*To complete this Living DNA review, I was provided with a DNA test kit free of charge. Ad – gifted.
I’ve always been curious about anything to do with genealogy. When I realised home DNA testing kits were available, I must admit I was intrigued. I knew I had Irish ancestors on my maternal grandmother’s side, but other than that I was kind of clueless when it came to my heritage.
When I was asked to complete a Living DNA review, I was eager to learn more about my genealogy and find out what exactly made a woman like me.
Living DNA Review
The kit arrived quickly and I was keen to get started. A home DNA test kit felt extremely futuristic and I couldn’t wait to get the results.
The Contents of the Living DNA testing kit
Inside the box was a swab in a tube, some stickers, a pre-paid envelope and important information about registering the DNA kit.
It’s really important that you register your kit with Living DNA online before you take the test so that your results can be paired easily and you don’t experience any delays. (The individual activation code is on a sticker inside the sleeve that contains the parts of the kit.)
The booklet included explains everything you need to know about the process, including how correctly take the swab, but there is also a helpful video online that you can access when you’ve activated the home DNA kit.
Using the swab in your DNA test kit
It’s best not to eat, drink caffeine or smoke for one hour before taking the swab, as these are factors that affect the quality of the sample. The best thing to do is rinse your mouth with water 30 minutes for using the swab to ensure the mouth is clean.
When you’ve made sure your mouth is ready to take the sample, use the swab to brush the inside of your cheek in a firm, anti-clockwise motion and put the swab back in the container tube.
Sending off your DNA
The instruction booklet tells you to to attach one of the the identifying barcodes to the specimen bag, and one to the white lid of the swab container tube which helps keep your sample identifiable.
Put the swab container in the specimen bag, and put that into the return envelope , sealing it carefully. From there all you need to do is drop it in a post box and wait for your results.
What I thought of the DNA collection method.
Despite reading the instructions and watching the video online, I was still nervous I would get it wrong. It really was as simple as it seemed and would be almost impossible to get wrong if you do what the instructions say.
The DNA collection method was really easy to follow and kind of made me feel like high-flying scientist while I completed it (which I enjoyed very much!)
Living DNA review – THE RESULTS!
I didn’t have to wait as long as I’d expected for the results, but they weren’t instant either. Living DNA let you know when they’ve received your sample and again when your results are ready, so you don’t have to keep logging in speculatively.
The family ancestry looks at both the most recent ten-ish generations, as well as going far enough back until we all share common ancestors.
It turns out I’m 96.9% British with some Northern European roots, which sounds about right because judging by my height and colouring (and the fact I live in a town founded by Vikings) I expected to find a little bit of Norse in me.
Your motherline DNA allows you to trace back your direct maternal line as far back as around 200,000 years.
My motherline falls under Haplogroup H, which is one of the most common groups in Europe.
“Although not confirmed for certain, it has been suggested that the carriers of haplogroup H were involved in the recolonisation of Europe from the Ice Age refugium locations.”
The motherline finding go into much more detail than the tiny bit of info I’m sharing (I suspect no one cares enough about my genealogy for me to go into too much depth).
There is an area for the fatherline, but this is passed down in males only, so I’ll probably have to pressure my brother to do his own at-home DNA kit for me to find out any details about my dad’s side of the family.
Although it hasn’t launched yet, there will soon be an option to link up to family networks on the site.
I’ve opted in, but you don’t have to. I think it would be really interesting to come across other people who share my DNA! I’m looking forward to getting notifications when other people with similar DNA start popping up.
All in all I was really impressed with this genealogy testing kit. It was easy to use and I was given LOADS of information which I found interesting. I was a little surprised that I was so very British, but I probably shouldn’t have been since a few generations have lived in the same area for a while.
I would recommend this genealogy testing kit to my friends, and might even buy one for my husband because he was really interested in my results and has been researching his family tree for a few years.
If you enjoyed this Living DNA review, you might also like this post on things I wish I’d known before having kids.