Somehow at RootsTech a couple weeks ago, I went from planning to take zero DNA tests to taking three tests. You may know from other posts that I have tested many relatives on AncestryDNA: both parents, one grandparent (on FTDNA), one great aunt, one great uncle, two uncles, and one aunt. However, I have never really felt a need to test myself. In the beginning I decided to get the most bang for my buck by testing both of my parents, at which point testing myself was an unnecessary expense.
In the last few years competition and volume demand has driven down the price of commercial DNA tests and additional features from providers and third-party tools has increased the value of the results for genetic genealogy. With the popularity of chromosome mapping, it is now especially appealing to add my own DNA results to my portfolio.
I know what you’re thinking, “Surely three DNA tests is overkill!” And I assure you I didn’t plan on it!
This all started when I was moving recently and realized I still had three AncestryDNA tests that I had purchased at RootsTech last year that hadn’t been activated. Two relatives had refused to test and one road trip to meet a new cousin had been purely wishful thinking. I decided that I should probably just take one of the tests for myself.
Then I went to RootsTech where I, along with thousands of other people, heard the pitch that LivingDNA gave during the general session. Although I had kind of written the company off as a less-than-useful test for me, the promise of new features to come was admittedly persuasive. I figured that $49 wasn’t a fortune to spend on a new toy, so I queued up with the rest of the hoards on Wednesday night and snagged myself a test. Bonus: I also made a new friend while standing in line for over an hour!
Finally, I attended the MyHeritage After Party on Friday night. Daniel Horowitz attended the NextGen meetup the night before and invited us to join the party. It was a fantastic event and I am so glad he extended an invitation to us! While there I won the first raffle drawing of the evening, and the prize included a MyHeritage DNA test. I was thrilled to say the least. I have uploaded existing tests to the website, but this will be the first test I have administered from the company.
So as you can see it was entirely not my fault that I will be mailing off three DNA tests this week! Nevertheless, I can’t wait to get the results and play around with all the new features. I will report back when I have some results for comparison, as you know I love to do! (Exhibit A and Exhibit B)
Which companies have you tested with and why? Share your decisions in the comments!