- The Good
- Signing up is simple
- Testing is quick and beginner-friendly
- The Bad
- Migration map algorithms can deliver incorrect results
While GPS Origins is helpful for determining general ancestry, it won’t give you intensely in-depth results. As long as users understand this limitation, it can be a helpful place to start looking into your family tree.
GPS Origins is in the middle of the road when it comes to DNA testing services. Some are more expensive, and some are less expensive. GPS Origins claims to deliver the “highest resolution DNA test available,” despite consumer concerns. Each kit contains an instruction booklet, cheek swabs and a postage-paid envelope for returning lab samples.
- Genealogy Options
- Data report
- No integrated family tree options
When you order a GPS Origins test, you’re basically ordering an ancestral tracking kit that will help give you an idea of where your ancestors came from. The kit uses a cheek swab to collect the DNA sample and tests it against 800,000 autosomal markers, 862 reference populations and 36 various gene pools. The lab is privacy-protected and uses the newest ancestral tracking techniques.
- Test Process
- Autosomal DNA test
- Receive results in 2-3 weeks
To test your DNA with this kit, you’ll use a cheek swab, which is pretty standard for tests in this price range. The lab tests your swab against nearly 1 million autosomal genetic markers and a large selection of gene pools and reference populations. DNA results are not sent to third-party labs. Included in your test results, you’ll also get a Human Origin story, that describes how humans migrated from Africa 200,000 years ago, and a migration map and summary page, that links you to third-party genetic research.
- Additional Features
- Pinpointed geographical information
- The only DNA test that features bio-geographical targeting down to a village or town level
- Traces migration routes
- Gene pool profiles
Looking at GPS Origins, it’s clear that the focus of this test is on migration and region. The test evaluates your DNA sample against various gene pools and reference populations to develop a picture of where your ancestors lived, how they traveled and what their migration journeys looked like over time. While it is not great at telling you exactly which ethnicity or DNA percentages you came from, this test will give you a good idea of where your ancestors lived.
GPS Origins: User Reviews
GPS Origins is one of the most unique and helpful modern ways to learn about your ancestry. While it’s not the test of choice for people who want an in-depth breakdown of their gene pool, it provides a helpful overview that’s great for starting your genealogy journey and building out additional information.
How Does GPS Origins Work?
When you sign up for GPS Origins, the company will send you a kit that includes instructions, cheek swabs, and a return envelope. Read the instructions, and swab your cheek to collect the cheek cells your lab will require to do the test. Once you’ve swabbed your cheek, you simply add the swabs to the inside of the envelope and send it in using the prepaid label. The results are sent straight to your email and should be delivered within 4-6 weeks.
What Makes GPS Origins Stand Out?
One of the most unique features of GPS Origins is its top three gene pools offering. The simple digital map provides a visual breakdown of your #1, 2, and 3 gene pools, and a more detailed discussion of what each area is known for and which geographical areas it encompasses.
The test is also unique for providing a DNA migration route, which shows you how your ancestors migrated, what they faced, and where your DNA began. By using the latest genetic research on the market, GPS origins helps to build a comprehensive migration picture that shows you where your ancestors lived, worked and traveled during their lives.
While other tests get close to offering such features, none do it as comprehensively or visually as GPS Origins.
Common Reviews of GPS Origins
While GPS Origins has its shortcomings, it’s a fantastic introductory test for people who want to learn more about their genealogy but aren’t sure where to start. While other tests are more comprehensive at offering specific genetic breakdowns, GPS Origins is great at offering migration maps and similar unique features.
The largest reason GPS Origins is not for advanced DNA enthusiasts is due to the margin of error. While all GPS tests feature a margin of error, GPS Origins has been criticized for offering low-quality results that rely more on generality than they do on specificity.
While this is not to say the information provided couldn’t be good for someone who knows very little about their ancestry, it’s likely to be a duplicate for someone who is very familiar with where their family came from. Numerous past reviewers have found this frustrating, but the test continues to enjoy a 5-star average rating, which indicates that it’s working very well for the vast majority of reviewers.
Is GPS Origins for Me?
Again, GPS Origins specializes in ancestral genealogy, which it has dominated since 1995. If you want to know which village your ancestors lived in, this test is a great one for you. If you want to know who they were, you may want to look for something that offers more in-depth information.
While the testing process is simple and straightforward, that doesn’t make it unique in this field.
If you’re looking for some foundational genealogy knowledge, this test is a great one for you. If you want some more advanced insight into your ancestors, offer something that focuses more on who your ancestors were than where they came from. If you want to use GPS Origins as a base, you can take the vague explanations from your primary three results and conduct your own research on them to flesh out details and specificities. While the test likely won’t prove or disprove your ancestry, it can be a helpful launch point that can propel you into more in-depth information.
This test is also helpful for estimating the accuracy of other family tree tests and confirming your previous findings.