For those who have considered taken a DNA test to determine your ancestry, let me share with you my experience with the Ancestry.com $99 DNA test. Back in January I sent a test tube of spit to Ancestry.com for the DNA test. The results came back last week. The lab results consisted of first, an analysis of where your DNA came from. Second, a list of 7,800 other people who took the DNA test and were a match to be immediate family or a distant cousin.
The Ethnicity Estimate, or where my DNA came from, was no surprise since I have done family tree work for a while. In my case it showed;
Great Britain 56%
Iberian Peninsula 3%
Finland/Northwest Russia 3%
East Europe 2%
Italy/Greece less than 1 %
European Jewish less than 1 %
Asia Central less than 1 %
For the most part, you can see the origins follow trade routes, wars and invasion routes
The list of 7,800 people that had a DNA test done and I was a relative of them was of a questionable value. My daughter had a DNA test done last year so they showed her as immediate family, the second and third cousins I could see how they were relatives. The problems came when you got beyond third cousins; because everyone who is a native of the area tends to have the same surnames in their family tree. For me, the number of Hearnes, Ellis, Hastings, Callaways, Culvers etc is staggering so when you look at the remaining 7,700 “relatives” you have no idea how they are relatives other than they have a number of the same surnames your family tree has. In some cases there are no familiar surnames and you would have to research deep in order to find the connection.
If you were to take the DNA test results seriously you would want a second DNA test made by a different company and then you could compare the results to have a better feel for how accurate they are.