Friday, May 12, 2017
All About My DNA
Remember how Dave and I took the Ancestry DNA tests? Well the results are in! Mine didn't contain any surprises -- as I suspected, I am about as British as can be -- but I was surprised by the specificity with which the test could analyze my background. And Dave got a little surprise from his.
As you can see, 90 percent of my DNA comes from Great Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia (probably Vikings) and Western Europe (Saxons and Normans, no doubt). The other 10 percent is divided among "low confidence regions" -- which I assume means the amounts of DNA I carry from those areas are so small that the results are suspect. They include single-digit percentages from the Iberian Peninsula and Finland/Russia, and traces of less than one percent from Eastern Europe, Italy/Greece and Africa (dating back to the time of Lucy, I'm guessing, although the test pinpoints West Africa, which seems curious).
I'd thought it possible that I might have some Native American DNA, considering that both my Mom's and Dad's families have been in North America for centuries. But I have zero. And apparently there was no canoodling with servants of other backgrounds -- at least not within several hundred years, and not that resulted in a child leading to me.
What IS interesting is that the test linked me to "genetic communities" of Ancestry DNA members in Eastern North Carolina. This is completely, utterly accurate -- my maternal grandmother's ancestors are from this very region. (She was born near Fayetteville.) It's not surprising that I would share DNA with people from that area.
It also linked me to "genetic communities" in western North Carolina and along the Illinois/Missouri border. (Interesting that these separate areas share common DNA!) Again, this makes sense. My father's family moved from the Carolinas/Tennessee to the Arkansas Ozarks many generations ago, and he himself was born in St. Louis, and had family there.
I am fascinated that even though I took the test here in the UK, my DNA is specific enough that it pinpoints my American roots!
Dave's DNA, on the other hand, is much less British. His ancestry is 32 percent Western European (probably German -- he has a German surname), 29 percent Scandinavian, 27 percent Eastern European, 6 percent European Jewish (!) and "low confidence" traces from elsewhere in Europe and West Asia. The Jewish thing is a cool surprise -- his parents are devout Lutherans! His "genetic communities" include Eastern Europeans (his Mom has Czech ancestry) and Germans in the USA's Midwest -- again, completely accurate, given his roots in Michigan.
All in all, pretty fascinating!