Are you thinking about doing a DNA test for ethnicity? I didn't know much about DNA testing when I first ordered my test from Ancestry DNA, but I do know what I was hoping to learn. This is my story. For years, my husband and I had what some people in the US call a "mixed status" family.\u00a0 He was a US permanent resident, while me and our four children were born United States citizens.\u00a0 Before he became an official permanent resident, we encountered a lot of obstacles. There were some very scary moments, like the one we experienced back in 2013 when we received a notice that my husband's application had been denied.\u00a0 We were faced with the reality that if we wanted to keep our family together, we would need to find another country to live in. Imagine! I was suddenly wondering how I would manage all of this - moving to a new country, taking the kids out of school, maybe having to learn a new language? I was terrified. You might wonder what all this has to do with finding your ethnicity with DNA. Stay with me, we will get there. What are the benefits of doing genealogy? Faced with this idea of moving, I started to go "country shopping".\u00a0 I happened upon this blog post\u00a0 where I learned that people with European ancestry sometimes could get passports through their long-deceased ancestors.\u00a0 This was a mind-blowing idea for me, and naturally, I decided to investigate it further. And that's when I realized: I had no idea where many of my great-grandparents and great-great grandparents were actually from. The obvious course of action was to start building a family tree and doing some old-fashioned research. It turns out that the process of getting citizenship through ancestry is very difficult in most cases.\u00a0 None of my ancestors did what they should have done in order to ensure that their great-great grandchildren could one day return to the motherland with citizenship in-hand - and I don't fault them for it one bit.\u00a0 Only a small percentage of the descendants of immigrants to the United States are eligible to return to the homeland of their ancestors to stay permanently. \u00a0 To sum it up, I did not win the European country citizenship-through-ancestry lottery. While all of this was happening, everything worked out with my husband's residency application and he was granted permission to stay here in the US and he is now a proud and grateful US citizen. Whew! We didn't have to make an international move, but I sure did get bitten with the DNA and genealogy bugs. Since I took my first DNA test to simply learn about my ethnicity and maybe where my ancestors were born, I have been able to: Find relatives all over the world who were previously unknown to meBuild a family tree back further than I ever thought possible using my DNA matches and ethnicity as a guideFind out exactly where my immigrant ancestors were born down to the individual towns (now I have a place to visit when I go to Europe)I've shared my heritage with my children through language, food, and customs - we have learned a lot about the places where our ancestors came from What can you learn from a DNA test for ethnicity? By this time in my quest for the origin of my relatively recent immigrant ancestors, I had contracted the genealogy bug.\u00a0 As it turns out, it is quite contagious and difficult to cure.\u00a0 I still had blank spots on my family tree, and I was determined to do what I needed to do to fill them in.\u00a0 Combine that with some mysteries that my adopted husband wanted to solve, and we decided to do the Ancestry DNA test.\u00a0 We were hoping that the DNA test could help us learn about our ethnicities. We ordered the tests - which felt like a splurge at the time.\u00a0 They were "birthday" presents to ourselves.\u00a0 I almost fell off my chair when they results came back.\u00a0 My husband had almost 10% Irish ancestry, despite being from a Latin American country (we had assumed his red hairs were from Spanish ancestry... he had none). My results surprised me, too! Here is a shot of my results so you can see them: The story continues, because I learned that my parents could possibly have different ancestry than me - all because of a process called recombination.\u00a0 So you can guess where all of the leads:\u00a0 testing my parents, learning more about DNA.\u00a0 I ended up asking my parents, grandmother, great-uncles, aunts, uncles, and cousins to do tests to help me learn as much as I possible could about our family's origins. From the simple little Ancestry DNA test, which requires little more than a small saliva sample, you can learn: Where your recent ancestors livedWhere some of distant ancestors livedWhether your DNA matches the more than 350 regions Ancestry currently tests for Many people (myself included) do the Ancestry DNA test because they are interested in their ethnicity and don't realize that they will also have access to thousands of DNA matches in the Ancestry database. From these DNA matches you can: Build a detailed family treeConnect with close and distant DNA relativesProve your genealogical research Are you ready to get your DNA test for ethnicity? It only takes about 4-6 weeks to get your DNA test results back. I've had so much fun exploring my results and learning about DNA ethnicity. Conclusion Now you know the story of how and why I got started with genetic genealogy. I would love to hear the story of why you want to do an ethnicity test, or why you already did, and what you learned from your results, so don't forget to leave me a comment below. Thanks for stopping by!