With the growing popularity of DNA testing, it is no surprise that some people are wondering if it is possible to get an ethnicity estimate for free. Others still have already done their DNA test, and would like a free alternative to the ethnicity estimate provided by their testing company. In this post, I’ll tell you whether you can your DNA tested for free, and if you already have had your DNA tested, how to get a free alternative ethnicity estimate.
If I have already tested my DNA, can I get another ethnicity estimate for free?
If you have already done a DNA test and are looking for an alternative ethnicity estimate other than the one provided by your DNA testing company – great! Some people are interested in alternative ethnicity estimates because they feel like something should have “shown up” on their testing company’s estimate, but it didn’t, or they wonder how accurate their estimate is and they want a second opinion.
I have two good suggestions for getting a free ethnicity estimate:
- Upload your DNA to Gedmatch, and use the “Admixture Calculators” available there. These are calculators designed by independent researchers, and most of them are specifically geared towards people with specific ethnicity regions. Try out several different calculators to see what you learn.
- Upload your DNA to MyHeritage DNA, which currently allows free uploads from the “Big 3” testing companies and lets you access free ethnicity results. These ethnicity estimates are typically not as accurate, from my experience, but they are interesting – and it doesn’t cost you anything to see what they show.
If you don’t mind spending $19, there is one more option for a cheap ethnicity estimate:
- Upload your DNA to Family Tree DNA for free, and pay $19 to “unlock” your full results, which includes more access to your DNA matches and your ethnicity estimate
But what if I haven’t done a DNA test, can I get an ethnicity estimate for free?
If you have not already done a DNA test, then you cannot get an ethnicity estimate completely for free. You’ll have to begin the process of finding out your family’s true origins by doing a basic genealogical DNA test. The following companies offer reputable DNA testing for less than $100, and you will usually get your results in 4-8 weeks:
- Ancestry DNA
- 23 and Me
- Family Tree DNA
- My Heritage DNA
I know that spending between $59-$99 might seem like a lot of money for some people, especially if you think about it as something frivolous or unnecessary. While testing your DNA isn’t absolutely necessary to live a fulfilling life, I would encourage you to think about it if it is something you’ve been interested in doing. A DNA kit costs less than some people’s monthly cable subscription, a week of lunches out, a decent dinner out with your significant other, or a monthly cellphone bill.
Apart from getting a fairly accurate ethnicity estimate, which can give you a good idea about your family’s ethnic heritage, you can also get access to hundreds to thousands of DNA relatives that match your DNA. From close relatives to distant cousins, you never know who you will find and what you will learn about your family.
To recap, testing your DNA will allow you to:
- View your ethnicity estimate and share it with family and friends
- Access a list of DNA matches, and contact them if you would like to
- Learn about your family history, and build a family tree, if you are interested
Learn more about what you can accomplish with DNA testing:
- Best DNA test for ethnicity
- Why I did a DNA test for ethnicity?
- 10 things I learned after checking my DNA matches for a year
- Using your DNA matches for genealogy
I hope that this article has helped you understand how to get an ethnicity estimate for free if you have already tested. If you haven’t done a test yet, maybe you learned a little bit about the benefits of testing. If you have any questions or comments about anything that you read here, I would love to hear from you in the comment section.
Thanks for stopping by!