So I decided to spit in a tube, drop it in a mailbox, and get my DNA analyzed via AncestryDNA (the ancestry.com DNA test, not the other one floating around on Groupon). It was incredibly simple and the results of the test analysis showed up a couple weeks earlier than I’d anticipated. Win, win, win.
1. Spit in tube after not eating for awhile.
2. Close tube cap and release spit DNA preservation stuff. Oooo, it’s blue!
3. Remove tube funnel and screw on the tube cap. Place the tube in the biohazard envelope. Oooo, your spit is a biohazard!
4. Place the tube+envelope in the mailer and drop it off at your nearest postal pick-up locale.
5. Wait as patiently as possible. (taps foot -> tap, tap, tap, tap)
6. Get extremely excited when an e-mail shows up in your inbox announcing your results are ready! Whoo!
For the most part I found what I was expecting to find. I really hoped I was at least a dash American Indian, so that was an exciting find. The trace of Asia Central was unexpected but not entirely surprising. The most surprising was the 9% estimate for Iberian Peninsula.
On my paternal side I’m Japanese and a mishmash of European – German, French, Irish, and English mostly. These ancestors lived in the Ohio/Kentucky/Pennsylvania/Maryland region.
On the maternal side I’m half Eastern European (Polish and Slovene) and a mishmash of European. I’m still working on researching back further, but so far the European side seems likely to be English/Scottish/Irish. This group of Euro settlers mostly began in North Carolina, migrated to Tennessee, and then later to Texas and Oklahoma.
I’m really not sure which side (or both?) the Iberian peninsula comes from! I thought maybe it could be southern France, but the last French ancestor I had intermarried into other communities back in the 1700s, so 9% seemed a little excessive for such a distant ancestor. I’m also not sure where in France my ancestor came from. We (the family in general) are pretty certain our French ancestor was Huguenot – I’m not sure if this could have some contribution to the mystery.
My actual initial thought was that there was maybe a connection to Slovenia. It’s a bit of a leap maybe, but in non-DNA percentages I’m 25% Eastern European, so initially I looked to the other percentages to see why the Eastern European estimate was so low. The more I think about it, the more obscure this connection seems. I haven’t found any evidence to back up this knee-jerk theory. I know the DNA that gets passed down to you doesn’t split 50/50 from each parent and I really don’t know if my Eastern European ancestors moved around a bunch in the past couple hundred years. I just know that they lived in those particular countries before coming to the U.S. circa 1900.
I also read some stuff online about a possible migratory connection between the Iberian peninsula and Ireland, leaving it possible that a couple of my Irish ancestors might have lived on the Iberian peninsula at one point? I’m not sure. I need to do some more reading and researching. I just feel pretty certain that there isn’t a hidden recent ancestor from Portugal/Spain/Southern France/Northern Africa. But universe, go ahead and surprise me!
I don’t have any documentation of Scandinavian relatives on either side of the family, but I imagine that has something to do with the migration of Scandinavian groups to the British Isles way back in old timey Viking days. That seems like a pretty straightforward possibility. Dang, Britain and Western Europe have a pretty strong showing. Makes sense, but just looks like such a big number to have all those odds and ends of British and Western European ancestors grouped in one percentage. I don’t tend to think of that part of my ancestry as cohesive since they’ve all been in the U.S. for so long – I tend to think more distinctly about the cultural/ethnic identities of my 20th century immigrant ancestors.
My Mom tells me her dad (of the generally North Carolina->Tennessee->Texas/Oklahoma branch) always said he was “‘Merican” when asked what he was. Ultimately, that is what I am too! Americans often get a bad rap (that is also often earned), but I’m happy and proud to be one. Somebody get me a Stars and Stripes to wave!
All in all, totally worth it. It was my birthday present from my parents and definitely exactly what I wanted. 🙂