4 Things to Do While Waiting for Results from DNA Testing Companies

By Vanessa Wieland
research your testing companies

What to do while you wait for your results

We put the question, “I took the DNA test, now what?” to Shannon Combs-Bennett, genetic genealogist and co-moderator of our 2019 Spring Virtual Genealogy Conference to find out what to do while waiting for your results. Her advice is to learn about the testing companies.

Shannon told us, “it would be a great opportunity to understand everything there is about that test, and about what that company has to offer.” Each company offers different testing analysis tools as well as various ways of presenting the information. Watch her answer in the video below.

In addition to learning about your testing company, Shannon advises that DNA testers should think about organization. After all, you’re going to have a lot of matches to sort through! However, having a plan in place for keeping track of those matches and how they relate to you will be key to managing your research.

Other steps to take while waiting

Also, start an online family tree. If you already have a tree, fantastic! Now, make sure you link it to your test. This will help your matches determine how you’re related. If your test is through Ancestry.com, you have to link your tree publicly to enable Circles to show up.

Ask a question

Finally, formulate a question you want to answer. Did you get that DNA test from a relative? Is this the first time you’re testing the waters of genealogy? It pays to determine what you want to know about your family history and what your results will tell you. If you want to know what ethnicity your ancestors were, learn about the sample populations use with this recorded webinar. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a missing name or link in your tree, formulate a theory based on what you know about other family members’ birth dates and locations.

Learn more about each of the DNA testing companies with Shannon’s 7-part series of posts on each of the big five testing companies.

Shannon has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a specialization in DNA. She is an acclaimed genealogy blogger and frequent contributor to Family Tree Magazine and Family Tree University on topics ranging from genetic genealogy to research methods, source citations, and analysis.


Fido’s family tree may not be that important to you, but if you want to know what kinds of breed and specific health issues he may face, you can test your pup as well.

FamilyTreeMagazine.com is a participant in affiliate advertising programs. These are designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon.com, Ancestry.com and other affiliated websites.