AncestryDNA Testing Kit

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Have you ever had a strong desire to visit a country but don’t understand why? The answer could be in your genes and if it is, there’s an easy way to uncover your past, and open the door to an entirely new world of travel.   

  • What Is It: A simple DIY at home DNA test.
  • Why buy: It can give you more information about your ethnic mix as well as put you in contact with potential distant relatives.
  • The Details: The AncestryDNA test costs $129 from 

Road Test

Researching family history is a favourite hobby for many people, and while it’s true that many Australians descend from the peoples of the British Isles with the arrival of the First Fleet, further waves of immigration happened in the 1850s, and after the First and Second World Wars. As a result, particularly post-World War II, a large number of migrants arrived on our shores from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Pacific Islands, Africa, and Latin America. So if you’re keen to find out more about your geographic roots, AncestryDNA offers the curious a simple, DIY test you can do in the privacy of your own home, and which may answer any questions you have have about your ancestry. Last year, the company’s DNA database surpassed five million people, offering you more opportunities to get matched with distant cousins or find long-lost or previously unknown relatives. I’m a naturalised Aussie, born in London of Irish-born parents (and grandparents), so I wasn’t expecting much in the way of surprises when I took my test recently, but it was possible I wasn’t the first in my family to head Down Under, and I might have distant relatives here in Australia I didn’t know about. 

So to the kit and the test. You order it online, and answer a few questions about yourself. Once you receive your kit, you need to activate it online and set up an account, then collect your sample, send it back, and wait for the results. Extracting your sample involves spitting into a plastic tube up to its fill line, which comes with a funnel to prevent spillage. It's not glamorous, and you can't eat, drink or smoke for 30 minutes before providing your sample, but otherwise the process is quick and easy. Next, you remove the funnel and screw on the included cap, which releases a special fluid to stabilise your sample in transit back to AncestryDNA. Finally, you shake the tube for a few seconds, place it in the collection bag included, then post it; the results arrive in around 6-8 weeks. AncestryDNA will send you regular email alerts to update you about your sample’s progress including when your results are ready - and that's when the fun begins. 

When you go into your account online you will have a dashboard, and see a pie chart with an ethnicity estimate and possible DNA matches with other members. In my case, it was 68 per cent divided between Ulster (where my father is from) and Munster (where my mother is from), with another 28 per cent from Great Britain in general. Depending on your genetic makeup, you may also see “low confidence regions" in your ethnicity estimate, in which the amount of matching DNA is too small to deem accurate. In my case, there was a surprise. Three per cent of this DNA is from the Iberian Peninsula, perhaps connecting me to the Spanish Armada in 1588, when 24 Spanish ships ran aground on a rocky coastline from Antrim in the north to Kerry in the south after defeat by the English. What is curious is that I have always been drawn to Spain since I was a teen living in London, and I have a sibling living there today; perhaps that’s down to our DNA calling? You can also view a map of where your ancestors lived, and get more information about your ethnicity matches, which in my case included one potential 2nd cousin who recently did the test, and quite a long list of 3rd and 4th cousins. There’s the option of getting in touch with them too. As far as I know I’m still the only member of my family who’s ventured to Australia, but I’ve sent a message to my potential second cousin, and we’ll see what that uncovers. Loves 

  • The test is easy to do, and Ancestry keeps you posted at every stage along the way.
  • Ancestry can also put you in touch with potential relatives you didn’t know you have.
  • It’s a great way to start a family tree. 

Insider Tips  

  • To really make good use of your results, link them to a family tree.


We're giving away three AncestryDNA kits in a new competition! Click here for more information or to enter, and good luck!


Joanna Hall


  • 4
    Thought Provoking

    Posted by Meadowfee on 16th Jan 2019

    A well written piece which makes you think of your own background. Part of mine is the unknown and I’d love some answers, is there North American?

  • 5
    Want To Do This

    Posted by Deborah on 17th Sep 2018

    Enjoyed this. The writer didn't really have an interesting story herself (many Irish people can trace ancestry back to the Armada) but she wrote it honestly and made it simple to follow. I might just take the plunge and do it myself

  • 4
    My Test

    Posted by Sheree on 17th Sep 2018

    I did this one and it turns out I have a quite interesting background! I thought I was largely english on both sides, but I have some italian, jewish and scandi in my dna! I also hooked up with some relatives I didn't kow I had...great stuff!