Ancestry Testing Reviews for Genetic Testing Laboratories

At a Glance

Editor's Rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Customer Service:
4 out of 5 stars
Clarity of Results:
4 out of 5 stars
References Cited:
4 out of 5 stars
Value for Money:
2 out of 5 stars

Summary

To summarise, the Ancestral Origins™ test from Genetic Testing Laboratories definitely produced a high quality personalised chart. In terms of the down sides, I felt the written report could be improved upon and the website was a little misleading.

I wouldn’t say this test was the most sophisticated on the market but I would still recommend it to someone with an interest in their ancestry.

Full Review

There was a selection of genetic ancestry tests on the Genetic Testing Laboratories website, these included maternal and paternal lineage tests and an Ancestral Origins™ test. I decided to take the Ancestral Origins™ test which would report on the DNA I've inherited from both sides of my family.

Product Expectations

The website said that Ancestral Origins™ was the most sophisticated and easy to understand genetic ancestry test available. I was told I’d receive a high resolution chart illustrating my unique ‘GeoGenetic’ heritage by region and population group, and an example of the chart was shown so I could see what I’d receive. There was also the option to discuss my results with a professional for an extra fee.

I was surprised to see that only the price of the Ancestral Origins™ testing kit was shown at the top of the page - an asterisk indicated there were additional fees for the rest of the test. These extra fees were detailed in the 4th paragraph as ‘lab processing’, but it would have been easier to see the full cost at the top so I didn’t have to search for extra charges.

Ordering Experience

The ordering process was fairly easy but at one point during payment my browser warned me I was being sent to an unsecure page which was disconcerting. First class delivery was included for free and I received the kit the next day.

To pay the lab processing fee I had to include my credit card details (with security code) on a form when returning the kit, this was also unsettling. After sending off my samples I received confirmation that they’d reached the lab after four working days.

Results Section: Ancestral Origins™ Chart

I received the Ancestral Origins™ results within two weeks in a cardboard storage tube – it contained the report and chart as promised. The chart was 17 × 10.6 inches in size and printed in colour on glossy photographic paper (shown below).

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The Ancestral Origins™ chart.

The Ancestral Origins™ chart.

It included material that explained the 'modern' populations that my DNA was matched to (my Population Matches), the 'ancient' populations my DNA was matched to (my Native Region Matches), and the strength of these matches.

In addition to information about my own ancestry, the chart contained a 'Population Match' map that showed the modern day location of other populations and where they originated (shown below) – I found this really interesting.

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My Population Match map.

My Population Match map.

Graphs were shown that clearly indicated my DNA was matched to Northern and Southern European populations, and to European immigrants. The strength of each match was shown alongside.

Results Section: Written Report

The written report was a little difficult to read as the pages were curled from being stored in the tube. It started by explaining some of the terms used on the chart and gave some advice for understanding historical migration patterns. The report went on to detail my ‘Personal Profile’ and my ‘Top Personal Matches’. I couldn’t help but notice the poor printing quality of the nine page report.

Results Section: Personal Profile

My personal profile was a colourful table titled ‘STR DNA Profile’ (shown below), which is the equivalent of my genetic fingerprint. I was told this was an internationally recognised format for genetic profiles should another company need to reference it in the future.

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My STR DNA Profile.

My STR DNA Profile.

Results Section: Top Personal Matches

My top regional population matches were with Southern Europe (8 populations), Northern Europe (7 populations) and with European immigrants (5 populations). I was interested to see that I was more closely matched with Southern European populations than with Northern European populations, as my family are all from the UK!

I was then shown a 'Regional Affiliation Reference Map' (shown below) which displayed the location of 15 anthropological regions. These regions were included in the ‘Focused GeoGenetic Database’ and had been used to calculate my results. This was pretty hard to understand at first and I wished this map and its explanation had been clearer.

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The Regional Affiliation Reference Map.

The Regional Affiliation Reference Map.

I was then given my top personal population matches which were more specific (shown below). These were with Dutch, French, British, Italian, Irish and Portuguese populations, with populations from the Canary Islands, and immigrants from Australia. I wasn’t sure if my ancestors had been of these nationalities, or if they had been part of a population group that eventually spread to these areas.

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My top personal population matches.

My top personal population matches.

The report also included information about historical migration over the past 150,000 years. There were all sorts of maps, theories and explanations, some of which were interesting and informative, others that were difficult to understand and contained terms that weren’t explained. I could see an effort had been made to pull lots of information into the report, but it felt inconsistent at times and was let down by some poor quality images.

Summary

To summarise, the Ancestral Origins™ test from Genetic Testing Laboratories definitely produced a high quality personalised chart. In terms of the down sides, I felt the written report could be improved upon and the website was a little misleading.

I wouldn’t say this test was the most sophisticated on the market but I would still recommend it to someone with an interest in their ancestry.

See a description of this DNA test from Genetic Testing Laboratories >