How to Deal With Unexpected DNA Ancestry Results
Companies market DNA ancestry tests as a great way to find information about your ancestors. They’re very useful for many people, and it’s especially nice to have the results when you’ve been confused about your heritage, such as when you’re adopted, or you don’t have any living ties to biological relatives. These DNA ancestry tests are becoming more and more widely-used, and yet people sometimes get an answer back that they were completely unprepared for.
There are obviously limitations to DNA ancestry testing, but when you were promised one thing and didn’t get it, it can be a resounding shock. How do you handle that shock? Here are some things to do before you start worrying if everything your family ever told you about your ancestry is a lie.
Look at your results carefully
The brightly-colored report that you’ll get back might look surprising, and it might have a significant amount of information that you weren’t expecting. But that eye-catching report isn’t the full story. The company wants to make your results as easy for you to interpret as possible because they want to make sure that you get the general, basic picture. And with the way that DNA ancestry testing works, it’s not unlikely that the pamphlet explaining your percentages is a little off — or even a substantial amount off.
When you get the results, it’s important to read them along with any other information that came with them. Understanding the complexities of DNA ancestry testing can help you understand why certain percentages are showing up under certain places, why your test results are differing from your close family members’ results, and why you’re not seeing ancestry that you know you have. Even though it’s showing you a different picture than you expected, it could be that you’re not seeing the picture accurately.
Test with multiple companies
Each company interprets your genetic information differently, and that means you’ll get different results from each company. The best way to get a full picture is to test with as many large-scale genetic ancestry companies as possible so that you can combine your results and get a better picture overall. For example, if something shows up as a fairly low but still significant percentage on one test, it might worry you and make you wonder if your family is hiding something. But if you take two more tests and upload your information to three websites, and none of them come back with any percentage of that ethnicity, it could be a variation in the genes that they use to test.
Talk to your family
Even though it’s possible that your misreading or finding a discrepancy in an ancestry test, it might also be that there is something your family has been keeping from you. When you have the results of an ancestry test in front of you, you might be able to coax more information from your family than they’ve told you in the past. It’s more irrefutable, and if you’re the one asking the questions, it might be easier to tell you the truth than if they were to approach you. If one or two family members deny knowledge of anything, don’t give up; it’s okay to ask multiple family members about your genealogy and see if anyone has any information.
Look for family members you didn’t know about
There are plenty of forums and websites dedicated to helping people find long-lost cousins and family members through their genetic ancestry tests. Even if all you can get is a full name with no contact information, PeopleFinders can help you find a way to contact them. Their people search function allows you to find information about people using their first and last name, and if you do find someone and want to meet up with them, you can do a background check to ensure that it’ll be safe to see them. Finding lost family members is easier than ever, and PeopleFinders can help.
Getting your DNA ancestry results can be exciting and thrilling, but getting information you weren’t prepared for can be extremely confusing. It might be confusion in interpreting the results or an error on the part of the company, but there’s always the chance that the unexpected results are correct. PeopleFinders can help you deal with that possibility, and find anyone that you would never have met without your DNA ancestry test. It’s a great way to bridge the gap between who you thought you were and what you’ve discovered about your heritage.
Categorized in: People Data