What can I do with my DNA test results

What Can I Do With My DNA Test Results?

You may not have heard, but lately DNA tests are all the rage! The companies 23andMe and Ancestry.com have made in-home DNA kits an accessible and convenient way to test yourself and the rest of your family. Be sure to consider your options…there are several companies out there that offer home kits that are just as convenient. They’ve given you the option to pair your new DNA findings with ancestry information, to help you track your genealogy and family tree. While DNA tests have been available for  some time now, it hasn’t been until recently that they’ve been so affordable and convenient for the general public. If this is all news to you, you might be asking yourself “what can I do with my DNA test results, anyway?”. The answer is…well a whole lot! Knowing what to do with DNA results may change a lot about how you approach your family history, genetic health risks, etc. It can even set you off on the interesting path of learning more about where your family hails from. 

What can I do with my DNA test results?

If you haven’t looked into having your DNA test done, you probably haven’t given a thought to what you can do with your test results. After you receive your results, there certainly are some things you can and should do, but there are also some things you’re going to want to refrain from doing, too. If you are considering doing an at-home DNA test, be sure you thoroughly research your options. There are several different companies out there, and they all have exciting options when it comes to making your information personal. One option –  cousin finding – utilizes your DNA to find familial matches that you may not even know existed. The important part of this step is ensuring you’re comfortable sharing this information. Some sites like Ancestry.com allow you to automatically update your DNA to your linked family trees. That’s a pretty exciting advancement, but if you aren’t ready to make yourself available then uncheck that option before submitting your test. 

what to do with DNA results
Knowing what to do with DNA results might surprise you – from genealogy projects to learning about potential congenital health issues, DNA test results have a variety of benefits.

Realize too, that when you get your DNA test results, they are likely to change based on the volume of participants and each company’s database of information. It’s a smart move to download all of your reports, and check back frequently. As the pool of DNA tests and participants rises exponentially, so does the data collected by DNA testing companies. This allows for even more refinement of the adjustments. So don’t be surprised if you check back and your ethnic history in the results seems a little different. It’s best to thoroughly look through and read all the material you’ll be provided with so you can better understand your results. 

In terms of genetic health information, having your DNA results can help you identify what sort of congenital health problems you or your children may be at risk for. This can help with important diet, nutrition or preventative and proactive measures to ensure you and your family stay healthy. This is also a really helpful tool when planning a family, before you even decide to expand with children. If you and your spouse are both tested, these results can tip you off to any potential problems that may be passed to generations down the line. 

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons to complete a DNA test, and probably the most fun for some, is the opportunity to research your family tree. Genealogy is the research of family history and ancestry. It can help you trace your lineage and family’s progression from one place to another throughout the world! With the help of companies like Ancestry.com, you can gain access to extensive family histories. Now, with DNA test results, you might even be able to locate family members who could have more information for you to help you fill out and trace your family tree. From local, publicized and well-documented birth, death, and marriage records, to the family bible from hundreds of years ago, receiving your DNA results can open up the door for extensive family history research. If you’re interested in beginning a genealogy project of your own, check out our blog on documents you might want on hand to get started.

DNA results for genealogy
Genealogy projects are often the most common reason people may be interested in their DNA results.

The list of exciting things you can learn about yourself and your family just by ordering a simple in-home DNA kit is pretty long. Just remember to read your DNA results well, and to understand that it’s a science that’s ever-changing and growing!


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