This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my terms & conditions for more info.
Researching my family tree has been a hobby of mine for over 5 years now. In that time I have made lots of exciting discoveries about my ancestors.
Where they lived. Who they married. The lives they led. It get’s really addictive. I now have a massive file full of documents, photos and certificates. So far I’ve got back as far as 1796 on my Fathers side and 1707 on my Mothers side.
It can be frustrating at times as you think you’ve got someone and then it turns out the information was wrong. I’ve even ended up researching the wrong people at times. The best bit for me is coming across a photo of the person you’re researching.
One thing that I have been wanting to do for ages is to take a DNA test.
Why Take a DNA Test & What Can It Tell Me About Myself?
A DNA test can confirm things for you that research cannot. It will reveal detailed ethnic origins and can help you find relatives.
DNA Tests from MyHeritage
The test I used was from a company called MyHeritage an online genealogy platform. You can have a free account to start your family tree which you can later upgrade to a paid one should you need it.
MyHeritage DNA does two things:
- Provides detailed ethnicity reports that map your ethnic and geographic origins – with 42 ethnicities they are the most comprehensive test on the market.
- Helps you find relatives and match you with those who you share DNA with.
How Does The DNA Test Work?
The process is really simple. You buy your test and the company will send you out your DNA pack. Inside your pack, you will find an information booklet with instructions on how to use the kit, two cheek swabs and two pots to put them in.
The first thing you need to do is activate your kit. You can do this online by entering the activation code that you’ll find in your pack. Do not skip this step! This is so they can keep track of your results.
Then you need to remove one of the cheek swabs from the wrapper and rub it onto the inside of your cheek. For best results rotate the swab in your mouth for 30-60 seconds. Open one of the vials, insert the swab and snap it off against the side of the tube. Put the lid back on. Repeat the process with the second swab and vial.
Place both of the vials in the clear plastic bag. Then place the bag in the enclosed address envelope and post it. You will need to pay for postage. It cost me £3.15 to post as I live in the UK and MyHeritage is based in America.
You then await your results which can take up to 4-6 weeks. Mine arrived within 5 weeks.
My DNA Results
I received an email telling me that my results were ready for me to look at.
I don’t know why but I actually felt really nervous when I clicked on the ‘View DNA results’ button I think it was because I had been really excited about seeing the results and had to wait 5 weeks for them. It felt like forever!
When you click on the link it takes you through to the MyHeritage site and you’ll watch a short video which reveals your results.
My DNA Results
Here are my results…
- 48.0% North and West European
- 46.2% English
- 5.8% Ashkenazi Jewish
I already knew that my Father’s side of the family was Jewish and I have found links to Poland. I didn’t know that we are Ashkenazi Jews. This has opened up a whole new area of research for me. I hadn’t even heard of the term Ashkenazi Jews so I definitely want to look into that more.
I was also surprised that I am more European than English.
I’ve Got The Results What Now?
Now I really want to get tests done for the other half and the kiddies to see what their results say.
Along with your results, you also have a DNA matches section on the MyHeritage website. This is fascinating as it shows you others that have taken a test that you are related to!
Personally, I had 76 matches. That’s a lot of people that I didn’t know was family.
My Thoughts on Taking a DNA Test
It was actually quite an emotional experience and I’m so glad I took the test. I found the results fascinating. It’s certainly added a whole new element to my family history research.
If you are interested in taking a DNA test yourself then MyHeritage is currently offering kits for £49. Check out their website for more information.