Regular Contributor
Posts: 235
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

My husband likes to watch the tv series that traces family roots ~ sorry, I can't remember the name of it.  He finds it fascinating and is always saying he would love to trace his own family roots.  I was thinking a subscription or one of the DNA tests might be a fun Christmas gift idea for him. To those of you who have done this,  I was wondering what website  and / or kit did you use?  How easy is it and did you have good results?

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,640
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

There is Who Do You Think You Are - that's the celebrity one that gets a little ridiculous going back 14-15-16 generations and then there is Long Lost Family about adoptees looking for biological parents/vice versa. 


They are both on TLC and sponsored by Ancestry which does the DNA testing. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,126
Registered: ‎08-08-2011

I used the DNA test from 23 and Me many years ago. It is very easy and the results are interesting.  A lot of people use the Ancestry DNA kit too.  There might be others that I don’t know about. 


A free website for building a family tree that your husband might like to try that I have enjoyed is   

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,811
Registered: ‎11-24-2011

@Bubbles219  I used the Ancestry DNA kit, and really found the results facinating.  I've been working on my family tree for a couple of winters now.  I sign up for Ancestry during the winter months and work on my tree.  Ancestry is expensive so I just do it for a couple of months and cancel and then resume it in the following cold winter months.  It's very addicting because I've found out so much about my past, and when I'm on the site before I know it a few hours have passed by!!!

Valued Contributor
Posts: 730
Registered: ‎12-28-2011

@Bubbles219: I have been doing my family history for many years. If I were you, I would start by using as one poster has suggested. Then when your husband has found that he has hit a dead end. That's when I would sign up with It really isn't that hard and I have had great results.Woman Happy

Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,518
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

I took the Ancestry test several years ago.  The advantage of this test is I have received a couple email updates over the years as they have done more research on certain geographic areas of the world.  In my case it upped the percentage of Swedish to make it equal to the Finnish.  Before that the Finnish far outweighed the Swedish.  Now I can explain the Lindstrom in the family bible, always a mystery until then.  So keep your same email if you are serious about this.  I believe they have a Christmas special rate running right now.  I think the 23 and Me also includes health problems you might experience.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,051
Registered: ‎05-01-2020

I haven't done the dna test (and don't plan to) but one option is to set up a free account on FamilySearch and then look into RootsMagic. They have a free version but then a version you pay for that has more tools, etc. Pedigree Pie also has a free version and a more entailed version you can pay for. Also, there are a couple other sites (MyHeritage and ??) and they are more tailored to where your people are from. hth and keep us posted. Great gift idea btw.  : )

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,793
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Strictly for tracking family I would suggest maybe GedMatch which I think accepts several of the DNA its.  If going with Ancestry, you would want to get AncestryDNA since they don't accept any other DNA.  


But, to tell you the truth, I would start out with a FREE subscription to FamilySearch.  He should start with what he knows and work his way back.  FOR A GIFT, you might look at the different programs for keeping track of your tree.  Do NOT trust trees you find on Ancestry or any other site.  FamilySearch is the worst.  It's called One World Tree and anybody can change anything on it, so you have no control over your tree there.  There are programs that allow you to upload your work to Ancestry and I think downlod it from Ancestry which I would suggest as I have seen people complain that Ancestry has lost some of their trees.  


Another source could be your local library.  Many libraries have agreements with different sites for access including Ancestry.  Mine allows access to Ancestry as long as you're within their wifi network, but during the pandemic they have been allowing that access from home.  The latest has been that that will end at the first of the year, but that could change.  My library also allows access from home to another site which is similar, but it has changed to a different one without any warning, so that's another reason to keep a backup of your tree on your own computer.  All of these sites will have all the census records available,.  The library version of Ancestry is not the full version, so you might not have access to everything, but I haven't seen any restriction of records.  


There's also Find a Grave.  Once again, the warning is not to accept the links to family members as gospel.  This is all done by the volunteer membership.  Any member can request an edit and, unless the manager of that particular memorial knows diffrently, they will accept the edit.  Anybody can use Find a Grave, but you need a FREE membership to manage Memorials, suggest edits, or add content like pictures. 


Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,120
Registered: ‎03-29-2019

I have done my own genealogical research on my family, and using census can be a wealth of resource.



You can find out the names of your ancestors, where they lived, what they did for a living, etc.



You can also pull up their birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, which also provides a weath of information.



It's fun to learn about these people who make up your family.



Sometimes you are even lucky enough to  come across a photo of them, so you can put a face with a name, and see if there are any resemblances between you and them.




The Sky looks different when you have someone you love up there.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,972
Registered: ‎07-26-2019

Re: Tracing family heritage

[ Edited ]

 Would suggest initiating a family tree based on what you know now  on  along with a dna kit from their site  , however the  yrly subscription fees  for are quite expensive . The upside of is that alot of people do respond to inquiries on this site  along with  being able to view   many other trees easily unless they are marked private .  It pays to also use site for additional  research and look to see if your  branches of family genealogy may already be documented. Family has alot of old records that are not indexed that you can read through which I have found as very tedious , however have paid off in a few instances .

I would also use  Family Tree dna  as they  also have a very large data base  and  you  used to beable to electronically  transmit your autosomal  dna results to their site from for a nominal fee .

I would not use  23&me if your goal is genealogy . I would only  use multiple dna sites  if you come to a major impasse or if your dna results  are confusing .