on how to effectively take your sample. Then pop it in the pre-paid envelope, send it back and voila! Your journey to discovering your ancestors has begun. The whole process was effortlessly easy from receiving my kit, to getting my results.
The status of your sample gets updated on your account on their website and I also received emails telling me when they’d received it and when they had started testing on it too. It took a few weeks to test, understandably but then I was notified of when it was all done and able to log on to my account and have a look through my results. I was actually a little nervous logging on (no idea why) but here’s a basic run down of what was found…
- Family Ancestry: 97.6% European, 2.4% Near East
- Predominant areas of Europe I share genetic ancestry with approx. 500 years ago (between 15th – 18th century): England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden.
- Predominant areas of the UK I share genetic ancestry with approx. 934 years ago: Majority of England, Northern Island. Barely any Wales, surprisingly!
- Other areas of the Europe and the world I share genetic ancestry with approx. 1,000 – 1,600 years ago: Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan and China (wow!)
- Other areas in Europe I share genetic ancestry with approx. 4,200 years ago (The Bronze Age): Spain, France, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Iceland, Iran
- Motherline Haplogroup: H, Subclade: H2A1
What did I think and is it worth it?
The kit itself retails for £99 and that includes everything I’ve mentioned here, the sample kit, the account and obviously your results. You can also add on a personalized ancestry book of your results for an extra £39, which obviously I wouldn’t have needed but for anyone who perhaps doesn’t use a computer and would rather their results in their hands or as a gift for someone for their birthday or Christmas, I think the book would be a good choice.
I think we all know by this point that these types of kits aren’t cheap and rightly so, I mean, I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving my DNA to someone asking for a fiver for it, would you? But I think £99 is very reasonable for the information you’re getting (due to the nature of the tests your results will always be getting updated as well). As someone who’s always been interested in something like this, I think £100 is the most I’d want to pay, had I bought it myself.
I definitely think it’s worth it, for the price, the results and what you’re getting out of it. It’s so much more than a simple test because you’re finding out more about you – essentially. After reading my results, I felt a bit, not emotional but I guess connected is the right word. When you find out just how widespread your DNA is, how much of the word your DNA has covered and where in the world you’ve had relatives and ancestors, well it certainly made me feel a bit humble. At the end of the day, it’s fascinating stuff and I felt like it brought me closer, to me.
Have you ever done an ancestry or DNA test before? Did you find out anything interesting about your ancestry?
* Products featured in this post were sent to me in exchange for a review