I've been wanting to write this post for a long time. Since this blog serves as a journal for our kids, I thought it would be interesting to share the results of my ancestry testing that my dad got us for Christmas. Has anyone reading this done one of these tests? I'd love to hear your thoughts as well... especially if you did a different kind.
We did the ancestry.com spit-in-a-tube test and mailed it off. I've been into working on my family tree for a whole decade now, and it has been very interesting to me. I've found criminals and queens and that my paternal grandmother is first cousins 8-times-removed with Elvis.
I found the exact town in Ireland where my maternal grandmother's family lived before immigrating. When I took her there, I was able to say, "Well this is it! We are driving through the town!" It was basically just a farming area with not much to see... but it was special to us.
"Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. 'Be still,' they say, 'watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.'"
So to my results...
Oh wait but first -- here are some thoughts/disclaimers:
1 - It's a little pricey. So first off, I'm not being paid by ancestry.com to make this post... It's purely a personal one. That said, I think the $99 is worth it for someone REALLY interested in this idea. I mean, it's a one time thing. I LOVE how the DNA matches link up with my family tree. My dad and I basically geeked out about some of the site's updates for an hour last night. Additional family members are $89, but the shipping goes up with each kit you add. I've heard of some other places that do the DNA testing for less or for free, so if you aren't trying to link it with your ancestry account then maybe shop around.
2 - It's great for people lacking family tree information. I have one relative on my Swan side who stops our line in 1844 with no further documentation. (Was he a criminal? Was there a big flood or fire? We have no idea other than he fought for the north in the Civil War.) I also know that a lot of people lose information when their families immigrated or if someone was adopted. This is a great way to get some info when you're stuck or when you're just tired of clicking those darn ancestry.com leaves.
3 - It's not extremely specific. Okay, so as you'll see in my results, it doesn't always break it down by country but by region. So if you've always wondered if you're more Swedish or Norwegian, don't get your hopes up. The results sometimes won't tell you anything beyond a regional label like "Scandinavian." Also, most Americans have ancestry nearly spanning the globe... In a way that makes this test MORE interesting for those of us living in a young country. In other ways it makes it less interesting, because this test probably isn't going to really narrow it down for you beyond things you may already know or assume.
Although as I say that, my grandmother's results are 87% only Britain + Ireland. So there's nothing to say you can't get a pretty giant majority.
SO, Rowan and baby girl... the ancestry from your mom's DNA is basically broken down into 4 quarters.
1 - The highest, specific country in my results was Ireland (+ maybe Scotland or Wales*).
2 - France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, (+ maybe nearby Northern Italy or the Netherlands) make up the big, general quarter of Europe West.
3 - The third part is mostly Norway and Sweden in Scandinavia (+ maybe nearby Finland or Denmark).
4 - And then the 4th part was Great Britain (which also can include Scotland or Wales like Ireland*)
So I'm an Irish-WesternEuropean-Scandinavian-British-American. Real specific, huh? Haha! Also, there's no way to differentiate Scotland and Wales from BOTH Ireland and Great Britain for some reason. Any geneticists want to chime in on that and explain?
What bummed me out initially is that I thought I had 0% trace regions of something surprising or interesting, but I actually figured out that I have a few: 3% Italy + Greece, 2% Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal, etc), and less than 1% Europe East (Ukraine, Poland, Romania, etc.)
Now I guess we should do Zack's side some day, so we can see what dad is bringing to the table other than Scotland.
Anyone else take a test and actually find anything surprising? I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this kind of thing!