Ancestry DNA is one big reason I found my birth family after looking off and on for 36 years. I had written and called and hired a company to find my family without any results. Then I saw a story about Ancestry DNA that said that someone had found their birth family using Ancestry DNA and I thought maybe it would work for me. Until then, I didn’t realize all the information that was available now through DNA. I didn’t know that I would send in the test and a few weeks later I would see pages and pages filled with hundreds of people it said were my cousins. I had cousins!!! I couldn’t believe it. I went on to download the DNA into tools that helped me sort out family and narrow down results but having those cousin matches and being able to see their family trees and being able to contact them made all the difference.
In comparison to 23andMe, there seems to be a lot higher response rate to requests for information from matches. Common opinion is that since the results have been on there since 2007, may of the people originally joined to get health information not because they were interested in genealogy.
Ancestry DNA is easy to use and there is a small learning curve. They make it easy to see who you match, see their family tree if they have one, and easy to contact your matches. It is also easy to download your raw DNA to load into more complex tools.
One of the big downsides is that Ancestry doesn’t have a Chromosome Browser. This is a big gap, but not enough to change it from being the top rated DNA site to use if you are adopted or a birth parent looking for family.
There is an ancestry break down that will give you percentages of ethnic make-up. It isn’t totally accurate, the Genetic Ethnicity Summary consistently overestimates the Central European and Scandinavian ancestral components for people whose ancestors were from the British Isles.
Ancestry DNA tests 682,549 SNP’s of DNA which is comparable to other sites. It has over 1 million people in it’s data base and according to its third quarter reports the sales of DNA kits was double over this time last year, so their database is growing fast. The DNA matches section shos you new matches and I have new matches showing up almost every time I log in.
Because of the low price, big database, fast results, and ease of use, I recommend Ancestry DNA if you can only afford one test. Use the tools it provides, then use GEDMatch.com and DNAGED.com to view your Chromosomes and do further research. You can also upload your DNA from Ancestry to Family Tree DNA for $39 and enjoy their tools and fish in their large pool for more matches.