And they certainly have been: people from across the globe have been excitedly spitting into tubes in order to trace their lineage. But in the UK especially, there might be even more reasons to get excited about the prospects.
According to The Guardian, inhabitants of England have a better chance of being descended from royal blood than other countries. Why? Because intermarriage between royalty and the lower classes was much more common than in other areas. According to UC Davis’s Gregory Clark, “A large share of the modern English will be related to someone in the past who was part of the nobility.” On the other end of the spectrum, meanwhile, DNA tests that were run on King Richard III's remains a few years back set off a genealogical investigation, ultimately raising questions about the very Queen’s claim to the throne.
Royalty isn’t the only reason we’re searching, though. Whether out of a desire to find long-lost relatives, a sense of curiosity about our backgrounds, or yes, even a hope that kings and queens are dangling from the branches of our family tree, more and more people are using DNA kits for answers. Here are some of the best DNA kits for finding British ancestry.
- 21 categories for the British Isles
- Breaks down results into different regions of the UK
- Autosomal, Mitochondrial, and YDNA tests bundled into one
- Traces both parents’ lines
Out of a total of 80 regions that Living DNA breaks the world into, the British Isles occupy 21 of them. Off the bat, that means that LivingDNA is the most comprehensive DNA test kit for those in the UK, offering a detailed look into where users hail from. That’s not all that separates them though; they offer the 3 types of DNA tests—autosomal, mitochondrial, and YDNA (if you’re a male)—into one bundle, which costs less and provides a well-rounded glimpse into your past.
LivingDNA’s easy process entails cheek swabs over saliva samples, meaning you can test your infant or elderly parent. The website offers helpful resources for before taking the test as well as interpreting your results. Unlike other ancestry sites, however, LivingDNA doesn’t help you identify or reach out to relatives.
- Backed by ancestry.com
- Huge and diverse database
- Helps you connect with living relatives across the world
In 2016, Ancestry used data from its DNA tests to determine what the “most British” area in the UK was. The answer: Yorkshire. Whether or not you agree with their findings, Ancestry’s willingness to narrow in on the UK with such a detailed and in-depth report shows how seriously the company takes its job in general, and the UK as a source for DNA information in specific. Indeed the study analyzed the genetic history of 2 million people to come up with its results, which reported that even though Yorkshire’s residents can boast 41% Anglo-Saxon ancestry, the average UK resident closely trails at 36.94%.
For users in the UK as well as the rest of the world, Ancestry has proven to be a heavyweight in the field of DNA testing. It boasts over 10 million users and the largest database, which contributes to its reputation as the go-to site for accurate results on where you come from and who you’re related to. Ancestry encourages you to be active with your results as well, offering comprehensive follow-up opportunities that you can use to build family trees, identify prestigious relatives from the past, and identify and meet living relatives across the globe.
23 and Me
- Health results can offer insight into genetic dispositions
- Family tree results with relative matches
- Responsive customer service support
UK residents interested in learning more about their health will be hard-pressed to find a better service than 23andMe. While the company compares favorably to the other leading DNA kits on the market, they have the distinction of being the only one to offer this service, making them the top choice for those interested in tracing their familial roots alongside potential health predispositions. 23andMe’s health reports can give you insight into your genetic dispositions and keep you one step ahead of potential conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, late-onset Alzheimer’s, and type 2 diabetes. On a lighter note, reports can predict traits such as muscle composition, eye color, and hair type.
23andMe can stand up to the competition in plenty of other ways, making it a solid choice across the board. In addition to DNA testing, it offers cutting-edge innovations such as inheritance tracing and chromosome breakdowns, which can tell you which world populations different pieces of your DNA originated from.
Discover Your British Heritage with a DNA Test Kit
Whether you discover a link to royalty or not, your DNA results are no less interesting and important to who you are. Whether you live in the UK now, or just have British roots, find out about who your forebears were with a home DNA test kit that has a good database of British ancestral information.