Family history is much of a mystery for many people. People who were adopted, immigrants or those with few family connections may not know anything about their genetic heritage, and that can be a source for both worry and curiosity. In fact, almost half of Canadians do not know where their grandparents were born and 30 per cent do not know where their ancestors lived before arriving in Canada.
A service that traces people’s family history through DNA has long been available in the United States, and now Canadians will have their chance to get some answers.
Ancestry, the world’s largest family history resource, launched AncestryDNA in Canada Tuesday with the hopes of bringing new family connections to Canadians.
“When coupled with Ancestry’s database of more than 16 billion historical records, AncestryDNA will enable family history enthusiasts and novices alike to discover even more about their own past, including the ability to find entire new cousin matches around the world,” Ancestry says in a release.
The service works through breaking down a person’s ethnic origin and predicting the locations of their ancestors across 26 populations, reaching farther back into history than historical records limit.
According to Ancestry, “the test uses microarray-based autosomal DNA testing to look at more than 700,000 locations across an individual’s entire genome through a simple saliva sample. The AncestryDNA approach provides a much more detailed look at one’s family history than other existing Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA tests that only look at specific branches of a person’s family tree.”
850,000 people have taken the AncestryDNA test and future test results will be compared with those samples to find matches, including 3rd or 4th cousins people may not have known exist.
For many people, the opportunity to discover where they come from is priceless. For others just a little curious, the cost of this DNA test is reasonable at $149.