It seems like an eternity ago I received an email from Ancestry.com offering me a free autosomal DNA test. (Still don’t know why I was selected…were all Ancestry.com subscribers offered the free DNA testing or only their most neurotic users that spend most of their non-working, waking hours searching family history?) I immediately signed up, and shortly thereafter received my DNA kit, swabbed my cheek, sent it back and have been waiting.
This afternoon I received an email from Ancestry letting me know the results are finally in. I’ve been especially curious to see how they compare to FamilyTree DNA, which I took a couple years ago. So far, I’m very impressed with Ancestry.com’s very user-friendly interface.
Shown above is the graph of my 10-generation ancestry. No surprises there – my English, German and Norwegian roots are well represented, and it’s a second confirmation through DNA studies that my family has no Native American ties. (Near the end of her life my grandmother had insisted her father’s mother was Native American, but all records, as well as her own earlier notes, showed he was the product of Welch New England ancestors.)
I was especially curious to see how many close matches I would have through Ancestry’s DNA. I started off with five close matches (potential 4th-6th cousins) and 80 more distant cousins. Unfortunately, none of my close matches have yet linked their Ancestry trees with their DNA results, so I will have to be patient a bit longer. :-)
When viewing your DNA matches through Ancestry.com, you can filter matches by ethnicity. If I only wish to see those who also have Central European ties, I can click a link to see potential cousins. Of course, some of these cousins may also have other matching ethnicities, but it is one way of reducing the list of matches if you are wishing to search for potential cousins by geographic location.
When clicking on one of the matches, I’m given a comparison of ethnicity with the potential cousin:
I will be anxious for my close matches to connect to their results to their trees. Ancestry.com has made it really simple to identify surnames in common with your matches. Here’s a screenshot that shows the tree and surnames displayed for another distant match:
While I don’t have any new leads or other earth-shattering discoveries on Day 1 of receipt of my Ancestry.com DNA results, I am very impressed with the user interface, the ability to view connected family trees, and the ease in which one can filter results. I am hopeful that Ancestry’s DNA database will grow, resulting in new leads and connections with cousins, and that FamilyTreeDNA may learn from Ancestry.com’s design to make their own user portal a bit more user-friendly.