Tracing your Ancestry is About the Past. ConnectMyDNA is Now.

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This post brought to you by All opinions are 100% mine.I’m a big fan of the NBC TV show Who Do You Think You Are? and have been interested in tracing my family tree ever since a relative translated letters from my ancestors who came to the US from Germany in the early to mid 1800’s. When I was approached to write a sponsored post about ConnectMyDNA™, I jumped at the chance. I was 100% certain what the results would show, but was completely taken off guard when I actually received them.

Let me start out by making it clear that ConnectMyDNA does NOT trace your ancestry. There are other services out there that can do that for you. This service uses a population genetics equation known as the Hardy-Weinberg Equation to compare your DNA with a world-wide database of DNA profiles that are grouped into 60 different countries. You are provided with a list of the top 10 countries where your genetic markers are most similar the people who live there now. Here’s a more detailed explanation from an FAQ on ConnectMyDNA’s site of how the results are tabulated.

Population Genetics is a branch of genetics that focuses on how frequently genes occur in a population and once determined, how frequently combinations of genes (genotypes) should occur. For example, if a gene has two forms (alleles) in a population, they can be referred to as x and y. Allele x is found at a frequency of 10% in the population while allele y is found at a frequency of 90% (total adds up to 100%). A different population may have the same two alleles, but their frequencies may be different. Since each person contains two copies of a gene, one from each biological parent, there are three possible genotypes; x/x, x/y, and y/y. These three genotypes will occur in a frequency proportional to the individual allele frequencies and can be calculated using a standard Population Genetics equation known as the Hardy-Weinberg Equation. In this case the three genotypes are expected to occur at a frequency of: x/x is (0.1 x 0.1) = 1%; x/y is (2 x 0.1 x 0.9) = 18%; y/y = (0.9 x 0.9) = 81%.

ConnectMyDNA™ uses these principles in providing information about the population groups you share the most statistical similarity. Since the markers used to generate your unique DNA profile are weakly affiliated with ancestry, your connection will likely not match your expectations in terms of ancestry.

In addition to receiving the list of the top 10 countries where the people’s DNA is most similar to yours, ConnectMyDNA also provides you with a Gene Ring. This is a graphical representation of your DNA. Sort of like your own genetic fingerprint.

A few days after accepting the task to write about ConnectMyDNA, I received a small DNA collection kit in the mail that contained a self-addressed postage paid envelope, a barcoded sample holder envelope, instructions and two cotton swabs that were sealed in a sterile package. Collecting my DNA was a simple matter of rubbing one swab inside my Left cheek for 30 seconds to collect cells and then doing the same thing with the remaining swab on my Right cheek. The swabs were then sealed in the sample envelope, placed in the postage paid envelope and dropped it in the mail.

You’ll notice that I didn’t mention anything about filling out forms with my personal details. That’s because the information about your DNA is kept private and is only traced through a bar code on the sample envelope. You don’t have to divulge your name or address. However you will need a valid email address in order to create an account on the ConnectMyDNA website to view your results.

A few weeks after I mailed the sample, I received my results. They were definitely NOT what I had expected. I had expected Germany to be the #1 country where people have DNA similar to me.

My top country is actually Mongolia! Who knew?! Not me. Germany isn’t even on my 10 ten list! I was very surprised by this. It is important to remember that the countries listed have people with the most similarity to my DNA, which is not an indication of my heritage. The only thing that comes to mind is how sad I was when the local Mongolian BBQ place when out of business. Now I know why! 😉

In addition to the top 10 country list, you also get a Gene Ring which is a representation of your 13 DNA markers. What does this graphical ring mean? ConnectMyDNA explains it better than I can:

All of this is accomplished by converting your numeric DNA test results into graphical data and applying it to a circular pattern of 13 rings that represent the 13 CODIS loci; a standard of identifying markers defined by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Contained in each of the 13 rings are green markers which identify the 2 allelevalues you inherit from your parents (1 from your mother and 1 from your father). The color and position of each marker on a ring represents the numeric values of your DNA profile – much like how the hands on a clock point to the correct time. It is the combined sequence of your green markers that makes the Gene Ring™ a unique pattern to you.

No two Gene Rings™ are alike, but some are more connected than others and discovering those connections is what ConnectMyDNA™ is all about!

Getting this info was fun and interesting and has made me want to go further and have another DNA test. This time to trace my ancestry. I’d also like to have my sister do the ConnectMyDNA test to see if she gets the same results as I did. I’m thinking it should be the same since we have the same mother and father.

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31 thoughts on “Tracing your Ancestry is About the Past. ConnectMyDNA is Now.”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Neat, but just a bit creepy. Seems risky to share. I’d be curious how close your sister’s results are in terms of validating their output.

    1. @KPDriscoll What makes you say that it’s risky to share the results? I agree. I’d like to find out if my sister and I share the same results. I’m assuming we should…

  3. I know of a set of twins that got different results and my father and I got different results don’t waste your money these guys are either a scam of stupid enough to use too small of a sample which will eventually sink them no matter how “honest” they are

  4. Marguerite Weems

    I read your experience with Connect My DNA. It intrigued me because I do trace my roots on and a few other sources. Before going through the process with Connect My DNA, I read a few reviews on the web. There are some individuals who feel the company is fraudulent, pointing out their reasons. Check out – – I’m disappointed the reviews are so negative as it is a really neat idea.

  5. It’s great to know that my all-time favorite gadget guru is also a genealogy buff! My roots go back to 1630 in this country and my heritage is a crazy quilt of ethnicity. I’ve been on the lookout for a reliable genetic DNA test to use. So I have seen the unfavorable reviews about Connect My DNA.

    But thanks, Julie for sharing your experience in detail – nothing wrong with testing this out and giving feedback to the rest of us. I’m waiting, somewhat impatiently for the $97 test that’s soon to be released through Keep an eye out for that.

    1. @Karen I’m also waiting for the test to become available. I received an email a day or two ago that said it was getting closer. I must have signed up to be notified or something… although I don’t recall doing so. I wonder if the test will trace both sides (Mother and Father) or if you have to do it twice and specify which side…

      I just checked your website. Great stuff! 🙂

  6. Julie – I got one of those notices too. I think it’s because I’m an Ancestry subscriber. From the little info I’ve seen, the Ancestry test is supposed to capture info from both maternal and paternal sides in one fell swoop. Revolutionary!! Thanks for stopping by my website. I’m adding new family stories:)

  7. This is such a fraud!! Bought 2 kits from for $29/ea. My son and I each “swabbed” and sent them in and the results were a joke. Of the top 10 country connections we only matched on one….Croatian. My top 2 were Macedonian and Chinese and my sons Syrian and Saudi Arabian. Our families are W.A.S.P.’s, from Britain and Scandanavia. Can’t even get a credit now, let alone a refund….Don’t waste your money!

  8. Fraud?! Scam?! Sounds like you were expecting it to trace your ancestry when they explicitly say is NOT an ancestry test. @NevadaNana was clearly trying to make that connection by noting only one country matched her expectations.

    If you read through the site, the results they give MAY relate to your ancestry in some cases, but not all. Where it does not correlate, your results represent the countries who’s DNA is most similar to yours.

    For example, I am 50% Brazilian and 50% Chinese and my results show Portugal, Russia, Argentina, Spain, Malaysia, Rwanda, China, Tunisia, Brazil.

    That actually makes a ton of sense to me. Rwanda and Tunisia did seem out there, so I looked into it more and even asked the company for help understanding my results. They explained that while I may not hail from Rwanda, that does not preclude my DNA profile from having similarities with those from Rwanda.

  9. This is a scam. They do not deliver what they claim. Then they email/post the same standard report saying that they don’t trace ancestry. It’s true that they don’t trace ancestry, but their service, if it’s even real, doesn’t tell where most people with genetic makeup similar to your reside. Either those results, their methodology, or both are bunk. To say that somebody of German descent has most genetic commonalities with populations in Somalia is obviously false! Google them, and you’ll see tons such complains. Don’t waste your money and report them to BBB and whomever you can.

  10. I knew not to expect any kind of ancestry test, but my results came as a surprise to me! I think what Connect MyDNA is doing is interesting to say the least. You might not expect someone who is Caucasian like me, to have African matches.

    Population genetics is not a subject I am well versed in, but I know that genes can change over time due to mutations and other external factors. With that in mind, it’s not so shocking to see matches from completely different places. I think it’s kind of cool to see how strangely related to others we may be, and not even know it.

  11. It’s kind of like a a social experiment, people get to compare their own gene “markers” with a database of population information from around the world. Its definitely not any kind of heritage test, I hear those are a bit more laborious and expensive, this is merely for the fun value.

  12. @Alex if you ever see this….something you ought to know.

    You say report them to BBB because they are a scam.

    Did you know BBB is a scam? It’s extortion actually.

  13. Anyone who is upset at Connectmydna when they CLEARLY said their test is NOT an ancestry test should try DNA Consultants’ “Premium DNA Fingerprint Plus Megapopulations Bottom Line Report Rare Genes From History Neanderthal Index” sometime!

  14. My son and I took the tests. We are of multiracial backgrounds. I am guyanese mixed heritage, he is half guyanese half puerto rican. My dna matches tanzania, iraq, pakistan, venezuela(near guyana), italy. His matches mozambique(near tanzania), iran(near iraq), pakistan, puerto rico, spain. I would say pretty spot on. My known heritage is from parts of india, africa, europe migrated to guyana.
    Just because your dna results are a complete contrast does not make connectmydna a fraud. There are lots of arabs living in europe. If they took dna tests of comparison, the dna would most likely be from middle east or asia, not european countries although the second or third generation arab only knows his life to be that of a european. In a dna sampling test of irish and frenchmen, 90% were found to match dna of king tut(ancient north african). Dna doesn’t lie. Your ancestors could migrate, but it doesn’t change their dna makeup!!

  15. Anyone who is upset at Connectmydna when they CLEARLY said their test is NOT an ancestry test should try DNA Consultants’ “Premium DNA Fingerprint Plus Megapopulations Bottom Line Report Rare Genes From History Neanderthal Index” sometime!

  16. My wife gave me a ConnectMyDna kit for my birthday. After going to their website (and now reading this article) I cannot see where there is any value whatsoever to this “test.” My test hasn’t completed yet so I don’t know what it says but just exactly what value is knowing that a person’s DNA is somehow connected to Mongolia when there is no ancestry connection there. I’d say my wife wasted her money on this test.

    1. @SamMcGowan I would have to agree that the results of this test are more for entertainment value. That said, I recently purchased a DNA kit from and am waiting for the results. I think this one will be more interesting. But it will be fun to compare the results with the ConnectMyDNA results.

  17. Not sure what relevance this information has? So if I’m descended from Vikings, but the tribe I was descended from packed up and moved to the Bahamas, then my data is going to identify Bahamas. While that is mildly interesting, (especially if I have a relative there now with a large beachfront property I can drop in on) but it doesn’t tell me where I come from.
    Of course, this distinction is why ConnectMyDNA is selling their wares on a discount website in order to get anyone to buy it. Unless you are a genetic research lab scientist, we laymen don’t know this is not tracing our ancestry. By indicating this test will provide a connection to geographical areas, we assume it has some relation to our ancestral line. Oh well, buyer beware. It was only $29 so suck it up and file it away as a lesson learned.

  18. Darts n’ Alcohol. This is what “DNA” stands for at Connect My DNA because that’s how they determine your DNA. I used this service to compare to the results I received from I don’t care how Connect My DNA rationalizes the results – I have no genealogy related to Iraq! Complete rip off.

    1. @James Been over two years now and I almost forgot about it.
      But again, Connect My DNA has flat out said that their test is *NOT* an ancestry test at all and that the “country connections” do *NOT* indicate that you have genealogy or even genetic affinity there.

      Connect My DNA has even gone into detail on how the genetic markers they use for the test, STR’s (short tandem repeats) also known as CODIS markers which are the same kind of genetic markers used for forensic testing (catching criminals or identifying individuals) and paternity testing, are *NOT* appropriate for inferring biogeographical ancestry like the SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) marker tests done by companies that give percentages such as’s test and 23andme.

      You can use STR markers for paternal lineage Y DNA testing and maternal mtDNA testing for genealogy, which is what Family Tree DNA does, but you can not use STR for autosomal biogeographical ancestry, which Connect My DNA has been honest about, unlike DNA Consultants or DNA Tribes (which does have a SNP analysis and admits that the SNP analysis is better than their STR tests).

      Without being too complicated, what Connect My DNA basically does is take your DNA profile by looking at STR markers, and makes that “Gene Ring” which is unique to you (unless you have an identical twin). I think that’s a pretty nice novelty, having a “personal genetic emblem,” but I realize that I may be alone in this opinion.

      Connect My DNA then, just for kicks, compares your profile to forensic population samples, then lists “matches.”
      Since STR markers were *NOT* meant to infer biogeographical ancestry, as Connect
      My DNA has pointed out up front, your results *ARE SUPPOSED TO BE WILD*.
      Somehow, Connect My DNA’s up front explanation about their test has seemed to fly over the heads of about 99% of those who took the test. These folks, even after they are told up front that Connect My DNA is *NOT* testing their ancestry, are *STILL* surprised and unhappy about the test.

      So *YEAH* Connect My DNA is supposed to be a waste of time and just for pure fun. The only value, if anything, to Connect MY DNA is seeing your CODIS profile for cheap, which are those funny letters and numbers they give you. Those are supposed to be unique to you alone (unless you have an identical twin), and you will see them shared with biological parents and biological children, which is exactly how paternity tests are done, though this test has no chain of custody (you can also tell paternity with tests like 23andme and
      But of course, CODIS DNA profile is completely useless to most people unless we are talking about a paternity test or a forensic identity test. Same as the “Gene Ring” which is supposed to be a graphical representation of the CODIS profile.

      Unfortunately the vast majority of folks who have heard of and done Connect My DNA just didn’t get it.

      Bottom line is we can only get so upset at doing a test when the test flat out told us what it wasn’t. Can’t call it a scam. We can call DNA Consultants a scam but not Connect My DNA.

  19. I am Guyanese and Connect my dna worked 100 percent accurately for me , it said my DNA connected to Guyana. I am also Portguese, African and Indian American Indian and regular Indian admixed in Guyana and the test results confirmed I was connected to Portugal, The Middle East, and Central South America Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Pakistan. The results were 100% spot on for me.

  20. Hi it’s been four years but I have been trying to get my results again but forgot my information. Could you please help me?

    1. Jane,
      Sorry to tell you DNA Diagnostics Center not only ended the ConnectMyDNA test, but back in early February 2020 they destroyed everyone’s results and the website after a few weeks notice. So our results are apparently lost, for those of us (probably just about everyone other than DDC themselves) who didn’t copy and paste them.
      Even if you went to to see the ConnectMyDNA site, you still would not be able to access the results.
      I don’t know why that DDC was so quick to not only end the test but destroy everyone’s results, when other companies have gone about things differently.
      Centrillion Biosciences, for example, archived the Tribecode site where people who did Tribecode (as of right now,) can still access results.
      The Genographic Project allowed everyone with Geno results something like a year to access them before shutting it down.
      I guess DDC felt that absolutely nobody cared. They couldn’t even send email messages out to those with results that they were destroying the results.

      I myself miss ConnectMyDNA. I have experience with most of the major actual ancestry companies, but Connect My DNA was unique to me because of the “gene ring” and how it looked at everyone’s unique CODIS markers, something that probably no other test on the market does right now.
      Apparently, DDC does have a test now that is kind of like ConnectMy DNA in that it tells you your CODIS markers along with the (admittedly, completely useless but just for “fun”) “country connections” (though probably no one other than maybe one or two people in the world, likely at DDC, has saved ConnectMyDNA results and done the new test for comparison), but without the “gene ring.”
      Even if I’m mistaken and this test doesn’t include CODIS marker values, I would like to see some test in the future include them. It’s something that is only unique to you and no one else unless you have an identical twin.

  21. I have a kit from connectmydna, and the website is no longer working. I clicked the link within the article and it brings me to a website called social spark, which is not related to DNA. Is the company out of business? How can I redeem my kit that I already paid for?

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