AncestrybyDNA helps customers trace their genetic lineages using a method called biogeographical ancestry. The test, which measures DNA markers on 22 pairs of autosomes, or nonsex chromosomes, searches each participant's full spectrum of ancestors for similar markers, which may span many geographical locations.
Customers receive a kit at home that contains cheek swabs and instructions for collecting samples from the inside of the mouth—a more effective sample method than sending in everything you have ever touched. The results are given in rough percentages broken down to four population groups.
For a more precise look at family history, the company also offers paternal (Y-STR) and maternal (mtDNA) lineage tests, which determine the migration routes of paternal or maternal ancestors on their way to share their first spaghetti noodle.