There are many reasons to carry out ancestry DNA testing; ancestry testing can tell you so much about your history and ancestors, that which you cannot find out any other way than by doing such a test. The test will link you to your deep and far back geogenetic roots going back thousands and thousands of years. Moreover, it can help all the more those who are clueless or simply wish to know more about their ancestral origins.
To trace you ancestral origins, you will be provided with an ancestry testing kit. You will need to supple a DNA sample which is indeed very simple. A mouth swab (supplied within your kit) is simply rubbed within the mouth to collect some cheek cells and then sent for laboratory analysis. Laboratories will establish the likelihood that your genes are linked to studied groups or populations and also geographical regions. Results of your ancestry DNA test will be displayed on an easy to read high resolution map. Strength indicators will clearly tell you, often with some kind of coloured coded ticks, where your ancestors most likely came from.
You may also wish to opt for more specific tests such as the following:
Maternal Lineage test: The test is done by testing a special type of DNA found in the cell mitochondria and known as MtDNA or Mitochondrial DNA. Children inherit MtDNA from both their mother and father but the one inherited from the father is destroyed at conception. The child preserves the MtDNA inherited from the mother and this is passed through the female line with a very low rate of mutation. The maternal lineage test will again trace the movement of your maternal forbearers out of the African continent but taking ancestors from your mother and not your father.
What an ancestry test cannot do
Having exact definitive answers is not the scope of the test and geneticists are still not able to say with 100% accuracy what you origins are but they can give a very close idea that can really guide and help people have a clearer picture. Moreover, the test will not pinpoint where ancestors came from and thus, the level of precision is again not 100%. The ancestral origins given will be vaster and include for example Asia or Northern Europe.
Moreover, if you wish your family to be traced with the names of specific distant ancestors and relatives than this is definitely not the test you need. Having you family tree plotted takes intense genealogical research, extensive investigating of national archives, birth records and of course also DNA testing but this is extremely costly and time consuming.
Ancestry DNA testing can make a very personalised present to a friend or relative and is also very insightful for those wishing to have connections to their ancestral past.