AncestryDNA

ethnicity-map-blobs
AncestryDNA image

This past week was my birthday. Even though I frowned a little upon the thought of going farther into my thirties, it was a great day.  I spent the morning helping my mom paint her newly remodeled bathroom.  Seems I should take up a side job painting since this entire week has been dedicated to shutters, doors and bathroom walls.  I am pleased with the outcome and feel like my house has a fresh face for another year of living to do!

But, this post isn’t about painting the exterior of my home, it is about presents.  And the most valuable present I received this year was from my husband.  I guess he really does read my little blog post after all and he helped me cross yet another thing off my list of “things in the works”.  My wonderful husband purchased the Ancestry DNA kit for me!  I was completely surprised and had to give him a pat on the back for getting me something he knew I really, really wanted.  I had no idea as I tried to guess what would fit in the mailbox and be a dead giveaway once I saw the packaging.  It never crossed my mind that this would be my gift this year.

kit
Ancestry image of kit.

So, on Sunday afternoon I sat down to read my instructions on what I needed to do.  It was quite easy actually.  The instructions are very crystal clear and straight to the point.

First, I registered my kit number on the Ancestry website at ancestrydna.com/activate.  You must activate your kit number or you will not be able to see the results.  Even if you don’t have an ancestry.com account, they will help you get one set up and the best part is – it’s free!  If you happen to be doing multiple test tubes, they do offer space for you to write each applicants name and kit number.  This code is linked to your sample and they say it is the only way to be able to identify you and your results!

Step two was to actually gather the DNA.  Now, this wasn’t difficult but I was a little nervous if I would be able to get that much spit into the container that was needed without suffering from severe dry mouth.  In reality it is only about ¼ teaspoon, but that tiny wavy line on the tube seems so far away when I can produce nothing but bubbles.  They also instruct you not to over fill.  I suppose this is for the solution and to make sure they have enough to mix with your saliva.  I popped the funnel from the tube and replaced it with the cap that contains the blue solution that you must mix with your saliva.  All you do is twist the cap on tightly and it releases the solution into the tube.  This stabilizes your DNA in the saliva.

Last but not least, you have to shake the solution in the tube for a few seconds and make sure that your DNA is nice and stable for transport.  Pack that bad boy in the collection bag, seal it and toss it in the prepaid box for shipping.  I left my sample on the counter until Monday morning.  And, first thing before my trip to the water park was a stop off at a mail box to send out my spit for testing!

I cannot tell you how much I feel like a kid at Christmas waiting for the results.  And I am not even at Christmas morning yet, I am at those long days waiting for Christmas break, slowly sipping my hot chocolate and hoping that Santa brings me something I want to see.  This is something that my sister and I had really wanted to share with our parents.  We always love to call them and fill them in on all our little discoveries.  Tracing back the family roots through documents is amazing, but being able to take a part of me and trace back generations to see where our family comes from just blows my mind.

chart
Ancestry image of “family circle” chart.

Basically, when my results come back in a few weeks, I will be able to see my ethnic mix.  Ancestry has a list of twenty-six different ethnic back grounds with the largest groups being in Europe and Africa.  Also, once the results are in Ancestry will do a search of their network members and identify cousins – or people who share our DNA.  But I suppose this would only be true for other people that have also taken the DNA test?  There are a vast number of people who have participated in the DNA study, so I am sure that I will be able to get a few hits.  Some people can even connect with someone famous!  This is absolutely a great starting point for digging even further into my family research.

AncestryDNA seems to be the leader in DNA testing for family history and boasts a data base of more than 2 million people who have already been tested.  Some research may require an ancestry.com subscription as well.  I am in luck because I already have one of these and my results will link with my profile on ancestry.com.   Once my results are back in about 6-8 weeks (insert sad face here due to the amount of time it takes) I will receive an email with a link to my profile.

And yes, I am a woman taking the test.  Unlike some testing, which only analyze the Y-chromosome (and can only be taken by a male to look at paternal lineage) or the mitochondrial DNA test (which can be taken by either sex but only looks at the direct maternal line), AncestryDNA looks at a person’s entire genome.  So, that is a way better in my opinion.  Otherwise, I’d need two kits for both lines of parentage.

I cannot wait for the results to come back.  I have a feeling I will have a huge portion of my ethnic background focused in Europe, with the largest cut of my pie chart in Great Britain and Europe West.  I know that my family, a large part of it, is from Germany, some from Scotland, some from Switzerland.  This will be a most interesting discovery and I can’t wait to see where this will take my family.

So, friends, check back with me in a few weeks to see the results of my AncestryDNA testing!  Until then, keep reading and discover more fascinating places in my area and more people in my family tree.

Thanks for reading

A-

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