Where I’m From

Picture1I have been fascinated by genetics from the moment I first understood its meaning.   I like the idea that we are created from a template, versus a random assortment of characteristics.  Very orderly. And who doesn’t love the fact that they can blame all of their biological shortcomings on their parents?

Which means OF COURSE I had to join the DNA testing trend.

Before ordering, I conferred with one of my cousins to find out if anyone on her side of the family had taken a similar test.  And if they had, were any secrets revealed that I should be prepared for.  As it turns out, her mother had taken one recently and had discovered some unexpected twists to her tree.  I was excited to find out if I, too, had something exciting hidden in the deep recesses of my DNA.

I received my results this morning.  And the answer to my burning question is: no.

First, there was one major disappointment. My test did not reveal a single trace of Native American DNA.  I suspect I am one of the millions of Americans who were told they were part Cherokee. From both sides of the family, mind you! Unless that bit falls under the “other” category, then it was just a tall tale.  And that makes me a little sad.

But I did discover these interesting tidbits.

  1.  I’m Irish!  I mean, I kind of figured as much given my blatantly Irish surname.  But 37% Irish/Scottish/Welsh is pretty darn significant for an American mutt.  Even better, I’m only 6% English.  I say “better” because I always favored Irish culture, and this somehow legitimizes my love of all things Celtic.
  2. Another 29% falls under Western European.  I’m betting on Germany/Austria vs. France/Spain.  My mother has a bit of a Alpine/Heidi thing and adores all things Austria.  Perhaps she comes about her fascination honestly.
  3. The above comprises 66% of my DNA and is not particularly telling.  But the last of the big categories just about floored me.  Y’all, I’m 21% SCANDANAVIAN!  Yep, this squatty, freckled, cold-hating, Irish peasant stock of a girl is 21% Viking. Kind of warps your image of the tall, blonde goddess stereotype, doesn’t it?
  4. No other categories were statistically significant.

Ancestry also predicts your migration patterns.  My DNA follows the pattern of both Georgia-Alabama and Central Alabama migration patterns.  That only surprises me because it’s so utterly accurate. There is no disavowing my Southern roots!

I’m so glad to have done this test.  Even if it’s not 100% accurate, it is great fun learning more about who you are (or might be).  And in my case, it just verifies that I am, indeed,  a rather boring middle-aged white woman.  Cheers!

2 thoughts on “Where I’m From

  1. We gave Ancestry to our family for Xmas! I too am fascinated by DNA and science in general. My parents have been married 57 years, my partners parents have been married 55 and amazingly enough…..all 4 of our parents are still living! Anyway, my Mother in law said to me ….”do you really think this is a good idea?” So funny because I was not the least bit concerned considering our solid family histories but …….. found out I have a half sister that my father never knew about. It has caused some stress and shock in the family and we are still working thru that part but WOW! Luckily for my Mom & Dad….lol…she is 59 years old. Her birth mother gave her up for adoption….sealed adoption records in NC so DNA was the only way this would have ever come to light. I believe it to be a blessing and hoping with time, it will prove to be just that!

    Peace ~

    1. WOW!! I cannot imagine how I would feel in your situation. I would NEVER have thought about unearthing family secrets!! Though, since your Dad didn’t know, it wasn’t actually a secret withheld. I hope that this new revelation will turn out to be a wonderful thing for all- in time. I hope life is otherwise calm and you’re doing well!!

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