DNA tests almost always seem to contain some sort of surprise. I purchased a DNA test for my mother in order to help find more matches on Ancestry.com.
When the results came in we received two surprises, one was that she had 66% of her genes from Scandinavia, instead of 50%. She had no clue that my Swedish grandfather had married a woman who also had Scandinavian origins (my grandmother with whom he had eloped because he was deemed not worthy by her parents).
The second surprise was when she found out that she was only 5% European east even though my grandmother should have been half French Canadian. So it turns out that Grandma was British, Scandinavian, Western European and hardly any French, even though she gave my mother a proper French name of “Jacquelyn”.
Having a parent tested is highly recommended because you are one generation closer to ancestors, so a match that might not show up for you might show up for your parent. In my case, my mother has 55 more matches than I.
You just might also have the excitement of discovering ethnicity that you don’t expect.
Welcome to Explore Cool Ancestry Trees! This is my first ancestry post…it seems to be appropriate to post on St. Patrick’s Day. Considering that more than 10% of our country’s population deem themselves to be of Irish descent, it’s no wonder that the day is a big deal here. I am proud to be part Irish…even if it is less than one percent. This is because I didn’t think I had any Irish, yet I have enough to show up on my autosomal DNA test results. This means that a 5th great grandparent of mine may have come from Ireland. According to my results I actually am 35% British Iles, which includes England, Scotland and Wales, but the Irish designation is distinct from these.
Ancestry research never ceases to amaze me. Often stories that have been passed down turn out not to be true and your ethnic makeup can turn out to be somewhat of a surprise. For instance, my husband does have quite a bit of Irish blood but the ancestor that was supposed to be from Ireland turned out to be of Welsh descent from England and the ancestor who was supposed to be from Wales turned out to be from Ireland. Also an ancestor of mine who was supposed to be Dutch turned out to be German.
One thing that autosomal DNA tests can do is help to break through those dreaded brick walls, provided the ancestor isn’t any further back than seven generations (an example is my less than 1% Irish result), a 6th great grandparent’s ethnicity would not show up in an autosomal DNA test because the percentage of the genes inherited would be too low. The Y-DNA test (provides your direct paternal line) and the mtDNA test (provides your direct maternal line) can also help and they can go back for thousands of years, but using just these only follow two of the many branches of an individual’s tree, also, a woman such as myself would have to have a male relative like a brother, father, or another close paternal male relative test for the Y-DNA result.
I am not going to delve into the nature of DNA tests for this post…I will save it for another time, but I do recommend them not just for brick walls, because they are also an excellent way to get in touch with distant relatives, and this can be a wonderful boon to your ancestry research. DNA testing so far has put me in touch with 9 cousins from this as well as other countries. I highly recommend them. They can be a little pricey with most available for about $100 – $200 dollars, but well worth the expense. And speaking of green…Happy Saint Paddy’s Day everyone! Because in this country everyone is Irish on March 17th.
Popular DNA Testing Kits:
- NatGeo Kit – includes all 3 types of tests direct paternal (YDNA) direct maternal (mtDNA) and ethnic admixture (Autosomal), useful for deep ancestral origins.
- 23andMe Kit – includes all 3 types of tests.
- Ancestry.com Kit – has the Autosomal DNA test available.
- Family Tree DNA – provides all sorts of tests that include the main three types and variations on those as well.