My Ancestry DNA results arrived in my inbox this morning, and excited doesn’t accurately describe how I felt when my eyes landed on the results. Like most African Americans (I say African with an extra umph of confidence now), finding out history is a bit tougher than…say…those whose families were NOT kidnapped from their native lands to build up a country that was never created to benefit them…
But I digress. Let’s stay on topic.
Thankfully, advancements in science have allowed every day citizens like you and me to have access to DNA testing tools that can tell us our ethnicity. I decided to take advantage of these advancements and here is the process laid out below:
On October 8, 2016 I order a $99 DNA testing kit from www.AncestryDNA.com.
Now I’ve long been interested in knowing my ethnic make-up so, naturally, I paid the additional cost to expedite my shipping (I also had a $12 OFF coupon, though I can’t recall where I got it – sorry).
My test arrived in about three days (even though I paid for two, but that was USPS’s fault).
The kit includes instructions, a tube for your soul (just kidding, it’s for your saliva – which they use to capture your soul! Ok seriously, just kidding…they need this to extract your DNA), and return postage.
The process is simple.
First you have to register your kit so they can connect your kit to you once it arrives. This is important, if you don’t activate your kit, you can’t receive your results.
Then, you’ll need to work up enough saliva to fill the tube. It’s important to make sure you haven’t eaten, drank or smoke anything within the 30 minutes before you took your test – to be on the safe side, I waited an hour.
Once filled, the second hardest part is twisting the cap so the blue solution mixes with your saliva so it can do some kind of science magic to ensure your sample is ready for use in the lab.
I used USPS.com to schedule a pick-up at my front door and waited patiently for my envelope to arrive back at the lab. Note: Patiently means I checked Ancestry.com every day twice a day to see if it arrived – EVEN THOUGH they said they’d send an email to let me know when it arrived. Obsession, don’t judge me.
Three days later (FINALLY! GEESH!) I received an email letting me know my test arrived safely (it normally takes a bit longer to arrive at the center but I paid for expedited shipping so my return was quicker).
Then came the wait…..
And I waited…..
And I waited…
THREE PAINSTAKINGLY SLOW WEEKS OF ME CHECKING THE SITE ALMOST DAILY…SEVERAL TIMES A DAY….LATER (totally being a spoiled brat here, the test normally takes six-to-eight weeks or more to complete, my test was ready in three weeks and four days! LOOK AT YHVH!) I RECEIVED THE EMAIL I’D BEEN WAITING FOR:
YES!!! And here there it was. I could identify which regions of the world determined my ethnic identity , no longer would only be left to speculate, I actually know!
My make-up is majority African – from the Ivory Coast/Ghana, Nigeria, Southeastern Bantu, Senegal and a little bit of other regions – and a small part European – primarily from Great Britain, a tad Jewish (who knew?), a touch of Ireland too.
As if this wasn’t overwhelming enough, Ancestry also connects you with potential relatives based on your DNA matches (they have to also have taken the test to show up in your DNA matches). Last checked, I had 169 potential relatives to sort through based on my DNA data! Amazing!
I think it’s really cool that the Source of all could allow man to create a technique that allows someone like me, not wealthy, not connected, access to such a valuable test. In the past, these types of things were relegated to the most connected or at best, wealthy.
I look forward to see what else I’ll learn about my family now that I’ve taken this test!
First stop….Post Office.
Time to get that new passport so I can start planning the trip to the lands of my ancestors.
If you’ve been thinking about it, stop thinking and go ahead and order your test here! (note, I do receive referral credit in the form of an Amazon Gift Card when you sign up through my link. It’s just a bonus for spreading the word).