"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

DNA results are in!

Over a dozen years ago I met a group of ladies at Babycenter.com.  Oddly enough I heard about Babycenter because my dad used to like watching these stocks/news reports on TV, and one day they mentioned the top baby names.  I happened to be visiting my parents, my dad had the TV on in the background, and I perked up when I heard which names were most popular in the US.   I decided to check out Babycenter because of my love of names.  I saw they had name polls there, and, over time, I was able to "meet" some of the regulars who posted in the comments.  Eventually it evolved enough that about a dozen of us became friends and we now have a secret group on Facebook where we share day-to-day happenings, struggles at home or work, funny parts of life, pictures we don't necessarily want to share with the wider Facebook audience, and stuff like DNA test results.   I know I also shared my results with my wider Facebook audience, but my Babycenter friends were among the very first to know.  (I shared it with them, and my parents and siblings around the same time.)

I posted this to my friends:

"I got my DNA results today. Anyone want to guess what place got the highest percentage? Anyone?"

A few of them guessed or said they had no idea, but were eager to see, but Sommer, a friend from California, humored us all with her guess:

5% Deep South Hispanic
25% Caucasian
60% little Orphan Annie

50% McDonald
45% pothole

I used to take Michael to the McDonald's Playplace quite often when he was younger, and the girls would tease me about being cousins with Ronald McDonald because we both have clown hair.

Also, little orphan Annie

The pothole reference is from a GEICO commercial from a few years ago.  Sommer said when she heard it, she thought of me because of my southern accent.


I received my Ancestry.com DNA results yesterday. I'd been checking my email often for updates even though I knew I still had a few weeks to go since they tell you to allow 6 to 8 weeks.  (They received my DNA sample on July 12.)

My maiden name and my mom's maiden name are both from French last names.  I remember talking about surnames not long ago saying how they can be misleading.   I meant it more for my brother in law who was adopted from Venezuela and has a Slovenian last name now, but it seems I should have also thought of how my last names could trick me. 

Overall I was 94% European with only 5% in West Asia, the Caucasus.

I was surprised to see my highest percentage wasn't for Ireland (though it was second) or Europe West (which includes France -- only got 5% here) or even Great Britain (third place). 
It was for Italy and Greece at 35%.  Huh?!   There is absolutely no one in my (granted, very limited) family tree with an Italian or Greek-sounding name so I never would have considered this!

I immediately had a Facebook chat with my parents and siblings, and my youngest sibling said the Italy/Greece thing didn't surprise him as he considered history.  His thoughts:

We know we have some French ancestors on both sides, and the ancestors of people from the area that is now France didn't come from there. Most of the native Gallic people were wiped out by the Romans during their wars like the Europeans did with the native Americans. Then later some of the lighter haired people were introduced when Germanic tribes came over like the Goths and Visigoths, etc. The Romans before that had mixed a lot with the Greeks -short explanation

yeah the Romans colonized modern-France and called it Gallic-Rome, mostly everyone from "France" came from Roman or Germanic ancestors

A lot of historians believe the people who settled and built Rome were originally from Greece

I'll post my percentages here so I'll have a record of them:

Africa <1 p="">Trace Regions

 <1 p="">Africa North less than 1%
<1 p="">
<1 p="">
<1 p="">
Europe 94%
<1 p="">
Italy/Greece 35%
Ireland 26%
Great Britain 19%
Europe West 5%
Range: 0%-20%
<1 p="">
<1 p="">
Trace Regions
Europe East 4%
Scandinavia 2%
Finland/Northwest Russia 2%
Iberian Peninsula 1%

<1 p=""> West Asia 5%
Trace Regions
Caucasus 5%

Thanks to those who did this test before, and got me more interested in doing it for myself.  I don't know how accurate the data is in reality, but it's interesting to consider.

If you've done a DNA test, did your results surprise you in any way or did they confirm what you already knew?  Did your results differ from a sibling in a notable way?


Unknown said...

That reasoning makes sense. When I do this for myself, I expect to see Germanic/Scandinavian/whatever-they-call-it highest up on the list. That's partly because I want that to be the case because I really wish I lived there. But also because even though I don't know of any ancestors from there, the last names and history of the area make it seem likely.

We know my maternal grandmother had ancestors in Great Britain, and my grandfather's last name is French. But it's not just French, when I looked it up I found it's actually Norman, which is apparently Viking-French. :D Both grandmothers have British-y names that when I researched them turn out to be Anglo-Saxon.

Tracking down my dad's last name has been really tricky but some sort of Germanic origin seems likely, probably the spelling and later pronunciation got screwed up when they came to the US. (My best but still totally uneducated guess is that it's supposed to be "Seibel." This may be wishful thinking like the Scandinavian ancestry, but it matches the way people tend to mispronounce the name and my mom's best guess was that he had German ancestry anyway. But I do like this pronunciation better, my last name always sounded clunky and weird to me.)

Thanks for sharing your results! Always interesting to see, and I like the joke response!

Amber said...

I'm really glad you decided to share your results. :)

And Sommer's genetic breakdown actually *feels* more right, so I vote that we go with that one.

I remember getting mine and the two biggest surprises being that I was Irish and not Scottish as I'd always been told and that there was a smidge of Jewish ancestry back in there somewhere. I'd kind of convinced myself that pretty much everyone would have that who was European of some stripe, but apparently not, if I'm judging by your results.

I need to know more people who've done this. It's so interesting. :)

Niki said...

The biggest surprise for me was that no African or Native American showed up in my DNA. I have ancestors just a few generations back who are "mulatto" on census records. This could either mean they were descended from slaves or, considering where they lived, were Lumbee Indians. But I learned that just because a certain ethnicity doesn't show up in your DNA doesn't mean you don't have ancestors from where you were expecting. It could be that if my brother or my mom took the DNA test, the Native American and/or African would show up in their DNA.

I was also surprised by the small amount of Great Britain that showed up in my DNA (4%). The vast majority of my ancestors were from/born in England. Yet I only have 4% Great Britain? But then I remembered how English royalty married people from other countries in Europe and that many of my ancestors were Vikings and French who eventually made their way to England. I do have quite a bit of French in my DNA and my ancestry.

Niki said...

Oh, and Amber, I love your avatar. :-)

Susanne said...

Stephanie, I enjoyed reading about "your" last names. I hope one day you take the test and post your results so I can see where your ancestors are from! I appreciate your feedback!

Amber, I know...I wish more people would do it and share results. Yeah, no Jewishness in me, I guess. At least none that got passed down. I realize you can get absolutely no DNA from a certain grandparent even though you'd think *something* would transfer. Hmmm. I enjoyed reading your results and what was surprising to you. You definitely made me more interested in doing it. And you were one of the first I contacted by FB private message since I enjoy discussing this stuff with you. It would be neat if your mom or sister could do it - to see how they differ from you.

Niki, posting your results also made me very interested in this test. Thanks to you for sharing those with us. Interesting stuff! Yes, it would be nice if your mom and brother could test, too, to see if any American Indian or African DNA showed up. :)