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Can Ancestry DNA Tell Me Who My Father Is?

Can Ancestry DNA tell me who my father is, you wonder?  When someone is looking for their biological father, many people just suggest “take a DNA test”, like the one from Ancestry DNA. 

But does this work? 

Can Ancestry DNA Tell Me Who My Father Is_

The answer to this question isn’t always straightforward, but by the end of this post, you will understand:

  • Whether, how, and when Ancestry DNA can tell you exactly who your father is
  • Why you should do a DNA test if you are looking for a biological father, or any other relative
  • How you can use Ancestry DNA as a tool to find your biological father

I have helped multiple relatives learn the identify of their biological fathers using DNA results and family tree information. DNA tests can be a powerful tool for discovering one’s biological origins.

Will Ancestry DNA be able to tell me who my father is?

If your father has also done a DNA test with Ancestry DNA, then yes.  Your DNA results will include a list of DNA matches, and he should be at the very top under the “Parent/Child” category. 

There is no way to mistake it.

Is it possible that it will be this easy to find a biological father on AncestryDNA?  There are many people who have gotten their DNA results and have been fortunate, but this is not what happens most of the time.

Even though more than 18 million people have tested their DNA with Ancestry, there is a chance that your biological father chose a different company to do a DNA test, or has not tested his DNA anywhere.

However, just because your biological father has not directly tested his DNA, you might still use your AncestryDNA results to locate him, or even identify his immediate family members.

Ancestry DNA results can help indirectly reveal your paternal line

If your father has not done a DNA test with Ancestry DNA, then the website will not be able to tell you directly who your father is. Even so, you may be able to determine who your biological father is based on your closest DNA matches.

Your list of DNA matches will include people from both sides of your family, and so you might have relatively close matches from your father’s side of the family. Unfortunately, there will no label by their name telling you exactly where they are in your family tree.

You can use the amount of shared DNA combined with information from the family trees of these close AncestryDNA matches in order to determine how they are likely related to you. Once you have done this, you may be able to identify the immediate family of your biological father.

If you are able to determine who your father’s immediate family members are, then you could potentially use other details that you might already know in order to come to further conclusions. At the very least, you will be able to use your DNA results to trace your ancestry back on your father’s side and learn more about his ancestral origins.

To summarize:

  • Most of the time, DNA testing will be a tool that you can use, along with many others, to build your family tree, as well as figure out exactly who your biological father is. I have written a book for beginners building a tree, which is available on Amazon, or via immediate PDF download.
  • It’s not a foolproof method and can require a lot of work in many cases

It should be noted that once you do a DNA test with Ancestry DNA, your results will stay in their database. People continue to take DNA tests, and as more people get their results, you will continually see new DNA matches on your own list.

It’s important to check your match list occasionally, just in case you do get a really close new match (or a parent match!). This happens regularly, and it only takes one good, close match to solve even the toughest mysteries.

Click here to buy the Understand Your DNA Results Ebook

Should I take a DNA test if I am looking for my father?

Yes!  Taking a DNA test is the absolute best way to learn about your father’s family. 

While it isn’t easy, and there will be work involved, it is the best way to learn if you are on the right path with your research.  By taking a DNA test, you will learn your ethnicity and have access to an extensive list of DNA matches.

If you think that your father is not from the United States, it is possible that a DNA test might be less useful as a tool.  With that said, you will still learn about ethnicity that you inherited from him, as well as about what part of the world most of your DNA matches live in.

Why Ancestry DNA vs. other DNA testing companies

It’s true that there are many companies offering DNA testing, and some of them are very reputable.  Why do I recommend Ancestry DNA versus a company like 23 and Me, for example? 

Ancestry DNA has the largest database in the United States, with more than 18 million DNA users. This is an incredible source of potential relatives that can provide clues about your biological origins.  

Once you test with Ancestry DNA, you can then download your DNA file and upload it to several other websites to get even more DNA matches.  This is the path that I recommend to get the maximum effect for the smallest effort – and investment.

How you can use Ancestry DNA as a tool to find your biological father

Since this post is primarily about whether Ancestry DNA can tell you who your father is, I will assume that you haven’t yet done your DNA test. 

Your DNA matches and their family trees can help you learn what you need to know in order to identify the immediate family of your biological father (or parents).

I don’t want to get too technical into the details about exactly how to use Ancestry DNA for finding unknown family, but I have written a few posts that you might find helpful if you are trying to decide whether to do a test:

I know that you will find DNA testing to be a fun and interesting way to learn more about your roots.  With patience, diligence, and maybe a little bit of luck, you will learn a lot about both sides of your family.

Can Ancestry DNA Tell Me Who My Father Is


I hope this post helped you get an idea of how Ancestry DNA can help you find out who your biological father is.  I truly want to help you find what you are looking for. 

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about anything, or just want to share your story, please feel free to leave a message in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by!

Share the knowledge!

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Cheryl Oyler

Tuesday 9th of August 2022

I have twin brothers and on joined My older brother did the same. the two brothers came up as cousins and the twin not related to my dad. Why does this mean he is a half brother

michael F MURPHY

Thursday 14th of July 2022

my father never took dna my sister and i have will it tell if we have same father

Carrie Jackson

Monday 20th of June 2022

II have a half brother by my father can

Ii get him and myself have a DNA test don Te will the test tell me that we have The same father

Bill Pine

Friday 17th of June 2022

My mother with one of her last breathes, before passing away, told my girlfriend, whom is now my wife that I had a different father, in case everyone wants nothing to do with me once she passed away. Well years later my wife told me I had a different father. I looked him up in the phone books since I worked for a publisher, and found him. He started out denying me, that I was someone else, but by the time we hung up. he was explaining he was retiring to Florida, I said I just wanted to let you know, I know who you are. So I had a friend at the Air Force Base that he was with, and of course, he lied that he did not know me, or never met my mother. Well my wife purchased my DNA test, so I summitted it, and BAM my first cousin contacted, because she had submitted her DNA and asked who my father was, because she said I am your first cousin. I told her, and she said she was going to speak to my father about me, to let him know, that he for sure was my father, because of are DNA. She contacted me back, and yes he confirmed I was his, but said my mother was after his money, and lie after lie. She agreed, this guys is not a person worth speaking to , since he is so bitter about lieing for so many years. But in other words, that you Ancestry for giving the truth, and to those who I have never met, but they will see are matches. I am the son of Paul A Scarpellini of Venice Florida who turns 84 this month. I left message after message telling him I love him not matter what, or why he will not make contact with me. I have a younger brother Anthony, and sister Paula. It hurts me every day that I have real family, but my father is in denial. Proud to be a Italia Scarpellini. William Eugenio Scarpellini. We came from Savignano Sul Rubicon Italy. Its worth submitting your DNA. You will torcher yourself, but you will know the truth. God bless. PS I am turning 58 this year and my mother passed away in 1984 my last year of High School. And I was the youngest of seven Pine family. And after I found out the truth, why know won told me mom adopted me, it was confirmed.


Sunday 5th of June 2022

i know the fathers name did a dna test but i believe he fake the papers or did not use he's own dna so i want to do dna test for my daughter. i do not want him to know. my daughter needs to know that he is her dad for my daughter peace of mind. '

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