Ancestry is one of the best DNA and family history platforms out there. It has consistently ranked as one of the top resources for anyone wanting to find out about their family tree and it is considered to be one of the easiest sites to use.
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This means that if you want to discover more about your past it is certainly a good place to look.
However, you might have some questions about the service before you use it. For example, you might be wondering, How long does Ancestry take to process DNA results?
Well, this article will tell you all you need to know and more about how Ancestry deals with your DNA and what it can tell you about your forebears.
How Does DNA Work?
Let’s start with a far simpler issue to help you grasp the actual process and how it relates to your relatives – How does DNA work in the first place?
DNA or Deoxyribonucleic Acid to give it its full scientific name, is the genetic molecule that runs through all our bodies and contains information on all our ancestors not just going back hundreds of years or even just thousands of years but millions of years.
Our DNA is an integral part of our system because it exists to ensure that our bodies over generations pass on the genetic details of our predecessors so that they are acclimated to the environment that we live in.
Our DNA sequence is also unique, nobody else in the world has the exact same sequence of genetic codes that you or I do which means that it can easily be used by law enforcement officials to identify particular criminals and to say with certainty whether or not a crime was committed by one person or another.
As such, DNA cannot only be used to help identify us but also our ancestors. You see, our DNA is unique because it is the result of thousands of years of marriages and births which accumulated together to create one individual.
Although the majority of human DNA is similar, in our genetic lines every so often there will be one mutation or another which can be used by scientists to identify whether a person is of a certain ethnicity or belongs to a particular family line.
This allows the people at Ancestry to be able to match your DNA to other people who are also from the same family line – known as sharing common ancestors – and thus ensure that you can trace your family tree back further than you might have thought was possible.
Now that we’ve explained what DNA actually is, let’s move on to explaining how long it takes Ancestry to process your DNA results.
How Long Does Ancestry Take To Process DNA Results?
Now let’s focus on how long Ancestry takes to process your DNA results. First of all, it is worth going over the process of how your DNA results are received and then processed.
The process begins when you order your DNA kit. It should take about a week or two to arrive to you from Ancestry.
Once you receive your kit you will be able to take out the mouth swab.
The swab is used for the inside of your mouth and collects the DNA that is contained within your saliva. This is one of the best ways of extracting DNA as saliva is very DNA rich.
Once you have swabbed your mouth and followed the other necessary instructions that will come with your DNA test kit, you can then pack it up and get it ready to be sent off. Once you have sent it off the real wait begins.
It takes about two to four weeks for the Ancestry DNA test results to be delivered to the Ancestry lab, depending on where you live in the world.
This is because the test results need to be delivered securely and pass through several customs checks before they enter Ancestry’s prestigious labs for your DNA to be properly analyzed.
The DNA analysis process from when your results are received to when you receive them on your Ancestry profile usually takes between six to eight weeks.
There is however a reason for this as we will now explain.
By explaining how the process of processing the DNA results works we’ll help you understand why it takes between six to eight weeks from when they have arrived at the Ancestry labs for your DNA results to be publicly available.
How Ancestry Processes Your DNA Results
Now that we’ve explained how long it takes Ancestry to process your results, let’s break down how it processes them and why it takes so long.
First of all, when your DNA reaches the Ancestry labs it is placed into a queue of different Ancestry DNA tests.
Depending on when they are delivered, the tests can stay in the queue for a couple of days whilst the scientists divide them up and make sure that the samples are properly sealed before taking off to the main laboratory for extracting.
The process of extracting the DNA is not a long one but it is a complex one.
The scientists have to work hard to ensure that they can get a readable DNA sequence from the saliva sample in order that it can be uploaded to the computer system and analyzed further.
Whilst saliva is rich in DNA, the scientists at Ancestry have to find the richest sample in order to get the most accurate result.
Once the sample is extracted it is then processed and the data put into the Ancestry system.
This means that once the DNA has been extracted and analyzed the results are then able to be placed into the computer system in order that they can be compared with Ancestry’s database of DNA.
Ancestry’s database contains DNA from native populations around the world and is based on extracting DNA from individuals whose ancestry is wholly from the country of their birth, meaning that their DNA works as an easy means of comparison with members of the general public.
The DNA that Ancestry examines is known as autosomal DNA which surveys all of your genomes rather than breaking it down into your paternal or maternal line as some DNA companies do.
This means Ancestry provides a comprehensive picture of your entire genome sequence to look for the exact genetic quirks and changes that make you who you are.
The people at Ancestry then compare the mutations that exist in your genome to that of their library to see whether you have the same mutations as people from different countries, helping them to pinpoint what your ethnicity is.
This allows the scientists to go back hundreds and even thousands of years to see what long-lost genetics they can find buried in your DNA and confirm you have ancestors from countries that you didn’t know you had family in.
Once the DNA has been analyzed, checked against the database and your ethnicity is checked against Ancestry’s database.
The results are then uploaded to the Ancestry website where they are available to you and automatically match with your relatives, both those who are closely related and those who are more distant cousins.
Now that we’ve explained the process by which Ancestry analyses your DNA and why it takes between six to eight weeks for your DNA results to be available to you once they reach the Ancestry lab, let’s now examine what causes the differences in ethnicity make up.
The Differences In Ethnicity That Show Up In Your DNA Results
Ethnicity is a factor for people across the world; it is often linked to the country in which you are born and or the country of your parents. However, you might be wondering how Ancestry is able to tell one ethnicity from another?
The reason is that as people move across the world, their genes change in reaction to their environment. People moving around millions of years ago looked fairly similar until they settled in their respective parts of the world.
Their bodies then became acclimatized to the particular environments that they lived in and as such not only would things like people’s skin color be different but in subtle ways, so would their genes.
This is the reason that Ancestry’s team of scientists can tell the difference between people from one part of the world to people from another – it is apparent in their DNA.
These general genetic markers, alongside more specific ones related to who your specific ancestors and family are, are passed on consistently, though they are sometimes harder to detect the further back they are.
This is how the people at Ancestry can tell whether or not you have ancestry from one part of the world or the other – say for example your grandmother was Spanish, this would show up on your Ancestry DNA because her unique genetic markers that only occur in Spain would be present in your DNA.
Why It Is Important To Know How Long Ancestry Takes To Process Your DNA Results
Ancestry DNA does a truly incredible job. It ensures that you can fully understand your DNA and how you came to be.
It helps you to connect with relatives that lived hundreds of years ago and discover long-lost distant cousins that you never knew that you had.
This is why it is important to understand why it takes a while for Ancestry to process your results and why it takes Ancestry time to give you the information that you want to know – because Ancestry’s scientists take such care in ensuring that their results are entirely accurate and reflect your full family tree, in all its nuances and complexities.
Ancestry’s DNA service is well worth using because it is so comprehensive and it is clear that the company cares about ensuring that its users have the most enjoyable experience possible.
This is why you should buy an Ancestry DNA test if you haven’t already; it will open up to you a world of family history discoveries that will improve your life and give you a new sense of place in the world.
So if you haven’t invested in an Ancestry DNA set today make sure you do because it is totally worth it.