I'm really into learning about my family's ancestry and tracing our roots and heritage. I've got a pretty complete family tree dating back to the 1500s in Switzerland on my paternal side and to the 1600s in England and the 1700s in Ireland on my maternal side. My paternal family has been located in South Carolina since 1736.
I started my interest in my ancestry/heritage by creating an account and a family tree on Ancestry.com. I actually found a lot of information there to begin with and blogged a bit about some of the interesting findings here.
However, I was really interested in what my actual DNA composition was made up of since I have a variety of leads from each side of the family. Well, the results were not THAT surprising...except for what I'm calling the wildcard...more on that later.
First up, my percentage breakdown for the expected (aka non-surprising) part of the results.
Okay, I figured GB and Europe. Here's a map breakdown which explains it a bit better.
Great Britain also includes Scotland, so that makes sense. My mom's maiden name is a Scottish name and we'd always been told that her side of the family is Scot-Irish. So "Great Britain" accounts for the Scottish side. Europe West accounts for France, Germany, Switzerland, etc. so that also makes sense because I've traced my paternal lineage to Switzerland and Germany. Then there's the fairly self-explanatory Irish and Scandinavian heritage.
The cool thing about these results is that Ancestry.com gives you a ton of historical data and background to help figure out why you could be showing DNA from a particular area. For me, I easily figured out the Scandinavian portion since I didn't knowingly have any lineage in that area. The Vikings and other tribal types from Scandinavia conquered and settled in parts of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, so many of my ancestors might have been descendants from those people. That also can help explain the Finland/NW Russia and Iberian Peninsula trace regions. People from these native portions could have immigrated to other parts of the world and intermarried but the DNA still remains. For example, many Germanic tribes like the Visigoths pushed into the Iberian peninsula areas and conquered kingdoms to the north into Scandinavia.
Are you ready for the wildcard? You may have noticed that I'm 98% of European descent but there's another 2% that's missing. Well, it's actually Asian. South Asia to be specific. Here's the full breakdown.
And the map that shows the general area. This includes countries like India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Okay, so obviously I do not LOOK South Asian AT ALL. But I find it very interesting that there are still markers in my DNA from this area. The best I can figure is it must come from the Great Britain portion since India use to be a British territory. Perhaps there was some intermarrying? It's just so fascinating! Who would have thought?!
I was slightly disappointed that some of my Jewish and Native American ancestry didn't come through nor was any portion of my DNA African. Given that many of my paternal ancestors were slave owners I figured that there might have been some. BUT, that's not to say it isn't a part of my heritage, it just didn't manifest into my own unique DNA. So how will I know? Well, I plan to purchase this test as a gift for my sister, father and mother. (Surprise! If you're reading this, family!) I'd like to see how my results compare to theirs and what theirs might show that mine didn't. Stay tuned!