At-home DNA testing services are becoming commonplace, with people worldwide excitedly pouring over their results to find out what their ancestry is and what their genes say about them and their health. And there are a wide variety of companies jostling for positions over who you choose to analyze your DNA.
One company is doing things a little differently, however. MyTrueAncestry doesn’t provide testing kits. Instead, it allows you to upload your raw genetic files that other companies have provided to take your DNA ancestry analysis a step further. They compare your DNA with ancient samples found on archaeological sites around the world. So if you’re a history buff who wants to do a deep dive into which ancient civilizations you came from, this DNA service will be right up your street.
What about the company?
MyTrueAncestry values data privacy extremely highly, taking that respect for privacy and applying it themselves. Unfortunately, they provide no information about the names of their founders beyond their occupations. Their founder is an MIT graduate who became frustrated by the lack of depth in their ancestry test results. Their team has worked in data privacy and security, genealogists, technologists, and DNA experts and includes graduates from MIT, Yale, and Harvard. The company is based in Switzerland, and they have a corporate email address that you can contact for more information about who they are.
What about the tests?
MyTrueAncestry does not provide test kits for you to use at home. Instead, they provide extra analysis based on the data that you have already received from other DNA companies. You can upload your raw data file to the site, and they can use that to run their tests. Their commitment to privacy is also evident since you don’t provide any identifying information beyond the email address you use to sign up. Your data is deleted immediately after testing is completed.
There is a range of test options and pricing available (with appropriate history-themed names):
Commoner – free
This is the most basic test type available, and it costs absolutely nothing (beyond what you paid for your original DNA testing). You can upload one DNA kit. The results are available for 48 hours, and your DNA is matched against 10 of your closest ancient samples (without classification). You also get a basic map and timeline, and charts that show you how close the connection between your family tree and the ancient samples is.
Footman – $37
You can upload a single DNA kit at this level, but your results are available forever. It is compared against 20 ancient samples with classification into genetic and social groups, and you get the basic timeline and maps. Instead of the 2D charts available with Commoner, Footman provides 3D charts for even greater visualization.
Ancient DNA Test by MyTrueAncestry
Price when reviewed: Start at $37.00
Knight – $55
You can analyze two DNA kits at this level and compare them. Your DNA is analyzed against 40 ancient samples, classified into genetic, social groups. You also get premium maps that allow you to see potential migration paths and partial deep-dive analysis and timelines, which match the DNA at a chromosomal level.
King – $100
With this level, you can upload up to five genome files, with a comparison to 60 ancient samples classification into genetic social groups. You also unlock complete timelines and archaeological maps showing exactly what digs the ancient comparison samples were obtained from. You also get the full deep-dive analysis and maps.
Caesar – $149
You can compare ten genome files at this level compared to 60 ancient DNA samples. In addition, you get full sample and dig site links, which allows you to find out all sorts of information about the people found at each site from which the DNA was collected. You can also access full premium maps, timelines, and deep-dive analysis. And it will provide you with information about haplogroups, which is information about modern groups that share a common ancestor.
Zeus – $248
This is where the power of the analysis goes up a notch. At this level, you can create your own maps in real-time and compare your genome file to over 100 ancient samples. Of course, you also get all of the other available services at Caesar level.
Olympus – $397
This level is known as “the playground of the gods,” hence its name, and is meant for people who are serious and knowledgeable about analyzing DNA results. Your DNA is compared to over 150 samples, you can upload up to 15 kits, and you can customize customizable genome kits from ancient samples. Of course, you also get all of the other services available at Zeus level.
Odyssey – $596
This is the most expensive level. It has all of the features of the Olympus level, but it allows you to compare your DNA to over 250 ancient samples, 30 additional outlier samples, and you can upload 25 genome kits,
If you start at the Commoner level, you will be able to see a preview of the different features available at each of the higher levels, so you can choose which level you want to upgrade to. Once your 48 hours are up, if the site gets upgraded with new features available, they will let you log back in to see your results and the new features. If you pay to upgrade and then decide that you want, even more, you will only need to pay the difference between your current level and the one you want to move up to.
What do customers think?
MyTrueAncestry has a score of 4.6 out of 5 on Facebook, after being reviewed by 152 people. However, it only has three reviews on TrustPilot, with a rating of 3.6 out of 5.
People who leave reviews tend to value the interesting history component of MyTrueAncestry, the regular updates they receive, the ability to join social network groups, the extra information they receive on top of what they go from their initial DNA testing, how helpful and responsive the customer service is, and the fact that your DNA is matched to real ancient samples which can be more precise than population testing.
Some people were frustrated with the lack of information at the Commoner level, felt that the top levels are only for people with a serious background or passion for this area, and were worried about the accuracy of comparing DNA to individuals rather than groups.
Overall, however, the consensus seems to be that this is the perfect DNA testing service for anyone with a passion for history or archaeology and anyone who wants the chance to truly “nerd out” about their ancestry.
Pros and cons of MyTrueAncestry
- Unique ability to compare DNA to ancient archaeological samples and civilizations
- A wide range of analysis tools available to get to grips with the data
- Robust data privacy and security
- Don’t do their DNA testing
- Some of the higher levels can be expensive
To wrap up
MyTrueAncestry is an ancestry DNA testing made for people who are dying to get to grips with their ancient heritage. It is perfect for people interested in history or archaeology and provides a unique method of matching your DNA to real archaeological samples. You can upload your genome file from any DNA testing company and get your results back in 10 minutes, and you have a variety of analysis levels (and prices) to choose from. The higher levels provide a more precise comparison against a higher number of ancient individuals but may provide tools that the average user won’t get much use out of.