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…

My results

  • 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


  1. […] kits available but if you would like to use the same kit as I did you can order Living DNA here. Jenny and Lisa have also tried this kit so check their opinions too.  lifestyle, products, […]

  2. Thanks for the post – you have me reconsidering a DNA kit for 2019:) The layout and pictures in your blog look amazing by the way. Merry Christmas!

  3. I was so excited to read this post and see what you thought of your test! I reviewed a Living DNA test recently too and was surprised to find out that what my grumpy grandmother always claimed was actually true, haha. I loved how easy and clear the online results were, and just how detailed everything is too. How fascinating that you have Scandinavian ancestry – that must explain why you’re such a fan of Autumn and Winter! xx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  4. My dad wants to do it badly. He just wants to know if there’s any truth in the fact that there could be Scottish/Welsh running through him. His cousin got hers done and it did confirm the suspension but she had a low amount of both Danish & Norwegian too. We think that could be from her father’s side, because if I had to tell my dad he could have Viking blood in his veins I think he’d be too happy about it! Lol

  5. I agree and would expect to pay around this mark for any DNA testing too. I have to admit that it’s not something I’ve ever really been interested in but my sister used to spend ages trying to look back at our family history. This might make a really good gift for her actually so I might have a little look further into it!

    Soph – https://sophhearts.com x

  6. I’ve been thinking about doing this for ages so great to read about your experiences. As a proud European I always think the results are a good reply to people who see themselves as only belonging to a small island!

  7. My grandma is OBSESSED with anything ancestry, and has a massive tapestry running across the whole side of a room of a family tree that she’s created in ExCel. My heritage has always fascinated me but I’m not really comfortable with the idea that another company would have my DNA… Maybe I’ll try this out once I get over my paranoia! And that’s amazing that you have some Chinese DNA in you! 😀

  8. wow this is such a lovely post jenny! i find stuff like this so interesting because I honestly haven’t met a lot of my family so I don’t know much about where we come from. I do know way back in the day my family had a castle in Scotland and a ship which are both obviously in ruins but still cool to know. I would love to do a kit like this. thanks for sharing! x

    mich / simplymich.com

  9. I’ve been so interested in this service so glad to hear about your experaince with it! They had a black friday sale too where they reduced it to around 70GBP!

  10. My aunt is really into this sort of stuff as well, although I have to admit that I sometimes switch off, haha! This is really interesting though – great post!

  11. I’ve never done a DNA ancestry test before and while it does sound interesting, I would be more interested in getting one done for my fiance! My family is still alive and I can still learn about my ancestry from them. My fiance, however, lost both of his parents and most of his family when he was a kid. He was bounced around in foster homes growing up and he doesn’t really know where he comes from. He puts on a brave face and acts like it doesn’t bother him but I would love to help him learn more about where he comes from and feel more connected to his family. Will def consider this for him! Thanks for the review!

  12. Thank you for such a detailed post about this process. I am a little leery of sending my DNA to a company. It worries me what they really would do with it! I know that many people love the results and having more information esp those who do not know who their family really is.

    I am writing a story with a DNA test component and I think your post will be helpful for that as well!

  13. I’ve always found dna testing and ancestry tracing so fascinating – loved how you explained the stages and your results were also so cool! I think for me it would be more difficult as all my ancestors are from India so I wonder if a service like this would even have records?? I’m not sure! Have you heard the conspiracy theories about Ancestry testing? They’re pretty creepy but interesting at the same time 👀😂

  14. I’ve always found ansestory really interesting, I’ve always been curious of my own background as half of my family being from the uk and the other Barbados! I’d love to give this a go! Xx

  15. this post was so interesting!you’ve been adding such diversity into your blog posts these days and im loving it!

  16. I’ve thought about doing something like this, but ultimately I don’t trust any of the companies that do consumer genetic testing – in their terms and services they mention in fairly blunt language that they may sell your DNA info to other consumer data groups, possibly the government even. That’s scary stuff to me!

    And maybe I’m a bit in the minority in that I don’t care where I come from. I’m here now, and that’s what matters to me.

    1. Haha, I really couldn’t care less what they do with my DNA. They have thousands of other people’s DNA’s, mine’s not special. What are they going to do, clone me? I just don’t know how you can’t be interested in your family heritage, I find it so interesting.

  17. I find things like this so interesting! I’ve always wanted to know more about my dna and do something like this, but I’ve never known where to look. This kit looks great and for the price you get so much information. I definitely think it would be a good christmas present maybe for grandparents and having it all in the personalised book, such a lovely idea! xx

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

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