How to Take a DNA Test for Genetic Genealogy Research

spitting into a DNA test tube - are they scams?

Have you wanted to take a DNA test? Are you worried the tests are a scam? If the same person tests at with the same company and two different times with two different names, will their results be the same?

I love the comments and the questions we receive on our YouTube channel, through social media, and on this blog. To address these three questions, I am releasing the first of two videos that puts AncestryDNA to the test.

Watch this video on YouTube.

Viewers of our live stream (see the video above) contributed some suggestions to this test, which is why we LOVE our live-stream audience. Y’all give us some of the best suggestions and make us laugh along the way.

I repeatedly respond to comments on our YouTube channel from people who think that say:

  1. DNA is a scam

  2. Companies are just making stuff

  3. Companies look at your family tree and provide matches

The comment that triggered this set of videos was this: “If you did the test twice at different times with different names, then your results will have completely different results.”

I decided to put this theory to the test with AncestryDNA and make a video about it. Why not, right?

In so doing, I’ll help those who have yet to take a DNA test, know what to expect and how to prepare a sample.

Then in the second video, I’ll reveal (duh, dun, dun), what happens in this experiment.


Here’s my prediction. When the results come back, you’ll see that the companies are not just making stuff up. The results will show me that I am myself. (Me, myself, and I).


I’ve already tested with AncestryDNA. I provided my sample about a year and a half ago. The new DNA sample will be compared to the previous results.


  1. I created a new Gmail account.

  2. I created a new Ancestry account

  3. The Ancestry account does not have a family tree.

  4. These accounts are not connected to any of my other accounts.

  5. These accounts are not used for anything else.

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Ancestry can’t use the information they already know about me because there is nothing factual available.

Some people are going to say, “yeah, well, you’re making this video, and you’re posting it. Ancestry is going to watch the video, and they’re gonna know it’s you. They’re gonna find the information about you before and then they’re gonna just send you that information.”

Except, Ancestry won’t know whether I actually spit into the kit I send or not. It could be me. It could be my wife. It could be a neighbor. It could be a dog. So, even if Ancestry looked at this information and attempted to match my ‘fake self’ with my real self that is already in the tree, they’re going to have a problem with the uncertainty of the test taker.


In the video, for you, I have taken the DNA test. I’ve even timed myself to see if I could spit faster than my youngest son. He filled his vial in 30 seconds. Has anyone taken the test more quickly than him?

In addition to providing tips (and demonstrating) on how to take to ensure you create a successful sample, I walk you through the tests of registering your DNA kit with Ancestry. I will help you know how to respond to the questions you’ll be prompted to answer.


I’ll be honest I’m a hundred percent certain that they’re going to match me with me. At the top of my match list, I will see myself.

Now the ethnicity results may differ; however, I think the results will be pretty darn close. I would guess that it might vary by 1% or less. The variance will be due to the way statistical analysis of all the data is processed.

Each test will have some small amount, probably less than 0.05-0.1% of the different markers, that are called incorrectly or won’t be able to be called at all. That is where the differing percentages factor in. I will not suddenly be Japanese, African, or Middle Eastern.

When I download that raw file and actually compare them side-by-side since this is the exact same test, you’re gonna see that out of that seven hundred thousand markers my guess is less than 0.1% of them are different.

There you have it. My test will attempt to determine if AncestryDNA is a scam or not. In the meantime, if you haven’t taken the AncestryDNA test, you can watch the video and know how to take the test correctly.

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