Spit into a tube, send it off to Ancestry.com and pay $99. That can buy you specific information about who your ancestors are. For a while, we've been able to use our DNA to find out where our ancestors came from and use that information to verify tricky parts of our family tree. Today marks a major step forward in the accessibility of ancestral information, because Ancestry.com is launching New Ancestor Discoveries. It's a new feature that comes with AncestryDNA, a service that has always told us our ancestors' ethnicity but hadn't provided any specific ancestors, until now.
The service compares your DNA to that of other people who sign up then and suggests who your ancestors probably are. Then, you might just need to verify things with an official document. That's what Ancestry's explanation suggests. In that case, the process isn't completely automated, but it will certainly save you time. Before, you would have to bridge the gap between your ethnicity and your relatives by searching through census documents from times past, building your tree as you go. Now, your DNA supersedes all of the documents (You should still check them, I think). Some of you might miss making those groundbreaking discoveries on your own, but others will appreciate the time they can now save. Further, not only do you get the names of your ancestors, you might even locate their stories, photos, historical documents, locations and major life events.
Dr. Ken Chahine, SVP and GM of AncestryDNA, says the following about how it works.
"It's a combination of three things that allowed us to achieve this breakthrough innovation: 1) millions of family trees created by Ancestry members, 2) the fastest growing genetic database in the world, currently with more than 800,000 genotyped members and 3) a dedicated team of scientists who are pushing the boundaries of genetics and statistics to help people make family history discoveries in ways never before possible."