Recently, I did the Ancestry DNA test to see what ethnicity is running around in my genes. I have been building my family tree on the site, so I sort of knew what to expect. That doesn’t mean I didn’t see some surprises. Below is a screenshot of my ancestry DNA ethnicity results:
Where did the Italian/Greek come from? I mean I found out a few years ago that my great grandmother’s family had originally come from Italy, but that was like 10 generations or more ago. They were mostly Spanish…at least that’s what I thought.
I knew I’d have Native American since my dad’s family settled California. They came up from Mexico (when it was still part of Spain), through Arizona and stopped in California. Needless to say, some Native American genes were likely already floating around the gene pool when they headed to Arizona. What I didn’t know was how many of those genes were still floating around in my ancestry DNA.
Surprising no one, most of my genes are European. Have you seen me? Pale doesn’t even begin to describe my skin color. Another thing that surprised me (but shouldn’t have) is that siblings can get different results. I do have a basic understanding of how genes are passed on and that you never really know how they are going to be combined in each child. I just never thought that my sister and I could have differing ancestry DNA. She could have more Ibernian Peninsula genes than I do.
The top two ethnic gene groups are not surprising. My great-grandmother on my dad’s side was Scottish & her husband was English. My mom’s family has a ton of German and English in it. I thought I’d have a little more Finnish seeing as how my great-great grandmother on the maternal side was directly from Finland.
The traces of Pacific Islander genes are baffling, fascinating, but a little baffling. Then I saw the Asia genes, which are from India or thereabouts…again…fascinating and baffling. The genes from West Asia are from what I like to refer to as the Fertile Crescent area. Those genes are probably from someone conquering someone else way back when.
What all of this ancestry DNA information tells me is that we are all pretty much related. I mean who knows what genes are floating around in your body? The person who you just passed on a street could be a very distant cousin.
A little review of the Ancestry DNA process
You order the kit online and they send you a box in the mail. In it is a tube with a code. You go online and activate the code, so they can match up your DNA with your tree or account. Then you spit into the tube…and you spit, and you spit, and you spit.
I think it’s about 1/2 to a whole teaspoon, while that might not seem like a lot, try spitting that much into a tube. I swear it took me like 5 minutes to fill that sucker to the wavy lines. After that, you seal it up with the cap and blue stuff falls into your spit to stabilize it.
You put it in the packaging provided and send it to a lab to be processed. In about 6 to 8 weeks (or what seems like less in my case), you get your results.
Have you been tracing your family tree? What genes are likely floating around in your DNA?