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9 wild things you can discover from a DNA test

15 November 2017
by Ancestry

Thinking about taking one of those DNA tests you’ve heard about on TV or seen advertised online?

Get ready for what could be a wild (and amazing) ride. Here are 9 discoveries regular ol’ people have made after taking a DNA test.

You could find out you’re Irish

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Two out of three AncestryDNA test takers have come up with at least 5 percent Irish in their ethnicity results.

One group of coworkers held a contest to see who was the most Irish. And the winner actually grew up in Australia.

*You could also learn that you have ancestors from any of the 500+ other regions around the world.

You could find out you’re not as Irish as you thought

Anna was bummed to find out she was the least Irish of her sisters, even though she loves St. Patrick’s Day the most.

How can two siblings have ethnicity estimates that don’t match?

The DNA we inherit from each parent is completely random, so unless you’re an identical twin, your DNA profile won’t be exactly the same as a sibling’s.

(That could explain a lot about your little brother…)

You could find a new sibling

Wendy was 29 and Lisa 28 when they met for the first time last summer. Wendy had been adopted as a baby.

Lisa was discovered when she was a few hours old, wrapped in a blanket and left where someone would find her. She was later adopted as well. Neither knew she had a sister until they each happened to take an AncestryDNA test.

Wendy and Lisa
Wendy and Lisa found each other via DNA testing

They decided to meet in Yellowstone, a place neither had been, to share a new experience together. Wendy drove in from Pennsylvania, and Lisa flew from California.

And how’s this for strange coincidences: They both have the same middle name, and both play the banjo.

…or find a parent

You could also find a parent. Becky found her mom. Becky was adopted at age 2 and hadn’t thought much about finding her birth parents until she was older and started wondering about her family’s health history.

So her husband ordered a DNA test from Ancestry. The results came back with a match indicating that Becky had a cousin named Lisa who probably shared a grandparent. It was Lisa who revealed that Becky’s mother was alive and well—and living only hours away in Miami.

Becky’s first phone conversation with her mom lasted 4 hours. They met in person last year on Mother’s Day.

You could find a 300-year-old ancestor who never took a DNA test

How does that work? AncestryDNA compares your test to other people who have taken the test, and if those other people have an online family tree, it looks for ancestors you might share.

Gloria got a message saying she could be related to a Joseph Good who was born in Virginia in the late 1700s. She’d never heard of him.

But with a little digging, she discovered that Joseph was her 4x great-grandfather.

Did we mention that Gloria was from Honduras and family legend said her great-grandfather was an American who was shot by his brother and buried in Honduras? Legend proved true, with the help of DNA.

You could discover where some of your African ancestors came from

Forty years ago, Alex Haley, the author of the acclaimed novel that spawned the miniseries Roots, told the story of an ancestor from Gambia.

Finding your African roots was a rare thing back then. But now DNA testing has helped thousands of African Americans get some idea of where their African ancestors came from.

Aisha DNA results
Aisha’s test revealed interesting insights

For Aisha, the millionth person to take the AncestryDNA test, that included modern-day Nigeria and Cameroon.

You could find a cousin you didn’t know—at your office…

It happens. One set of cousins worked in the same department and had no idea they were related.

Another employee discovered that the woman across the aisle from her was related to her husband — and thus her son, who has since joined their Fitbit challenge group.

…or find a cousin next door

After looking at her DNA test results, Susan discovered that her neighbor of 20 years was also her second cousin. Small world, isn’t it?

You could make a new friend—or lots of them

Nicka and Crista are both professional genealogists who never imagined they were cousins until they took a DNA test. And now they’re friends, all thanks to a DNA test.

Nicka and Crista were coworkers who discovered they were cousins with a DNA test

There’s no blood required, so it doesn’t even hurt (in case you were wondering). Just a quick saliva test.

That’s all it takes to unlock a world of discovery waiting inside you—and a world of connections you never imagined.

Are you ready to try AncestryDNA? You never know who’s waiting.



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