Have you taken the next step in your genealogy adventure? Do you now have your DNA testing result and want to know what to do next? Well, here I will discuss how your results can help you on your journey. Interested? Then please read on.
Your results can tell you a lot about your ancestors.
Acknowledgment: I must acknowledge Family History Daily for their 4 Things You Should Do With Your DNA Results post which inspired me to write this guide.
What can they say?
Firstly, they can tell you where they came from.
And secondly, they can give you clues as to where you need to concentrate next with your genealogy research.
There are other benefits as well which I will discuss further in this post.
Within this post, I will show you what you need to consider next once you’ve got your results.
And how you can use your results to progress further with your family history research.
Discussed in this post:
- Understand and Interpret Your Results
- Connect With Relatives
- Protect Your Results
- Check Out 3rd Party DNA Sites
- My Final Thoughts
Understand and Interpret Your Results
Choosing the right DNA test kit may have taken you a while. You wanted to choose the one that would give you the results that you desired.
Getting your kit, taking the test, sending off a sample of your saliva, and waiting for the results must have felt like it took ages.
You probably think that the wait was the hardest part. Just want would the results revealed to you, and can help you at all?
Waiting can be hard
Depending on which kit you ordered you could wait as little as 3-4 weeks. Or, if you wanted more comprehensive test results then it could be as long as 12 weeks.
Can you imagine what it’s like to wait 3 whole months wondering what your saliva says about your ancestry?
You may wonder if it is indeed worth waiting so long. Well, I can say that there are benefits to waiting to receive your Living DNA test results.
What does it all mean?
But now the wait is over and you have got your results. You’re probably wondering what your results even mean.
What is with all the percentages, estimates, maps, and all the other bits of information telling you?
Taking the test is just one step in the process.
You need to understand what the results can tell you and how can it help you progress with your genealogy research.
You probably have a lot of questions, such as:
- How accurate are your results?
- How do I interpret my ethnicity results?
- What are trace regions?
- Why are my results different from the rest of my family?
- Why don’t my results match what I expected?
And there are probably more questions that you want answers to.
If this is the case for you then you will want to check out my How To Interpret Your Ancestry DNA Test Results post. There you will find answers to those questions and more.
Get help direct
Or, you can always check out the website where you ordered your DNA testing kit.
From there you will likely find helpful articles, video tutorials, and member forums.
And if you can’t find the help that you need then you can always contact the company directly via their support team. This is usually done by filling out an online form, chatting online, or sending an email.
Connect With Relatives
I have already touched upon what results that you can expect. They can as I’ve said include ethnicity estimates, and also tell you your ancestors’ haplogroup, and show you the migration of your ancestors.
Got a match? We’re related!
Through DNA testing you can also be matched with other people who have taken the same test as you.
Once you are granted access to your results online you should be able to see who your match-ups are, i.e. your distant relatives.
Please do not be disheartened if you only have a few of these connections at first. You may even have none at all.
Remember it will take time for your cousins to take the next step in the genealogy adventure and take a DNA test. So, connections may be slow, to begin with.
Benefits of connecting
On that note, AncestryDNA is the most popular choice among many people around the world. No doubt this is because everyone has most probably heard of them.
So for that reason, there is a better chance of making a connection through this company than with any other.
And of course, the other benefit of choosing Ancestry is that you can access billions of genealogical records as well, (this though will require an additional subscription to this service).
For me though the main benefit is the sharing of information with your ‘new-found’ relation. I have learned so much about my ancestors through the collaboration with my cousins.
I was able to fill in the gaps in my knowledge about them. Information such as names, dates, and places, which I could plug into my family tree.
Not only could I get much-needed information but also receive documents from them as well. This could ultimately save me both time and money.
There are also the stories of our ancestors that we can share with our long-lost cousins.
Genealogy is a sharing hobby, so I hope that you reciprocate and tell your cousins what you know about your ancestors.
How do I contact my relatives?
In my view, there are a few protocols, or rather an etiquette, that you need to follow when contacting your cousins. You don’t want to blindly piece together a message cramming every bit of family history research.
They will not want to be bombarded with all the facts, just yet anyway.
Just ease in slowly and explain how you two are connected, or maybe how you think you two are connected.
One other piece of advice that I would like to share is for you not to expect too much from your match.
They may not have any new information that they can share with you.
Or, they may not want to make contact at all. Yes, some people just want to be on their own and work on their family tree by themselves.
Please watch this!
The following 16-minute video is presented by family historian Vivien Brown. The video will walk you through the process of contacting your match-ups and how to get the most from this helpful feature.
Credit: Vivien Brown
You can check out my 10 Tips For Contacting Your Ancestry DNA Matches post for more useful tips and advice.
Protect Your Results
Besides discovering what your DNA results can reveal and possibly making connections as well you will also want to protect your information.
You don’t want any person reading your results. Anonymity will be a high priority for you.
You may though be willing to share information with your cousins. After all, they can help you further with your genealogy research as I have just mentioned.
Adjust your settings
For that reason, there are settings that you can change within your online account. So, whichever company you have decided upon you can set them so that your results are public, private, or only shared with cousins.
And the level of information shared with your cousins can be limited too.
What about the company’s responsibility?
You will also want the DNA company to take their part and protect your information.
Luckily for you, this is one concern that is paramount with the best DNA companies that I have reviewed so far on this site.
They understand that you do not want anyone to hack into your account and steal your information. For that reason, you can rely on the fact that their servers are secure.
And also they will not share your information with any third party. Any respectable DNA company will not do that.
If you are concerned about the sharing of your information then please read their terms and conditions.
Yes, I know that they can be boring but it is your information and you want to know what is being done with it.
Check Out 3rd Party DNA Sites
Now I know what you’re thinking. Why am I mentioning 3rd party sites? I have just said that most reputable companies WILL NOT share your information.
So, why am I telling you that you should check them out?
Well, quite simply they can reveal even more information based on the results that you upload to their site.
I do not recommend that you upload your DNA results to any company that you find on the Internet though.
Who knows what they will do with your information?
For that reason, I have reviewed five 3rd party sites that you can check out.
And the best thing is that their service is completely free!
Please watch this!
Before you continue reading this helpful guide please check out the following short 10-minute video.
In the video, Andy Lee from Family History Fanatics shows you exactly how to download your DNA test results and upload them to Gedmatch.
Credit: Family History Fanatics
Please check out my Where To Upload Raw DNA Data For Free post for further guidance.
My Final Thoughts
DNA testing is generally regarded as the next step in the genealogy journey. The first few steps are to create a family tree and explore all sorts of resources that can help you build on your knowledge of your ancestors.
Once you have built an extensive tree DNA testing is in my opinion the next step.
Why take the test?
You may want to try a DNA test because you want to know more about your ancestors, or you may have hit a brick wall in your research.
It could though be for both reasons.
Either way DNA testing can help you on your journey.
I do want to point out that you may be unhappy with your DNA results. Or you may not match up with anyone at first when you take the test.
The important thing is to wait, (or learn to wait). After all, you’ve waited this long for your results, so you can at least wait a little longer.
But why wait?
Well, the science behind this science is improving all the time. So, as you wait you will get more accurate results in the future.
More precise details about your ancestors will mean that you can better use these clues and discover more about them through conventional means, i.e. searching and obtaining records and documents.
And also by waiting you can expect to find more match-ups to show up in your online account.
Above all use DNA testing as a tool to discover your ancestors, and have fun with it.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
I hope you enjoyed reading my guide for what to do when you get your DNA testing result. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.
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