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AncestryDNA Genealogy Services Review (2023)

Daniel Blechynden

In a Nutshell

Ancestry.com is one of the world’s most popular genealogical research platforms, and its genealogy services include a range of research tools. For one, you will have access to billions of US and international records. DNA testing is available if required, and there’s a powerful family tree builder to help you keep track of your research. It is a little expensive, but the value for money on offer makes it a very competitive option.

pros

  • Billions of US and international records
  • Very easy to use
  • High-quality DNA testing available

cons

  • Above-average price range
  • Can’t merge family trees

AncestryDNA AncestryDNA Visit Site

Types of Tests and Kits You Can Get from AncestryDNA

Alongside its genealogy and family research tools, which include a powerful family tree builder, Ancestry offers DNA testing for ancestry and ethnicity. There are 2 different tests you can purchase.

AncestryDNA test

The AncestryDNA test is used for simple origins tracing. It includes everything you need to take a saliva sample, return it to the lab, and have it processed. The entire genome is analyzed, which means both males and females can use Ancestry with equal results. 

You should have your results within a few weeks. These will provide insights into your ethnic roots, potential relatives, and ways in which your ancestors migrated over time.

AncestryDNA Traits test

If you want slightly more information, you can purchase the AncestryDNA Traits test. This will return the same information as the more basic AncestryDNA test, along with insights into the personality traits you may be predisposed to. 

Other Features at AncestryDNA

AncestryDNA offers highly functional DNA testing kits, but its main focus is on family tree building and genealogical research. As such, there are numerous interesting features available to those with a subscription. 

Family tree research

Ancestry comes with a wide range of family tree research tools, including full access to a variety of historical collections. These are fully searchable, contain billions of records between them, and include the following (among others). 

  • Military records

  • Immigration and travel records

  • Birth, marriage, and death information

  • Census and voter lists

  • Newspaper articles

  • Public family trees from other users

  • Photos

  • Legal documents

  • School and church documents

As you can imagine, you should be able to find plenty of useful information here. The built-in search tool is highly functional, enabling you to filter by location, time period, and various other things. However, note that these tools are only available with an Ancestry membership, which starts from $24.99 per month. 

Family tree builder 

Ancestry boasts a powerful family tree builder that enables you to easily keep track of your genealogical research. It’s only available with a premium subscription, but it sits among the most powerful builders we’ve seen. 

For example, the Ancestry Hints tool will help you fill out your tree, and you can share information with other interested parties as required. The main downside here is that Ancestry doesn’t enable you to merge your family tree with anyone else's, which means any collaboration will have to be done manually. 

Extensive international records

One thing that stands out about Ancestry when compared to similar services is its excellent international records. It contains billions of records from countries across the world, including immigration records and birth, death, and marriage information. 

Ancestry ProGenealogists

Ancestry ProGenealogists enables you to enlist the services of a professional genealogical researcher. The cost of this service varies, but it’s a useful option if you’re willing to spend a little money to help create your family tree. 

Ancestry Academy

The Ancestry Academy contains a useful selection of video tutorials detailing information about genealogical research. If you’re new to family tree building, we’d suggest taking advantage of these to ensure you get the most out of Ancestry’s research tools. 

How Much Does AncestryDNA Cost? 

A basic AncestryDNA test will cost you $99.  The AncestryDNA Traits test is a slightly more expensive option at $119, and it includes information about the personal traits you're genetically predisposed to. For example, you will receive information about your genetic predisposition to certain physical features such as hair loss and lactose intolerance. 

Alternatively, you can purchase the DNA + Family Tree Bundle for just $100. This includes DNA testing and a 3-month Ancestry.com World Explorer membership (renews at $79.95 every three months). The World Explorer membership will unlock a range of US and international records that you can use for family tree research.


AncestryDNA test

AncestryDNA Traits test

DNA + Family Tree

Price

$99

$119

$100*

Ancestry testing

Personality traits

X

X

Ancestral movement tracking

World Explorer membership

X

X

*The DNA + Family Tree subscription renews at $79.95 per 3 months after the first 3 months. 

You can also purchase an Ancestry subscription without a DNA test to access Ancestry.com’s  genealogical research tools. The US Discovery plan starts at $24.99 per month and contains access to all US records, the family tree builder, and various special collections. The World Explorer option adds international records, and an All Access subscription includes memberships to Fold3 and Newspapers.com, 2 large databases for military records and newspaper archives respectively.  


US Discovery

World Explorer

All Access

Price per month (monthly payments)

$24.99

$39.99

$59.00

Price per month (6-month commitment)

$21.99

$32.99

$49.99

All US records

Family tree builder

International records

X

Fold3 and Newspapers.com subscriptions

X

X

All things considered, AncestryDNA is a competitively-priced option for both DNA testing and genealogical services. It’s not the lowest cost we’ve seen, but the value for money is great.  

AncestryDNA coupons and promo codes

AncestryDNA offers a 14-day free trial without the need for credit card or other payment information. Discounts are also available if you sign up for a 6-month plan. 

How to Get Started With AncestryDNA

The sign-up process

Ancestry offers a 14-day free trial. To create an account, you need to add your name and email address. This is very straightforward, and you shouldn’t have any issues. If you decide to purchase a DNA test without an Ancestry subscription (this can be done at any time), you will be able to create an account during the checkout process. 

What’s in the box? 

In your AncestryDNA test kit, you will receive the following. 

  • A sample tube

  • A prepaid return envelope

  • An activation code

How to Collect Your DNA Samples

AncestryDNA provides clear instructions detailing the sample-collection process, and you should always follow these above all else. Here are the steps involved.

  • Remove the sample tube. 

  • Fill it carefully with saliva up to the line indicated.

  • Screw the cap onto the tube until you see a blue fluid released from the cap. 

  • Shake the tube for 5 seconds. 

  • Place in the provided envelope and mail back to Ancestry for analysis. 

It’s always important to be wary of contaminants when providing DNA samples. To reduce the risk of this, don’t let the inside of the sample vial come into contact with anything other than your saliva.

Getting The Results

Once you’ve sent your DNA sample off to the lab, the waiting game begins. You should activate your DNA kit immediately by entering the activation code within your kit on your Ancestry.com online profile. DNA processing won’t begin until a kit is activated. 

Within 5 weeks of mailing, you should receive a notification that AncestryDNA has received your sample, and you will receive results within 8 weeks. These are accessible on your DNA homepage, which is linked to your Ancestry.com profile. You will also find them on the mobile app if you’re using it. 

With AncestryDNA, you will primarily receive information about your ethnicity and a percentage estimate for your genetic makeup. Some users will receive information about historical changes and migration routes. Ancestry will also notify you if it notices a close genetic match in its system, which could lead to you finding long-lost family members. 

The results are presented in an intuitive, easy-to-understand format. The visual depictions are easy to understand, and you can always reach out to the Ancestry team if you have any issues.

How AncestryDNA Protects Your Privacy

AncestryDNA is a well-known and widely used DNA testing company, and its privacy policies are solid. All DNA samples are carefully protected during the testing process, and all results are fully encrypted in storage and during transit. It’s also stated that Ancestry doesn’t cooperate voluntarily with law enforcement agencies, and it will never release your genealogical or DNA data unless forced to. 

  • AncestryDNA doesn't sell or license any personal or genetic data.

  • AncestryDNA doesn't provide data to insurance companies.

  • Users can delete their data from AncestryDNA at any time.

There are DNA-sharing tools available to help you connect with potential relatives, but these are optional and you can choose what level of access you provide. There are also various other privacy tools and settings you can configure. 

Help and Support

How to contact AncestryDNA

If you need help with your account, DNA results, or anything else related to Ancestry’s services, you can reach out via phone 7 days a week from 9AM to 11PM ET. Live chat is also available, although the company states that agent availability can be sporadic on weekends and overnight. 

Despite this, we attempted to contact an agent at 11PM on a weeknight. We were connected within minutes, and they were able to answer our questions in a timely manner. 

Are FAQ pages available on AncestryDNA? 

Ancestry has a comprehensive FAQ page with more than 40 questions and answers. You will also find FAQs at the bottom of most pages on the company website. For more advanced resources, you can search the support center. 

How AncestryDNA Compares to Other DNA Testing Services


AncestryDNA Genealogical Services

MyHeritage Genealogy Services

Findmypast

OneGreatFamily

Ancestry


Price Range

$24.99 to $59.99 per month (membership), $99 to $119 (DNA test)

Free to $299 per year

From $14.95 to $19.95 per month

$14.95 per month, $79.95 per year

Best For

Advanced genealogical research

Those on a tight budget

Those with British or Irish roots

Collaborative family tree building

AncestryDNA Genealogy Services vs MyHeritage Genealogy Services

MyHeritage offers very similar services to AncestryDNA, including both DNA testing and family tree research. It lacks the volume of international records that Ancestry has, but it’s much more affordable, making it an attractive option if you’re on a tight budget.

AncestryDNA Genealogy Services vs Findmypast

Findmypast is another similar platform offering DNA testing and family tree research tools. However, it stands out because of its competitive subscription prices and the vast amount of British and Irish records in its databases. Because of this, it’s a good option if you have British or Irish roots. 

AncestryDNA Genealogy Services vs OneGreatFamily

OneGreatFamily is quite a unique family tree research tool. It enables you to perform research and start building your own family tree in much the same way Ancestry does. The interesting part is that all family trees are merged to form a giant public tree that’s accessible to anyone. This makes OneGreatFamily an excellent option for collaborative genealogy, although it’s worth noting that it offers no DNA testing services. 

AncestryDNA AncestryDNA Visit Site

Is AncestryDNA worth it? 

AncestryDNA is one of the world’s leading genealogical research platforms, and it’s easy to see why. It offers a large selection of tools, a powerful family tree builder, and DNA kits that provide insights into your ancestry and ethnicity. 

With a premium membership, you will be able to access billions of US and international records with the powerful search tool. A membership with Ancestry will cost you more than with many of its competitors, but you really get what you pay for here. 

At the end of the day, we’d recommend signing up for an Ancestry account and taking advantage of the free trial to see if it’s right for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions
How much does AncestryDNA Genealogy Services cost?
-
+
A basic Ancestry DNA genealogy services membership will set you back $24.99 per month. This provides access to all US records. For international record access, you will pay $39.99 per month, and including memberships to Fold3 and Newspapers.com raises the price to $59.99 per month. Discounts are available if you sign up for 6 months in advance, and DNA test kits cost $99 to $119 each.
What makes AncestryDNA Genealogy Services special?
-
+
AncestryDNA has one of the largest resource libraries of any genealogical research company. Its family tree builder is among the best we’ve seen, and it offers high-quality DNA ancestry testing.
What’s included in an AncestryDNA Genealogy subscription?
-
+
A basic AncestryDNA subscription includes access to the family tree builder, a powerful search tool, and billions of US records. Upgrading to the middle tier adds access to international records, and the high-end plan includes memberships for Fold3 and Newspapers.com.
Contributing to many popular websites, Daniel’s writing focuses on technology, science, and dependable reviews. He holds degrees in Chemistry and Marine Science from the University of Western Australia and has been a regular critic of software, web hosting, website builders, and a variety of other tech products and services for several years, leaning on his academic background for rigor in research and writing.

AncestryDNA customer reviews

Based on 53 reviews

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

Top Reviews

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

1 years ago

It was super simple and results only took two weeks max to find out! I was surprised at how fast I received my results

1 years ago

It was an easy process that only took a few minutes. The results were similar to my biological sister's so I know they were accurate

1 years ago

I think they are getting right results and their network is very fast

1 years ago

I believe it is trustworthy and fairly reliable. It is also very informative.

1 years ago

I do think the cost is a little high for those on a fixed income. I have subscribed for the 6 month enrollment when it is offered for half price.

1 years ago

I believe they are keeping my information private and/ by not selling my information.

1 years ago

The procedure to give the sample was easy to follow. I got my results in the time frame they gave. Their site made it easy to interpret my results and go from there.

1 years ago

The test was easy to use and results were received in a reasonable amount of time. I get frequent updates on new possible relatives. I especially liked the health issues identified via my DNA.

1 years ago

I like the services they provide for DNA sequencing and figuring out the percentages a person has from different ethnicities. I also like the record keeping they have and how it can be added to the family tree. I have also met family through their services.

1 years ago

It was easy to use and the results were faster then quoted. It was very nice

1 years ago

AncestryDNA helped me find my fathers biological family the test was easy and results came in quick and the app is easy to navigate

1 years ago

Easy to use. Lots of resources. Would be great if cost lower and if international access easier.

1 years ago

Have used it off and on for years. Easy to use, informative, good value. Appreciate when they offer discounts for the memberships.

1 years ago

Ancestry is a little pricey due it's services. I understand it helps people find out things that we can't find out on our own but some people don't have the money to find out who their grandmother is

2 years ago

Ancestry has a good easy interface and easy to use tools thats why I like it.

2 years ago

I had to take a DNA test because I found out that I thought I had a half sister in texas and my daughter talked me into taking the test to see if she was kin and it came back that I was closely related to her

2 years ago

I liked how easy it is and quick. It's a good service and a good and easy way to connect

2 years ago

Ancestry and its DNA kit have both been great tools for the unearthing of the forgotton aspects of my familys' history.

2 years ago

I was given an Ancestry.com kit last Christmas as a present by my daughter. I found out that I was 64 percent southern Swedish.

2 years ago

Very easy and straightforward process of collecting your DNA sample. Once the results are back, you can do deeper research on your roots.

53 reviews