DNA testing kits are sure to be popular gifts this Christmas, promising to unveil a person’s ethnic origins via a swab of the cheek or a spit in a tube. They show you what makes you unique and help you learn where you really come from. You can also tie these into historical records services to grow your family tree.
Once you have sent off your saliva sample, you’ll wait a few weeks and then receive a visual report and even the chance to connect with distant relatives you never knew existed.
DNA kits are a great research tool for amateur family historians and professional genealogists alike.
DNA kits don’t come cheap, with the two top sellers each costing £79. But if you can find the best DNA testing kit deals you won’t need to end up in the workhouse like your poor Victorian great-great-grandparents.
Here we have rounded up the latest DNA testing kit deals so you can save some money and still either gift the joy of family history or treat yourself to a ride back in time. And we also look at some of the most popular family-tree digital records services, such as Ancestry.
Best DNA kit deals
Below you'll find a carousel of the best deals available in the UK right now, and beyond that we offer more information about each of the different services.
The two leading DNA testing kits are AncestryDNA and 23andme.
AncestryDNA deals and offers
AncestryDNA can estimate your origins to more than 350 regions around the world, which the company claims offers twice the geographic detail of other DNA tests (rival 23andme states it can trace your DNA back to 155 different regions worldwide).
It’s from the people behind the market-leading Ancestry genealogy service, stuffed full of digitised historical records and the best way we have found to start your family tree.
AncestryDNA tests just your autosomes (chromosomes you share with relatives on both sides of your family), and so is less detailed about more distant, ancient ancestors – but fine for most family historians.
has the benefit of over 10 million DNA results to make finding relatives more likely and improving the accuracy of its estimates.
Normally priced at £79 there’s a Boxing Day offer for the service for just £49 – a saving of £30. This offer ends on Boxing Day at 11:59pm, so if other friends and possible relatives are jealous you can still order extra kits on the 26th.
Ancestry is also offering 20% off its family-tree services (which combine nicely with its DNA tests); see further down this article for more details.
23andme deals and offers
23andme doesn’t have as many test results as Ancestry, although at 5 million and rising it’s the clear number two in the field. Slightly confusingly, its main kit is called the Ancestry Service.
It does, however, test three types of DNA - autosomes, yDNA, and mtDNA - where AncestryDNA tests just autosomes to determine more recent ethnic ancestry. Such tests lose some accuracy as the relationship grows ever more distant. This more in-depth DNA testing makes 23andme more accurate further back in time, and can even look at your Neanderthal heritage.
The 23andme deal starts at an even more tempting £54 (again down from £79) direct from the company.
It also offers a great deal on its Health + Ancestry Service, which examines your genetic health risks (including BRCA1 and BRCA2, Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinsons), plus Carrier, Wellness and Traits reports. This usually costs £149, but is currently being discounted at just £104 either direct from 23andme or via Amazon.
Living DNA deals
As with 23andme Living DNA looks at your autosomes, yDNA from your father, and mtDNA from your mother. By testing more than just autosomes, Living DNA can point out centuries-old migration patterns, much like 23andme. Its visual representations of your origins are super detailed. For instance, it can illustrate 21 specific sub-regions of the UK your DNA may come from. AncestryDNA has 13 regions.
Living DNA has a Christmas sale offer of up to 30% off, with a deal for £79 (down from £99).
Living DNA also powers the DNA tests for Find My Past, a family-tree-making service much like Ancestry. It has a deal for just £69, down from £79 - although this deal expires on December 17.
MyHeritage DNA deals
Like Ancestry, MyHeritage DNA tests only your autosomes and lags behind the market leaders with a relatively light 1.5 million tests on record.
Usually priced at £75, there’s a Christmas deal on for only £59.
Best family tree services and deals
There are plenty of services offering to help you create your own family tree, but there aren't many deals on them this Christmas.
The market-leading Ancestry is the world's most popular genealogical service with millions of digitized historical records to help you grow your family tree. Up till Christmas there's 20% off its UK Premium and Worldwide records accounts.
Find My Past is another popular service with many records and a family-tree creator. It has Starter, Plus and Pro accounts, starting at £72 for 12 months, and includes a 14-day free trial. Until January 3rd 2019, you can get up to 50% off all three services for 6 months - enough to get you started or just to harvest the service for as much as you can get in that time.
The Genealogist is another family-tree service that has a wide range of possible accounts, starting with a Starter Personal Premium (3 months at £14.95, 6 months at £28.95, and a year at £54.95). It also has Gold Personal Premium (from £24.95) and Diamond Personal Premium from £119.45 (12 months); comparison details of these accounts here. It has a Christmas deal offering £40 off its annual Diamond Subscription, running through to the end of 2018. Normally £119.45 it's on offer for £78.95, including a subscription to Discover Your Ancestors Online Magazine (worth £24.99).