Ancestry Testing Reviews for Oxford Ancestors

At a Glance

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

Summary

Overall, I found the Oxford Ancestors maternal MatriLine DNA test and paternal Y-Clan Classic DNA test to be very informative. The material was well explained but I was disappointed that only the certificates were personalised, and that a sticky gold star had been used to indicate my clans.

Full Review

The Oxford Ancestors website was straightforward and helpful, and offered several types of ancestry test: A ‘Tribes of Britain’ test, participation in the ‘Y-Clan Classic Surname Project’, a maternal ‘MatriLine’ DNA test, and a paternal ‘Y-Clan Classic’ DNA test. It was possible to purchase both maternal and paternal tests at a discount, so I took this option for a view of my maternal and paternal lineage.

Product Expectations

The website showed I would receive a readout of part of my maternal ‘mitochondrial’ DNA sequence, a copy of my paternal Y chromosome signature, and a full explanation of the scientific procedures used for the analysis. I was told I’d also receive certificates showing which maternal and paternal clans I’m descended from (examples of which were on the website), information about the history and geographical distribution of these clans, and potentially find living relatives.

Ordering Experience

The ordering process was simple and there were no hidden fees - I received the kit within five working days as stated on the website. It was a shame that after sending off the samples, I wasn't sent confirmation that they’d reached the lab.

The Results

The paternal results came within four weeks of sending off the samples, and my maternal results within six weeks. This was well within the time period stated on the website.

Results Section: Paternal Results

The paternal results consisted of a personal letter, a Y-Clan certificate, a map of paternal clan migration over time, a diagram showing which clans were made up of various tribes from the British Isles, a one-page ‘Poisson distribution’ document, and a 12-page report to help me understand the results.

The Y-Clan certificate (shown below) showed the different paternal clans and the geographical regions they were associated with – my paternal clan was identified as 'Oisin' with a gold star.

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My Y-Clan certificate.

My Y-Clan certificate.

The paternal clan migration map (shown below) showed the migratory path that Oisin took before arriving in Western Europe.

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A map showing the migratory paths of paternal clans.

A map showing the migratory paths of paternal clans.

An 'Interpreting your Tribes' diagram (shown below) showed the extent to which I was part Celt, Anglo-Saxon, Danish Viking, Norse Viking and Norman. I was identified as being of mainly Celtic ancestry, with a small proportion of Anglo-Saxon and Danish Viking ancestry.

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A diagram for interpreting my Tribes of Britain DNA result.

A diagram for interpreting my Tribes of Britain DNA result.

The Poisson distribution document discussed the limitations of using Y chromosome mutations to determine when two men last shared a common ancestor. I found it difficult to understand the mathematics this document referred to, and didn't find this information particularly meaningful.

The 12-page report titled 'Interpreting your Y-Clan Certificate' was excellent, covering the science used for the test and how they’d determined my paternal clan. It also covered the history and mythology of my clan.

Results Section: Maternal Results

The maternal results consisted of a personal letter, two certificates, a map of maternal clan migration over time, a one-page document explaining how they’d analysed my DNA, and an 8-page report to help me understand the results. A literary extract was also included which described the life of one of my maternal ancestors.

The 'Seven Daughters of Eve' certificate (shown below) showed that I was from the clan ‘Helena’, marked with a gold star, which originated 20,000 years ago. The certificate titled 'World Clans' showed the different maternal clans and the geographical regions they were associated with.

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My Seven Daughters of Eve certificate.

My Seven Daughters of Eve certificate.

A maternal clan migration map (shown below) beautifully displayed the migratory path of the clans over time and I can see how the Helena clan had come to arrive in Western Europe.

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A map showing the migratory paths of maternal clans.

A map showing the migratory paths of maternal clans.

The one-page document explaining the analysis was easy to understand and very interesting. The 8-page report covered the science used for the test and how they’d determined my maternal clan. It also covered the history of my clan.

The literary extract – ‘Helena’s Story’ – was an interesting imagining of how my maternal ancestor might have lived 20,000 years ago, but I felt this type of ancestral narrative was out place in a scientific report.

Summary

Overall, I found the Oxford Ancestors maternal MatriLine DNA test and paternal Y-Clan Classic DNA test to be very informative. The material was well explained but I was disappointed that only the certificates were personalised, and that a sticky gold star had been used to indicate my clans.

See a description of this DNA test from Oxford Ancestors >