I was offered complimentary GPS Origins DNA testing to help determine my ancestry in exchange for an honest review; I’m a genealogy enthusiast so I took them up on the offer. This GPS Origins review includes my own personal observations and a few things that I’ve uncovered on their website. If you’re considering any of the DNA ancestry testing services I hope you’ll read through this review and come back to read about how this service compares to similar service when I receive those results.
Like most people interested in genealogy, I’ve spent hours researching my family tree. In some cases, I’ve traced my family back hundreds of years to before their immigration into the United States. I knew that I had some ancestors from Ireland, Scotland, Great Britain, and France, and there are family rumors regarding Native American ancestry. Many family histories prior to the late 1800’s were primarily oral, so the occasional written record can be hard to find. I want to make it clear that the GPS Origins test (and most other DNA ancestry tests) will not be able to pinpoint your ancestry or tell you if your family tree is correct. It can help you estimate if your family tree is correct.
GPS Origins Review:
Signing up for the GPS Origins test is easy. You create an account on their website and pay for test. GPS Origins will mail you a small packet that will include several swabs used to collect DNA. You will swab the inside of your cheek following the instructions included. The swabs should be put into a small envelope and then mailed back in the large pre-paid envelope. It only takes a few minutes to collect the specimens. In a few weeks you will receive an email to let you know that your results are ready to view.
Before I reveal the results of my GPS Origins test, I want to openly share my major concern about the test. Currently they advertise in the FAQ section that the complete DNA data is available for download, which isn’t true. When you click on the Raw Data Download Instruction link, you’re redirected to a 404 Error page. I emailed customer service a few days ago and they responded that it was due to a site overhaul. I replied asking if they had a time frame for availability and she responded that she would ask the IT department. I have yet to receive a response and I feel like readers should be aware of the issue since GPS Origins is more expensive than similar tests.
It’s also important to note that the test uses an algorithm to determine ancestry. It doesn’t really pinpoint anyone one location. The DNA Origins test matches certain DNA markers to a geographic region where those markers occur most frequently.
Here is the GPS Origins comparison between three similar companies:
Here are my GPS Origins Results:
GPS Origins offers very vague explanations for the primary three results and you’ll need to do further research on the rest. I was originally perplexed because I believe the bulk of information about Native American ancestry in my family to be true. After some research, I found that many of the markers labeled from eastern Asia are also found in the Native American population (such as Siberia, India, and Tuva). It’s universally believed that Native Americans came across from Asia on the Bering Strait. This test did not prove or disprove that aspect of my ancestry.
Here is a glimpse of the DNA Migration Routes map which is included with the results:
The migration map uses algorithms just like the gene pool results; the GPS Origins migration map is purely hypothetical based upon frequently used migration routes.
In conclusion, if you’re looking to confirm your heritage, the GPS Origins (or most other DNA ancestry) won’t confirm anything. It might be possible to estimate accuracy of family tree research. My 6th great-grandfather immigrated from France in the early 1700’s and several other 5/6/7th great grandparents immigrated from Ireland in the same time frame. My test results from GPS Origins leads me to believe that those areas of my family tree are true.
Is GPS Origins worth the price? Yes, as long as you understand the limitations of the test and how the basic algorithm works to determine results.
I hope this GPS Origins review was helpful, and if there are any specific questions regarding the test please send me an email. When/If I get my complete DNA results from GPS Origins I plan to run them through another company for comparison and I will try to link back to this post.