For years, family history research required laborious on-the-ground research (possibly including trips to multiple homelands) and/or assistance from the Church of Latter-Day Saints. It was delving into birth and death records, hunting down immigration papers, and contacting living relatives previously unknown.
In the past decade, and especially in the past few years, a powerful new tool has become widely available — DNA testing. With a cotton swab to the inside of your cheek (and weeks of waiting for the sample to be analyzed), you can get a breakdown of your ethnicity by percentage. If you ever suspected that there were some surprises in your family history, it’s a great way to figure out where to start that research.
Well, it’s a great way if it’s accurate, that is. And that’s a funny question in DNA testing, because it’s an inherently inexact science — getting different results from different testing companies isn’t so much a knock on any one test as it is something to be expected in these early days of genetic testing.
Why’s that? We’ll get into it as we go through our Living DNA review, a look at one of the newer companies in the DNA testing world. The UK-based test used to be higher priced than others at $159, but a price cut to $99 has now become permanent. Being young, the company admits that its results are still limited, but it’s also potentially one of the more detailed tests, those results will improve over time, and it might just be the one to choose if you’re worried about data privacy.
Thanks to Living DNA, for sending out this test free of charge for us to review.
UPDATE 02/01/2018 – The post has been amended to confirm that the price cut from $159 to $99 is permanent.