How accurate are DNA ancestry test kits?

Don't Waste Your Money

It seems everyone is checking their ancestry these days at sites like and 23andMe.

Every day, long lost relatives are reunited at airports, after an ancestry test brought them together.

Kelly Ralston is one of many people who found brothers or sisters she never knew she had, thanks to a DNA test by She told us last year she doesn’t know if she would ever have found her long lost family had it not been for the site.

But how accurate are they at finding where you are really from? A new report raises questions about their accuracy.

An investigation by the CBC, Canadian Broadcasting, says “Twins get some mystifying results when they put 5 DNA ancestry kits to the test.”

It reports on two identical twins who did DNA  swab tests, They then sent the samples to 23andMe, along with several other sites.

Result: One sister showed French and German ancestry that her identical twin did not show. In addition, they had different degrees of Eastern European heritage, according to the various reports.

One test may not be enough

So from the “doesn’t that stink” file, assuming that one DNA ancestry test is the final say.

23andMe tells the CBC that minor variations in samples can lead to slightly different ancestry estimates. The bottom line is that assuming a test is 100-percent correct may lead you to say “doesn’t that stink.”

The CBC says each company has different algorithms for determining how it looks at your DNA, so results may vary.

These tests can help you find your ancestry, and possibly find a long lost relative.  But make sure you understand that a single report may not be the final word, so you don’t waste your money.


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