Living DNA – Exploring my Ancestry

Here’s a conversation I had with Athena a couple of weeks ago…

“Mummy why do some other people talk in a different way to us?”

“Because they come from a different country, or their parents do and they want to make sure their kids carry on speaking in their own language as well as English.”

“Oh, but where are WE from?”

Good question kiddo, good question. I am British, there are no two ways about it. Both my mother and father were born in the England, although my mothers parents were from Northern Ireland originally, of course still in the UK. I know very little about my Dad’s side of the family past a generation or two back but always assumed they were from England. Now although I am fairly certain of my heritage I find things like this so interesting, and when Living DNA asked if I wanted to find out with certainty where my ancestors came from I said yes please, and waited patiently for a little box to drop onto the letter box with my testing kit inside.


How does a Living DNA test work?

When your kit arrives you swab your mouth for 60 seconds with the giant cotton bud, carefully package it up and post it back with the pre-paid envelope. You also need to log on to your online account to let them know it’s on the way. After a few weeks (they say up to 12, mine was about 8 I think) you get an email letting you know that your results are ready for viewing and to log on to the online portal to view them. Your sample is tested in a state of the art lab and your results are then uploaded to the portal where you can view them forever! If you want to decode your DNA to enrich your life I definitely  recommend it.




What your Living DNA results tell you

Living DNA gives you a Family Ancestry line, a Motherline result and, if you are male, a Fatherline result. These results explain in detail where your ancestors came from, not only which parts of the UK but which parts of the world!

ancestry Living DNA

How the information is displayed

The information is all displayed clearly, and in easy to understand terms (mostly! Some of if still baffled me but all the basics I understood with ease) I came back to my results a few times to re read them and took in a bit more information each time. You can view your results colour coded chart, which I thought made it really easy to see right away what your results are, and with the body image if you click it it changes the presentation of the dots to make the percentages clearer.

So, I am 100% European, and 91.7% of me is from the UK, the last little bit is Scandanavian.  A more or less equal 27% of me is split between South East England and Northern Ireland, which I assumed but it was great to know for sure! I did think it was funny that there is absolutely no welsh heritage but 11% from Devon – I didn’t think I had any family from their at all, nor northwest Scotland (9.7%)!

You can also view the result in map form too. Another great feature is that there is a function to share your results with friends or family via email – sending them a private link to certain results of your choosing. Another great feature of Living DNA is that as their results and research update what they can share about your ancestry your results will automatically update. You can also choose to have your results printed in a book, which would an ideal way to give something physical if you were buying the service as a gift for someone.

I was really impressed with the detail, and how clear everything is, including protection of your information. You can find out the answers to any questions you may have on their FAQ page. I also love their mission statement:

Throughout the world we see more and more
separation between people, from within families,
within communities to divisions of countries. Yet
DNA shows us just how similar we all are. This
is what our product delivers – an opportunity to
celebrate not only your unique ancestry mix today,
but to also understand that we are all connected
to each other, and in that, dissolving the barrier
of race. We show how someone from India and
someone from Europe are more closely related
genetically than two men from adjoining villages in
West Africa. So long as we continue to be separate,
Living DNA will present the fact that we are more
alike than different.


2 thoughts on “Living DNA – Exploring my Ancestry

  1. This is so interesting – I think I might hint at one of these for christmas, as my mum doesnt really know anything about where she came from so this might give us some clues! Isnt technology clever!

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