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DNA Testing for Ethnicity

I keep getting unsolicited emails and snail mails from genealogy companies. They say they can do a DNA test to determine my ethnicity. I'd like to do this because I don't really know what I am. Every time someone on my family tree dies a little bit more information comes out.


I grew up thinking I was this, now I find out I'm that. But can these places be trusted? Do they really just test for ethnicity or do they also test for diseases and stuff and sell that information? Does anyone know? Has anybody ever dealt with one of these places? Thanks for any help.

Jo from Hampton Roads, VA

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By Sophia (Guest Post)
February 13, 20080 found this helpful

Be very wary. Some companies are legit and others are not. Look for a CLIA accredited laboratory (this is a lab who meets stringent testing guidelines and laws laid out by the federal government)--Many questionable labs do not have this certification.
This type of testing is generally VERY expensive and may not be worth the expense. What exactly do you want to know about your heritage? There may be "better/different ways" to gain the info you 'd like to have.


I work for a DNA lab that tests for gene mutations to see how patients respond to different drugs. Genetic variants are more common in some ethnic groups BUT this is changing because of the mixing of our DNA (inter marriage). Good Luck

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By bonnie (Guest Post)
February 13, 20080 found this helpful

Do not do it. There are so many people out there just waiting for the next victim. They scam you and you never get the real deal. Please take care with this. Bonnie

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February 13, 20080 found this helpful

I know how you feel, I don't know what I am either. But you have a leg up on me, because at least you find out bits and pieces along the way. Nobody still living will tell me anything, and the one person who would was kept in the dark too but told me what little she knew. I intend to get the DNA testing myself, not only because I want to know what I am but also because I know some health issues run in some ethnic groups moreso than in others and I want to know what to expect as I age.


When I get the test I will just have to do some research and determine who may be the best for the job. I do not get solicitations from people for the tests and I am glad I do not.

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February 13, 20080 found this helpful

Hi, Jo, I had my DNA testing done through the National Geographic magazine project. I went to this website: I think it cost about $100. I think they're a reliable outfit. Good luck!

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By Paula Jo Carr Mebane, NC (Guest Post)
February 13, 20080 found this helpful

I was adopted at birth so there are still alot of "secrets" surrounding it and I am 53. The adoption papers are sealed and would cost 1,000's to have opened as I have inquired about it.

I know how you feel - I too would love to know about my blood lines medical history. I would also like to know what I am AS I was adopted by an IRISH family but look more like a "Sophia Lauren European culture."


Is it possible that you too were adopted and the ones that know about it are being held to secrecy for one reason or another - are your folks still alive, ASK THEM for an honest answer for your all too important medical reasons?

AS far as DNA testing I WOULD NOT DO THAT - it won't change who you are and it may just confuse the issue more. Best of luck to you!

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February 14, 20080 found this helpful

I wouldn't use a email that came to me unsolicited. I would do some searching with sites you can trust.

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