Collecting Your DNA Sample
African Ancestry provides two tests for purchase; the MatriClan Test Kit and the PatriClan Test kit. The Matriclan test is available for both men and women. This test analyzes the mitochondrial DNA that we all inherit from our mothers.
On the other hand, the PatriClan test kit is only for men. This is because the test measures the Y chromosome that only men inherit. When a woman wants to determine their paternal ancestry, she has to test the Y-chromosome of her brother, father, father’s brother, or paternal grandfather.
When you select and order, you will receive an email confirmation, which includes a link to a video. The video is embedded and features Gina Paige, the co-founder of the president of African Ancestry. The video is helpful because Paige describes the next stages of the process. She also explains how to collect your DNA and what to expect from the report.
The collection process is the same for both of these tests, and it is a fast process. We like that the kits include cheek swabs, as they are much more comfortable and less messy than collecting a saliva sample.
The DNA kit includes the following:
- A Specimen Information Form to include with your sample.
- Three cheek swabs
- A confidential prepaid envelope for your swabs
- A document including important information about the test and instructions
We were happy to see that this company uses swab samples as opposed to saliva tubes. Swabs are easier to use, making the collection process faster. The only thing to keep in mind is to avoid eating, drinking, or smoking anything for 30 minutes before collecting your sample.
Before you take the test, fill out the Information Form, and locate the confidential prepaid envelopes. When you are ready, swab the inside of your cheek with all three swaps and stick them into the collection envelope.
How Fast do Results Come Back?
Once your samples reach the lab, African Ancestry will send you a confirmation email. They will notify you through email again when the results are ready. Results come back to you within 8-10 weeks, which is standard among other DNA testing services. The report will come with two components- a ‘myDNAmix Certificate’ and the ‘myDNAmix Results Manual.’
What do The Results Include?
We like the two items that come with the results, and the ‘myDNAmix Certificate’ is attractive and makes the whole process feel official. The certificate visualizes your DNA admixture through a pie chart. Underneath the chart is a signature of Rick Kittles, the Scientific Director.
If you are 100% one ethnicity, the pie chart will display only one color. If you are like us with more of a mix of backgrounds, the pie chart will demonstrate the different regions of origin.
The report begins by covering the basics of DNA and providing explanations for technical concepts and terms related to DNA testing. We found that these educational resources are essential to our understanding of how specific DNA tests work.
The educational element of this report is what we consider as a highlight of this service. After providing an overview of the process, the report discusses race and how it is not a scientific concept but rather a social construct; hence, why it cannot be tested for through DNA analysis.
Following this discussion, there is information on ‘BioGeographic Ancestry,’ which is the concept used to assess the ethnic breakdown included in the myDNAmix test. We found the information fascinating and impressive in terms of the amount of research that was presented.
The History of Human Migration timeline provides an overview of migration patterns. The timeline is accompanied by a map that provides easy visualization and understanding.
This information is useful as educational resources, but we wish that they were tailored to our specific results instead of general examples. It is helpful that the report does explain the statistics behind the estimation of your ethnicity.