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Ancestry Review

Thursday, May 30th

2024 DNA Testing Kit Reviews

Ancestry Review 4.5 Star Rating


4.5 Star Rating
  • Best service for tracing your family tree
  • Choose ancestry-only or ancestry plus traits testing
  • No membership required to build a family tree and connect with your DNA matches
  • Over 18 million people in its DNA network
  • Database of more than 30 billion historical records and user-created family trees
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB

Is there a bigger name in DNA testing than Ancestry? Not if you're looking to find out more about your heritage and connect with living relatives. People these days are fascinated by the idea of knowing where they come from, and you may have seen Ancestry's commercials with individuals who thought their great-great-grandparents were from one part of the world - only to find out through their DNA that they were from somewhere else. With over 18 million people who have taken DNA tests through Ancestry, this service gives you the highest chance of connecting with a living relative and figuring out your family tree.

Choose to test for ancestry or ancestry-and-traits

There are two DNA testing kit options here: DNA and DNA + Traits. Both kits will allow you to see your ethnicity breakdown, make a family tree, and connect with relatives (assuming you make your results viewable by DNA matches, and your relatives do as well). Ancestry used to offer a health component that assessed one's risk for some hereditary disorders and diseases, but that service was discontinued in January 2021. Now, for an extra $10, you can get the Traits feature that looks at 35+ of your personal traits at the gene level, from the likelihood that you're lactose intolerant to how well your heart rate recovers after exercise.

Wait for a promotion to save 40% or more

If you're buying more than one AncestryDNA kit, you'll pay $99 for the first one and $89 for any additional kits. You don't get that same discount if you're ordering the DNA + Traits service, however (which is regularly priced at $109). Your easiest way to save money on an Ancestry DNA test is by waiting for a seasonal promotion: during the December gift-giving season, Mother's Day, and Father's Day, you may see prices go as low as $59 per kit (and sometimes even lower than that). Those discounts usually do apply to the Ancestry + Traits test too.

Your profile will update over time - at no extra charge

There's lots to love about Ancestry's DNA testing. One terrific perk is that your ethnicity percentages (and traits if you purchased that add-on) will automatically update as more research is completed. For example, we did our DNA test several years ago but in the week we did this most recent review of Ancestry, we got an email with a new trait: likelihood to remember dreams. It gave us a solid explanation of other factors that might influence that, like being awakened frequently by children or pets, but we found our genetic "prediction" to be spot on. And, with respect to ethnicity, Ancestry is constantly refining their algorithms; over the years, we've seen our percentages shift and get much more granular - and more accurate, when we compare our DNA-matched locations with our documents and other research.

Use source documents to confirm your data

Speaking of documents and research, Ancestry has over 30 billion records (and counting) ranging from census documents to draft registration forms and much, much more. As you put information in your family tree, you'll start to see hints (indicated by a little green leaf) of records and other family trees that Ancestry thinks are a match for the people you've entered. When you pay for a subscription - monthly and annual plans are available - you'll be able to see those records, compare them with the info you have, and add them to the person's profile. You won't lose the documentation of those sources if you cancel your subscription, but you won't be able to view the documents themselves.

Best DNA Testing Kits


  • $99 for AncestryDNA
  • $119 for AncestryDNA + Traits
  • Shipping fees of $9.95 for the first kit and $4.95 for every additional kit

ThruLines can help you figure out your tree

Another feature of Ancestry's DNA tests and family trees that's a game-changer is called ThruLines. Assuming you've created your tree and made it shareable, ThruLines can show you how you're related to your DNA matches who have also built a family tree. If there are gaps - in your tree or theirs - it'll even show you what it calculates is the relationship and show you which ancestors might be the missing ones.

Extremely accurate DNA test

In our personal experience, Ancestry's DNA tests are very accurate. Without providing any information they could use to identify her as such, they matched us with our mother (whew!). You'll see a suggested relationship connection for every DNA match, like "Close Family" or "2nd-3rd cousin" . When you recognize a match, you can go in and tell Ancestry which label applies. For example, we have matches that initially came through as "2nd-3rd cousin" that did indeed turn out to be related at that level, but some are more complicated relationships like "half first cousin once removed" . You'll find those "extra" relationships in a dropdown list, and Ancestry will even tell you the percentage of likelihood that someone who shares that amount of DNA with you will be related to you in that way. (It sounds confusing, but it makes sense as you get into it.)

#1 choice for ancestry-focused DNA testing

It's easy to see why Ancestry continues to be our #1 recommended DNA testing provider for people who want to look at, well, their ancestry. Results are robust and updated frequently, the family tree feature is really intuitive, and with frequent sales this is often one of the best values for the money. Even the Better Business Bureau gives Ancestry an "A+" rating and accreditation. If your focus is on heritage and not so much on health, Ancestry will be your best bet among DNA testing kits.

Where Can You Get the Best DNA Testing Kits?

Direct-to-consumer DNA testing has exploded over the last decade. From popular TV shows that document the ancestry of celebrities to clickbait articles describing the latest "she almost married her long-lost brother!" scandal prevented by a DNA test, it seems like everyone is pretty familiar with the appeal and power of these kits.

There are three main reasons why people buy a DNA test these days. The most common is to explore their heritage. Am I really related to royalty? Did my great-great-grandparents actually come from a small town in Italy? DNA tests can often reveal the answers to such questions. These tests also help people connect with living relatives, from distant cousins overseas to half-siblings and even previously-unknown parents.

The Best DNA Testing Kits Compare DNA Testing Kits Compare DNA Testing Kit Reviews What are the best DNA Testing Kits Best DNA Testing Kit Reviews

DNA Testing Kit FAQ

The two most common reasons for testing DNA are to determine one's ancestry and to identify underlying health conditions or predispositions. DNA testing may also be done to determine a child's paternity or detect infidelity.
Fortunately, no. A simple cheek swab or vial of saliva that can be returned by mail is usually all that's required.
That depends on the testing service you select. Some companies deliver your results in 1-4 weeks, while others have been known to take a month or longer.
Not necessarily. You'll probably pay somewhere between $59 and $649, depending on how comprehensive your selected test is.
Most of the time, no. DNA test kit prices usually include the cost of delivering the test to your home or office, the return shipping fees to the lab, and the cost of analyzing your sample.
DNA testing protocols are constantly evolving, especially with respect to tracking one's ancestry. Many of the companies use the company Helix to sequence your DNA. The individual companies are then responsible for interpreting the DNA results. You will see some differences between the different testing providers. Also, you may also want to share your results with your healthcare provider, so he or she can confirm any of the health-related results and request additional testing as needed.
Possibly, but that will depend on several factors. Not only will your relatives have to choose the same DNA testing platform as you, but both of you will have to set your account permissions to show DNA matches and to allow messages. That being said, thousands of people have connected with previously-unknown family members using many of today's most popular DNA testing providers.
That's an important question. Most DNA testing services promise to maintain your privacy by requiring your consent to share your results for matching or research purposes. You'll have to determine your own risk tolerance when it comes to concerns about data breaches, court subpoenas, and other ways your data could be accessed.
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Continued from above...

Most DNA testing services allow you to keep that information private, though, if you just want to see your ethnicity breakdown without disclosing yourself to any relatives who might be in their database.

The second reason many individuals choose to buy a DNA testing kit is to get information on health and wellness. Depending on the provider you choose, your results may include basic traits like cleft chin or sensitivity to caffeine, or they may go so far as to tell you if you're a carrier for certain hereditary diseases. These tests can help you be proactive with your health, give your physician more details to guide your treatment, and maybe even prolong your life.

If you've ever watched The Jerry Springer Show, you already know the third reason people buy DNA tests: to prove paternity. That's easier to do when the alleged father is a willing participant in the test, but some companies also offer sibling, half-sibling, grandparent and avuncular (such as aunt/uncle) options that can give you a percentage of likelihood that the individual is related.

You've got lots of options for DNA testing kids. Which one should you buy? These are the factors you should keep in mind as you decide:

  • Purpose. Why do you want to test your DNA: ancestry, health, or paternity? The answer to that question will automatically narrow down your choices.
  • Value. What will you get for what you spend? Will your results come in a detailed report or just a vague summary? Are there any other services included with your purchase, like a family tree builder, dietary recommendations, or other guidance?
  • Additional Costs. Some DNA testing kits have ongoing membership or subscription fees. Be sure you understand what you're getting when you click the "order now" button: many people are angry when they find "unexpected" charges on their credit cards because they didn't read the part that explained the monthly or annual service fees.
  • Reputation. What do other customers say about their experience with using the DNA test provider? Did they have any issues with getting results in a timely fashion? Does the test deliver what the company promises?

To help you choose the right service to learn more about your health and heritage, Top Consumer Reviews has evaluated and ranked the most popular providers of DNA testing kits on the market today. We're confident that through these tests, you can discover everything you've wanted to know about your genetics!

Compare DNA Testing Kits

Select any 2 DNA Testing Kits to compare them head to head

  • 23 and Me
  • Ancestry
  • My Heritage
  • myDNA
  • Family Tree DNA
  • Living DNA
  • Home DNA
  • Dynamic DNA Labs
  • American Screening Corporation
  • Nebula Genomics
23 and Me vs Ancestry 23 and Me vs My Heritage 23 and Me vs myDNA 23 and Me vs Family Tree DNA 23 and Me vs Living DNA 23 and Me vs Home DNA 23 and Me vs Dynamic DNA Labs 23 and Me vs American Screening Corporation 23 and Me vs Nebula Genomics Ancestry vs My Heritage Ancestry vs myDNA Ancestry vs Family Tree DNA Ancestry vs Living DNA Ancestry vs Home DNA Ancestry vs Dynamic DNA Labs Ancestry vs American Screening Corporation Ancestry vs Nebula Genomics My Heritage vs myDNA My Heritage vs Family Tree DNA My Heritage vs Living DNA My Heritage vs Home DNA My Heritage vs Dynamic DNA Labs My Heritage vs American Screening Corporation My Heritage vs Nebula Genomics myDNA vs Family Tree DNA myDNA vs Living DNA myDNA vs Home DNA myDNA vs Dynamic DNA Labs myDNA vs American Screening Corporation myDNA vs Nebula Genomics Family Tree DNA vs Living DNA Family Tree DNA vs Home DNA Family Tree DNA vs Dynamic DNA Labs Family Tree DNA vs American Screening Corporation Family Tree DNA vs Nebula Genomics Living DNA vs Home DNA Living DNA vs Dynamic DNA Labs Living DNA vs American Screening Corporation Living DNA vs Nebula Genomics Home DNA vs Dynamic DNA Labs Home DNA vs American Screening Corporation Home DNA vs Nebula Genomics Dynamic DNA Labs vs American Screening Corporation Dynamic DNA Labs vs Nebula Genomics American Screening Corporation vs Nebula Genomics
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