I know genetic testing has been around for a bit now. It was a bit expensive to have either the mitochondrial test done or the Y-chromosome test, so I had been waiting. Then, Ancestry.com emailed me about their new genetic test that was still in beta. It was offered at a discount but it wasn’t just that part that sold me, it was what the dna test does.
This test tells you where you are from. Now, of course this can be a bit sketchy at times. Because your DNA given to you by your parents is random, you could have more DNA from one area than another (this is why siblings look different). And of course, migration happens. So what Ancestry does is compare your DNA to natives of an area, whose families have been there for say 4-5 generations back (which is really as far back as this test goes for your own results). That’s the simplistic answer and more of the science can be found here.
I was immediately excited and bought the package. Once it came, I had to spit into a tube (I did this when I woke up and before drinking any water – per instructions), then sent it back and anxiously awaited my results. Would I have Native American DNA that I think every American wonders if they have? Would there be Russian DNA from my grandfather’s side? Would I be mostly German as my history of my family seems to say? Would there be a surprise in the works?
I waited for what seemed like forever, but was about 9 weeks. I got the email that my results were ready and excitedly clicked to see my results!
Here is what they were:
… that was it? I don’t quite know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. Where was the German? The Russian? The reason why my grandfather and his siblings are a bit darker than me? And no Native American?
Well, after the let down, I realized that this could just show the migration patterns. Maybe they migrated from southern Europe to Germany and then Russia – that makes sense. The 11% uncertain had me think that maybe there was still some change of the other places I had assumed would be there.
Now, because this was a beta, and because they needed lots of samples to compare, I knew that my results would change. Eventually. Yesterday, nearly a year (maybe 2) later, I got the email that it was updated.
Was it ever!
Now THIS was more of what I was expecting! It is quite a bit more detailed as well. This explains my sister’s slightly exotic look, and my grandpa and his siblings more swarthy complexions. Overall, I’m thrilled with the new results! And I love that Ireland has it’s own percentage as well. That makes me quite happy 🙂
I still plan on doing the other two DNA tests as well but even more so now that I’ve seen what it can show. I have always loved DNA (for a brief time it was even my undergrad study). I still find this incredibly fascinating and I love how genealogy allows me to have my science love along with my history love. Best of both worlds!