Saturday, August 1, 2015

Beware of companies who do Ancestry DNA testing.

Recently, I went on to Groupon, to buy a Ancestry DNA kit. The only company at the time on the site was Ancestry by DNA, formally known as Connect my DNA, located in Fairfield Ohio. Both companies use, GeneSys Biotech testing site, which led me to believe it was one in the same. I bought the coupon, and ordered my test. It came in a timely manner and I was excited to use the test and send it back. I wasn't doing this because I don't know my ancestral history, I was doing it for the fun of it. I had bought my granddaughter a DNA test kit from another more reputable company. It was just something fun to do. I knew what mine was coming back as, but still there was a bit of curiosity and excitement. The only line in my family that is a true mystery, is my grandmother's father. She was born on the Boise Forte Chippewa Reservation. Her mother was full, we have records of land grants etc, from her mother. Her father, we believed was a mixed-blood Chippewa. He had to be Chippewa because my grandmother was enrolled with the tribe on Boise Forte, her mother was from White Earth. The only way my grandmother's enrollment could be with Boise Forte, is if her father was Chippewa. If he was non-native, then her enrollment would have been on White Earth. So, I was in searching for my mysterious Great-Grandfather through my DNA.
What I got back was shocking, ridiculous and even laughable.
The test showed 83% European. No breakdown, just European. That's pretty close to true. Then it went on to say I was 13% Sub-Saharan African, that was a shocker and only 4% Native American. My shock came from the Sub-Saharan African. If I'm 13% African, then one of my parents would have to be 26% and a grandparent would have to be 52%. I'm not adopted, I know my parents. I grew up around my grandparents. My mother was full British. We have documents, bibles, census pictures, from her family. No African. My father is1/2 Chippewa, and 1/4 Irish and 1/4 German. Again, we have records, pictures, bibles, papers from the reservation. The only missing link is my Chippewa Grandmother's father. If he was African, which is not completely out of the realm of things, he'd be mixed blood Chippewa. Which wouldn't make my Grandmother 52% African. It might make her 25% at best. After all, her mother was full blooded, no doubt about it Chippewa.
I appealed the findings, explaining how this wasn't possible. And that my granddaughter had a DNA test done, and no African. The explanation I got back was so ridiculous, I actually laughed out loud. They gave some convoluted backwards reasoning about "Spectrum of linage". I fired back saying, that's ridiculous, either they mixed up my DNA with someone else, or they do substandard testing.  I demanded my money back.
You'd think that if I was African, I'd know it, considering it was 13%. There is no whispers of any African's hidden away in my ancestry. My family is well rotted in Northern Minnesota as one of the first settler families in the territory. Then there is that Chippewa. If I was African, I'd want to know. I'd want to find that person. Find out who they were and why they were hidden from us. I'd honor their relationship to me. So this isn't about being African or not, its about the testing process and how this company in particular could send someone who isn't aware of their ancestry searching in the wrong direction, and possibly never discovering where they came from. 
The company has now stopped communicating with me. I've reported them to the Better Business Bureau. As it turned out I wasn't the first. I found them on YELP, with over 50 bad reviews. I also found a report online when the company was going under the name Connect My DNA claiming they were a scam, that I can believe. Ancestry By DNA is a scam.
I'm currently composing a letter to the GeneSys Biotech Board of Directors, which Ancestry By DNA uses their labs for testing. This companies advertises their testing as "Where the Truth Begins." They do a lot of paternity testing, Immigration testing and Native American enrollment testing. I haven't been able to discover who actually owns Ancestry By DNA, if its GeneSys or they just contract them for testing. Whichever it is, Ancestry By DNA is making them look bad. The quality of their testing is substandard. Which makes me question GeneSys standards.
The moral of this story is, really review, study and Google the company you're  going to use for any Ancestral DNA testing. There are a lot of scam artist out there and Ancestry By DNA is one of them.             

No comments:

Post a Comment