Posted by Kristen Hyde on May 15, 2017 in AncestryDNA, Research

Whether it’s finding relatives you never knew you had or making contact with the missing link in your family tree, AncestryDNA and family history can be the ultimate combo when it comes to reconnecting with long lost family – both past and present.

But what comes first – growing your tree or taking the test?

And how can both resources help you reconnect with the missing pieces or people of your past?

Get started with AncestryDNA
If you’re new to family history, AncestryDNA can be a great way to get the ball rolling. By taking the test and providing a saliva sample, we can start to piece together the picture through your ethnicity, matches and Genetic Communities results.

It’s not quite ‘family history in a tube’ but it’s a great starting point, with your results shaping who, what and where to start looking when it comes to understanding what your family history looks like. If you’re looking for a specific living relative and they’ve also taken the AncestryDNA test, this can be a key way to identify that connection.

Here, AncestryDNA spokesperson Brad Argent goes into more detail about AncestryDNA and how it can be a great resource for getting started.

How AncestryDNA and traditional research can work together
When you’re on the search for long lost family, we like to think of DNA and traditional research as being the ultimate sleuthing combo. AncestryDNA can help transform your family tree in the same way that traditional research can help transform your AncestryDNA experience.

When it comes to building your tree from scratch, start with your self and work backwards. Have a chat to your parents or immediate family members and find out as much as you can about what your living relatives remember about their cousins, uncles, and grandparents. Use this information to start finding those names and key dates in the records. Link your DNA results to your tree so you can see what common ancestors you share with your AncestryDNA Matches. These results can help point you to other Matches who might be researching a similar branch and can help you add more names or colour to your tree.

If you’re well on your way with your family tree, you might be wondering what AncestryDNA can do to help you with your research. In a similar vein, AncestryDNA Matches can be an incredibly useful tool in connecting you with new resources. That particular branch you’re stumped on, or that ancestor you can’t find any more information about, might have a living relative who holds the answers you’re missing.

Find out more in this video about how AncestryDNA and traditional research work together.

Solving the mystery of your long lost family
We talked earlier about traditional research and AncestryDNA being the ultimate sleuthing combo when it comes to searching for long lost family. But what are some real life examples of what that looks like?

Here, Brad chats to two family researchers – Miriam and Mike – about how they solved their family mysteries through AncestryDNA and how they were able to reconnect with a whole new branch of long lost family.

Kristen Hyde

Kristen is Ancestry's Social Media Manager for the United Kingdom.


  1. Hard Work

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