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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 your father?  There are many people who have gotten their DNA results and have gotten extremely lucky, 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.

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 if 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 DNA 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.
  • 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.

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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

Conclusion

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!

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Nitisha

Sunday 28th of February 2021

Raising a child 19 now never met father mom died she served in army for 20 years but hit by a car after she retired Kept secret of his father Grandmother passed died who might of known father name No name on birth certificate He has been with me and his uncle my man of 15 years we are not married since end of his 7 grade year before his mom died. He’s an alright kid lost but I think has a black child and told his dad is white he’s looking for truth and everyone is dead that could tell him the truth I text how I talk Can someone help I myself work every day taking care of the mentally challenged with behaviors And very busy but he is never neglected very spoiled not rotten We don’t have any children anyway Tish wanting help for my nephew 🦋💝

Haley

Wednesday 24th of February 2021

Can someone please help me find out who my dad is???? I got my ancestry dna results back today. I have no idea who my father is and am hoping to get some answer from my results. I have some relatives but no one has written me back.

Philip Krauss

Wednesday 17th of February 2021

Can a DNA test tell you who your father is when you have the correct biological family, which consisted of 3 males, but you only have dna results from one child and grandson of one of the males. How close would my results have to be to determine whether she is my 1/2 sister or not. The grandson shows as 1st cousin to me. Trying to establish which male is my father.

Kristina Zacarias

Saturday 16th of January 2021

I have a DNA match with a girl that's 11 years younger then me that has 857.3cm but we can't seem to figure out how we are related please help. Thank you, Kristina

Mercedes

Saturday 16th of January 2021

That is a perfect amount for a first cousin, or a half-niece. There are a few other options, such as a half-aunt (which is unlikely due to her being younger than you, but still possible, of course). By examining either your known grandparents, or hers, you will be able to identify through whom you are related. There is also a very small chance that this match could be the child of a first cousin. You can view the complete list of relationship possibilities here: https://dnapainter.com/tools/sharedcmv4 I hope that this helps, Mercedes

edward bales

Sunday 15th of November 2020

My friend wants to know if DNA test will identify her Father and can any other siblings be tested to find out who her father is??? in other words does her Father have to be tested to verify if he is her father?? if she and her Sister are tested can that tell her who Father is?? Thank you so much Edward

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