I did it; I’ve finally dipped my toe into the waters of the DNA testing pool. I've been holding out for some time, not because I don’t understand the value in DNA testing and how it can help your research, in fact, I encourage it. However I'm just not sure a DNA test is going to reveal any new insights for my personal situation. You might be in this same state.On the other hand, it doesn’t dismiss my desire to have that proof, as characteristic of any good genealogist.
However, with so many companies and tests on the market these days it’s hard to know where to start. It all can be a little overwhelming and so typical of me when faced with a decision, I’ve done nothing.
However, recently, I was approached by a new DNA company known as DNA-me. They offered to send me their test kit (free) as an opportunity to try out their services. I have to admit the idea of getting my feet wet for free was incentive. Now it seems like the perfect time to tell you about this new company and reveal my huhhummmm....complete lack of DNA knowledge and experience.
I understand the very basics of DNA testing and I mean basics! If I have any questions about it I generally head over to The Legal Genealogist by Judy Russell, she helps me sort it out in uncomplicated terms. I need a lot of hand-holding when it gets into DNA testing, as my lack of action in the matter is a clear indication. If you’re in the same boat, you’re in good company and feel free to flounder around with me, we will wade through this together. I apologize now for my less than scientific explanation in the remainder of this post and any further references to swimming and DNA.
First off, the DNA-me website is very easy to understand for us who are green. It was very clear to me exactly what I could expect from their test. Clearly laid out for beginners, the FAQ answered all my general questions and DNA 101 and Genetic Genealogy 101 offered clear and easy to read information for those of us on a steep learning curve.
At DNA-me there is one DNA kit. This kit includes the Y-chromosomes test -from fathers to sons, the mt-DNA -from mothers to sons and daughters, and autosomal DNA –transmitted from both parents to sons and daughters. Therefore, to get the full results of my testing I had my brother take the test because as a female I would not be able to complete the Y-chromosome portion of this test. The website shows you a demo of the test so you can see exactly what to expect from your own test.
There are no big mysteries when it comes to my ancestry. I’m confident I know how my deep ancestry roots are going to look (this is where I'll be completely proven wrong). In fact, my brother and I made a little wager. We each wrote down our predictions on how it we think it will all shake out. I will fill you in on that when the results return in a follow-up post.
DNA-me makes it very clear, they do not test STRs. STRs are a mutation in the DNA. I seriously didn't know what they were before this post, and not to be confused with STDs when googling. They (STRs) have a quicker mutation rate and are used to connect family members within a few generations. The DNA-me test deals with ancient mutations. Are you still with me?
Their test will define your Haplotype (your tribe) and relate you to a specific clan. It will give you a percentage of homology (similarity between species resulting from shared ancestry) between your DNA and various markers known to be present in specific region of the world. Their test will define your deep ancestry.
DNA-me does not keep your DNA, they won't clone you or use it in a paternity suit against you, just in case that was a concern. They do not keep a database in order to find your distant cousins, there are plenty of other companies that offer those options and they are very upfront about this component.
The kit is a reasonable $85.00 very comparable to others on the market. My test arrived on July 3rd and I quickly returned the test to get the process started. The kit contains two cheek swaps, simple to follow instructions and a return envelope. The entire process takes just a few minutes to complete. I returned swaps in the envelope provided at a cost to me of $3.00 in shipping charges. Now I wait 4-6 weeks for the results, which will be available to me online. I also received a code to login online and follow the journey of my DNA test.
DNA-me is a UK based company fully prepared to embrace the North American market. DNA-me in a green effort distributes from a US address if you are in North America. This also certainly helps to keep shipping costs and waiting times down for its customers. My test kit came from and was returned to a US address and they use a Canadian based firm for their DNA testing.
If you’re ordering from Canada on the US site, www.DNA-me.co you’ll pay a flat $5.00 shipping charge. So far the process with DNA-me has been smooth and uncomplicated, I look forward to the results and will keep you posted. If your hesitating like myself on joining the DNA testing pool, come on in, the water is fine!