I want to document my experience with Ancestry.com’s DNA.Ancestry.com.
Lotsa white people
I’ll admit I picked this one because it’s the only brand I recognized and could afford (*sheds tears for the National Geographic one*). I’d do them all if I could.
I know very little of the science behind the specific type of DNA test they do. Here’s a helpful chart that breaks down cost and terms across brands… But I’ll stop talking about research you can do on your own in a Google search.
After purchasing the test and then experiencing buyers remorse (what the hell am I doing, throwing this money around? I am 25 and should be saving! Dear God, there’s some months I scramble for food money.) I told myself: Wait, Amanda, you want to know this stuff. Why not find out now? It’s not like you treat yourself to every new iPhone. You deserve to know the truth. This could be fun.
After checking the terms and conditions, which contained a paragraph like this gem:
By submitting DNA to AncestryDNA, you grant AncestryDNA and the Ancestry Group Companies a perpetual, royalty-free, world-wide, transferable license to use your DNA, and any DNA you submit for any person from whom you obtained legal authorization as described in this Agreement, and to use, host, sublicense and distribute the resulting analysis to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered. You hereby release AncestryDNA from any and all claims, liens, demands, actions or suits in connection with the DNA sample, the test or results thereof, including, without limitation, errors, omissions, claims for defamation, invasion of privacy, right of publicity, emotional distress or economic loss. This license continues even if you stop using the Website or the Service.
I was directed to a spastic page full of options on where I could start my research (if an old person–er, excuse me, genealogist–ever complains about information overload in their “research,” it’s justified). There’s not a shitton of guidance.
My motivations for wanting to know my ethnicity are for undoubtedly narcissistic reasons. I do confess it’s strange a 25 year old wants to work on genealogy like some retired senior citizen proving their worth through pedigree.
Some of my “pedigree” – the family tree I’m able to create at dna.ancestry.com. Most of this information came from superficial internet searching (it’s information I plugged in–no, it’s not already there for you just by name alone, mom). I’m worried that if the site ever goes defunct, I’ll lose it. No way to download it, but you can print, apparently (not sure how well it comes out). Findagrave.com is the coolest for doing “surface” genealogy. I have no further subscription with ancestry.com and I don’t really intend to. In fact, ancestry.com really riles the copyright librarian in me. Most of their records are in the public domain. Shouldn’t have to pay to see them! Grr.
No, I don’t really have relatives I want to find. This isn’t a “wanting to find my family” thing. I’m pretty content with the family I have, though more are always welcome. No, this isn’t a “I want to leave something for future generations.” I don’t even want kids! This is a “I want to see if the facts we have are right” thing. (ALSO not a “I want to know if I’m like one of my ancestors–could I be their reincarnation?!?” thing. Nope, not at all.)
Family stories get convoluted. Science won’t lie. Yes, I know it’s not perfect, but it’s still better than going off word of mouth.
Toast to my conflicted feelings and my soon-to-arrive DNA test kit.