Can AncestryDNA Be Wrong


AncestryDNA is one of the numerous ancestry or genealogy sites. This and many other service providers are catering to the needs of consumers who would like to know themselves so much better by getting acquainted with blood relatives they never thought they had. It also enables them to know where their ancestors came from. By having a clearer picture of their family tree, they would find it better to realize just who they are exactly.

The results provided by AncestryDNA cannot be wrong. However, it’s important to note that a far more important matter has to be taken into account, and that is the comprehensiveness of the DNA testing result. For instance, it is very much possible for AncestryDNA to fail to indicate some of the ancestors that you really have.

Continue reading to know if AncestryDNA can be wrong or not. Also, along the way, you will come across some other important pieces of information about the service provider, as well as matters regarding getting your DNA tested for the purpose of knowing your roots.

By the end of this article, we’re hoping that you will have a clearer idea of whether or not you should shell out money to get your hands on AncestryDNA’s testing kit and have it shipped to the company afterward.

Contamination Won’t Really Affect the Outcome

It can be terrifying to think that the DNA sample submitted to AncestryDNA could have become contaminated in one way or the other. Such could happen anywhere between while having the sample collected and during the shipping of the DNA testing kit. It makes perfect sense: a DNA sample that’s contaminated would yield false results.

However, this is not the case. The moment that technicians notice that the DNA sample is contaminated, the testing process is discontinued right away. What they will do is repeat the procedure until such time that an accurate outcome is obtained.

There are also times in which AncestryDNA will inform the consumer that a new DNA testing kit will have to be purchased, completed, and shipped to the company.

By the way, results are usually released 6 to 8 weeks after the DNA testing kit arrives at the office of AncestryDNA. In some instances, it may take longer than that. Factors that can keep AncestryDNA from being able to provide DNA results ASAP are having lots of DNA samples to test and doing a re-test of a contaminated DNA sample.

Speaking of which, some steps may be taken to prevent contamination of the DNA sample. Such is vital for trouble-free analysis and timely release of the results. Just see to it that you keep in mind the following very important things if you are about to complete a DNA testing kit:

  • 30 minutes before providing your saliva, brush your teeth, or use mouthwash.
  • Refrain from eating or drinking anything, or chewing gum or smoking while waiting for half an hour to pass.
  • Start spitting into the tube until your saliva goes above the black line.
  • Do take note that bubbles are not considered when checking the saliva level.
  • Keep the tube in the refrigerator in an upright position if you cannot produce enough saliva in one attempt.
  • Once filled, remove the funnel and replace it with the cap with the blue liquid.
  • Twist the cap to allow the blue liquid to mix with your saliva.
  • Give the tube a shake for about 5 seconds to ensure that both liquids are mixed very well.
  • Seal the tube in the included bag and then put the bag in the return box.
  • Ship the completed DNA testing kit to AncestryDNA.

Following the steps above can help to ensure that your DNA sample in the form of your saliva won’t end up contaminated. Especially if you want to obtain DNA results in the shortest amount of time possible so that you could start building your family tree, you wouldn’t want to submit a contaminated specimen.

Carry out the job properly, and you can rest assured that AncestryDNA will be able to provide you with accurate results. It is a different story, however, when it comes to the accuracy of your lineage.

That’s because it is something that’s not based on your DNA, but the DNA database and algorithm used by AncestryDNA for analyzing and interpreting the results of your DNA test.

DNA Testing Actually Comes in Different Forms

Most people think that a DNA test is just one type of test. What they are not aware of is the fact that there’s actually an assortment of DNA testing methods available these days. Thanks to the progression behind the science of DNA analysis, scientists are able to come up with a variety of DNA tests for different purposes.

All ancestry or genealogy sites of today perform a DNA testing referred to as an autosomal DNA test. Unless otherwise stated clearly, this is the kind of DNA test that a site designed to determine your lineage uses.

So what is this autosomal DNA test? Let’s not get too detailed and technical as to leave you feeling bored and checking out another article about the accuracy of AncestryDNA.

In layman’s terms, an autosomal DNA test takes a look at your family tree. What’s so nice about it is that it checks every single ancestral line in order for it to come up with a really detailed outcome. By doing this, an autosomal DNA test is able to create an estimate of your ethnicity according to your ancestors from way back a few hundred years.

Aside from an autosomal DNA test, a few other tests may be used by ancestry or genealogy sites. One example of this is the so-called Y-DNA test. Also, sometimes referred to as the Y chromosome DNA test, it’s all about analyzing the Y chromosome, which is passed by a father to his son.

For reference, a male has a couple of chromosomes, and they are X and Y chromosomes. On the other hand, a female has a pair of X chromosomes. However, it’s essential to know that in rare cases, a woman has a Y chromosome as well. Usually, women with Y chromosomes tend to have underdeveloped female reproductive organs or issues related to them.

It’s because of this reason why the Y-DNA test is only applicable to men who are looking to have their lineage identified. So, in other words, women are not eligible to undergo it since they have two X chromosomes.

By the way, do you want to get your mind blown with a fact? Well, scientists say that the Y chromosomes of all males on the face planet these days come from a single male person that lived more than 100,000 years ago!

There is an ancestry or genealogy site that analyzes DNA not only through an autosomal DNA test but also the Y-DNA test, and it’s 23andMe. On the other hand, AncestryDNA only uses an autosomal DNA test. It’s for this reason exactly why there are limitations to the use of AncestryDNA, and we will discuss this further later on in this article.

The Larger the DNA Database, the Better

There are numerous direct-to-consumer DNA testing sites operating on the internet these days. Aside from paid ones, believe it or not, there are also those that come for free. However, it is safe to assume that cost-free websites come with all kinds of limitations.

Using one, for instance, typically requires you to put a lot of your time to check out endless listings of births, marriages, deaths, news articles, and others.

One of the most important considerations is the budget. When deciding which of the many different DNA ancestry or genealogy sites online these days should be availed, one must figure out how much money he or she is willing to spend. For the most part, building a decent family tree does not come at a low price.

Another matter that has to be taken into account when deciding which service provider should be chosen is the size of the DNA database. In order to be able to determine who your blood relatives are, the company will have to compare your DNA with the DNA of other consumers.

It is by doing this that DNA matches are found. Having as many DNA matches as possible is beneficial for a person who is trying to learn more about his or her lineage.

It is because of this reason why a lot of consumers run to AncestryDNA. The DNA database of the company consists of 15 million entries. Each one of them represents the DNA profile of a consumer who has submitted through the mail a tube filled with his or her saliva.

On the other hand, other leading ancestry or genealogy sites these days only have 2 to 5 million entries on their DNA databases. It is true that they are capable of finding DNA matches for every consumer. However, having a much larger DNA database makes it possible for their consumers to have more DNA matches. When it comes to building a family tree, having lots and lots of DNA matches matters so much.

This is why AncestryDNA is unbeatable when it comes to providing DNA matches. Because of its really impressive DNA database, one could wind up having all the DNA matches that he or she is after. Due to this, the person would find it so much easier to learn about his or her lineage as well as come into contact with blood relatives.

So whether you decide to choose AncestryDNA or a different service provider on the web, always bear one thing in mind: it is generally better for you to go for a company with a massive DNA database.

Limitations Results-Wise are Also in Existence

Just because AncestryDNA has the largest DNA database to date doesn’t mean right away that it is the best. Yes, it is true that a consumer is likely to end up with tons of DNA matches on the site. However, paying for the subscription fee every month won’t provide the individual with some other pieces of information that he or she may find useful as well.

Take, for example, 23andMe, another very popular ancestry or genealogy site just like AncestryDNA. Did you know that for an additional fee, you could also get your hands on a health report?

Such a health report makes it possible for you to know which medical conditions may come into being one day. As one would expect, the findings are based on the DNA database of the company. The health report generated is based on the fact that there are various diseases or illnesses out there that can be passed from parent to offspring.

So, in other words, there are health-related concerns that tend to run in families. By identifying the medical conditions pestering some of those whose DNA matches yours, the report is able to figure out which ones you are at high risk for.

However, one must refrain from considering the health report generated by 23andMe as a medical diagnosis. Professional medical advice can only come straight from the mouth of a licensed health provider.

If you would like to know which health problems you may end up having one day, see a doctor. To come up with an answer, he or she will have to obtain your personal and family medical history. A doctor may also recommend you to go through some tests.

Other than not being able to provide a health report, there are a few more limits to the use of AncestryDNA. As a matter of fact, it’s not just the service provider that comes with its own drawbacks but all other sites, too.

It is a must for a consumer to first check the pros and cons of availing of the services of a particular ancestry or genealogy site. By knowing what he or she is about to pay for, feeling deceived afterward can be kept to a minimum.

But if as of now you are more concerned with piecing together your family tree, then feel free to opt for AncestryDNA. It is very much likely for you to learn about cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents you never knew you had on the website.

Again, it is for the fact that currently, it has 15 million entries on its database. This only means that having lots of DNA matches is very much possible, which is necessary for building your family tree.

Check Out the Takeaway Before You Go

It cannot be denied that the DNA testing approach used by AncestryDNA is accurate. Scientists can attest to the fact that direct-to-consumer DNA testing sites on the internet can provide 99.9 percent accurate results.

They are, after all, simply using the same DNA testing methods used by DNA testing laboratories that law enforcement count on to prove whether or not suspects have something to do with crimes that have yet to be solved.

The very same DNA testing is also used for paternity testing. Here, DNA samples are analyzed to know if a person is, in fact, the biological parent of another person.

However, the problem lies in the algorithm that AncestryDNA employs to come up with results. This means that it is not the way the company analyzes DNA samples in the form of copious amounts of saliva that should be questioned.

Rather, it should be the way that it interprets ancestry or genealogy by means of a person’s DNA profile. It is in this particular part of coming up with results where some errors may be committed.

It is also the one that is the cause of the limitations associated with the report the service provider can come up with.

Going for the AncestryDNA site allows you to enjoy more DNA matches. It is due to the fact that the DNA database of the company is unmatched in terms of the number of entries.

With more DNA matches, it is very much likely for you to end up with the kind of family tree vital for learning more about your ancestry.

It is quite clear why millions of people these days shell out a huge sum of money for ancestry or genealogy subscriptions: to learn their lineage and find out who they really are as well.

The impressive DNA database of AncestryDNA, needless to say, makes it very much possible for you to discover individuals with whom you share genetic material.

So what’s the bottom line? Well, you should not count on AncestryDNA or any other ancestry or genealogy sites solely in your quest to get to know yourself more and your blood relatives as well. There are, in fact, some other steps that you may take if you wish to build your family tree.

Furthermore, it is very much possible for you to end up with anxiety, emotional stress, ruined relationships, and even more questions if you use service providers such as AncestryDNA.

As a matter of fact, before you subscribe to the company services, and many others will actually warn you about the unfavorable consequences that may come your way.

Ryan Sanders

Ryan Sanders is an aspiring genetics science enthusiast. His journey started with curiosity about his roots. He keeps learning more about genetics every day.

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