You might be wondering what all the hype is about DNA testing for family history research and ethnicity. Ancestry and 23 and Me made a big push over the holidays and lowered their prices considerably as an incentive. I’ve had great good luck meeting new cousins as a result of DNA testing (many of them with Gloucester connections). When I share the stories with family members, I realize there are misconceptions about what DNA testing can tell you. I’m no expert, but I can share my own experience.
The biggest surprise for people hearing about new cousins as a result of testing through Ancestry is that the test results can connect you with actual people in addition to giving you an idea about ethnicity. Time and time again I heard “You mean it connects you with people too?” Yes, it connects you with potential cousins and it’s glorious when that happens!
Ancestry test results not only provide you with potential cousins and that famous pie chart for ethnic background, but also with historic context about migration patterns of people that share ethnicity. Mine are Irish fishermen who settled in Gloucester and Ancestry could provide some historical background into the common factors that forced the Irish out and how they may have found their way to Cape Ann. This kind of knowledge greatly enriches the stories of the ancestors I’ll never get to know personally.
Ancestry DNA testing usually costs $99 but is often discounted, especially around holidays like Mothers Day and Fathers Day. If you are considering it, I’d wait and watch for discounted pricing, perhaps as low as $69. If you decide to have DNA tested, I encourage you to further consider adding family tree information so that potential cousins (like me) can contact you!!! I’d love to meet you, Gloucester cousin!
This link seems to provide some good general information in DNA testing if you are interested.