gps origins review

GPS Origins Review: DNA testing for Ancestry

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.

gps origins review

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

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:

GPS Origins Review


Here are my GPS Origins Results:

GPS Origins Review

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:

GPS Origins Review

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.

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  • Reply Alton Nail 02/04/2017 at 1:15 pm

    Same experience. What a rip off. Error March 2017 for complete results. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Reply Jess 06/04/2017 at 12:16 pm

      Did you get no results at all? If so, did they offer to repeat the test? I’m still waiting on my full DNA report from them so that I can submit it to a couple of other companies. There are a few aspects of my test that were really puzzling.

  • Reply Rachel R. 10/04/2017 at 8:02 pm

    FYI, the FAQ’s now say that they’re working on the means to make the data downloadable and expect this functionality May 2017 — that we’ll receive an email when the raw data is available for download.

    • Reply Jess 11/04/2017 at 9:38 pm

      Yes, but it took extensive questioning after I received my results before I received any reply at all. I’m glad that they’ve clarified and I do hope they make the results available. I just don’t think they should have advertised to customers for an unknown amount of time that the raw data was available for download when it wasn’t.

  • Reply Rachel R. 12/04/2017 at 7:49 am

    I completely agree! I just wanted to update that the FAQs now appear to match the reality.

  • Reply Rudy 28/05/2017 at 8:50 pm

    I bought the kit and I am left with mor3 questions than answers. Invest your money in a really dna test.

  • Reply Jo 24/01/2018 at 3:36 pm

    My parents, both 84, are interested in having this particular DNA test done. Do you think it’s worth the investment?
    Were the problems downloading your raw data resolved?

    • Reply Jess 24/01/2018 at 4:31 pm

      Eventually they did resolve the issue, but many months after I had my test done. Personally I would recommend using another company. There are so many options available now. I’ve had my friends use other companies and I felt like their results were more detailed than mine. I’m actually going to take another test with another company, and compare the results of both. I might take a third test, just for good measure. You can also browse the internet for discount codes to make some of the other tests more affordable.
      On a side note, I have received lots of weird comments on this post. I feel like several of them have been individuals working for or on behalf of this particular company. It’s like they’re trying to discredit my review. I’ve marked many of them as spam or just deleted. This makes me much more weary about recommending any company who would attempt such tactic.

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