This week’s post has me scratching my head a little. I was so excited to find out the results of my DNA with the AncestryDNA project, and believe me I still am, but now I feel like I have more questions than answers.
First off, let me say that I was very, very surprised at the results. I believed myself to my very, very German in decent and it turns out I am not. The results yielded that my DNA is 73 percent Great Britain. Now, what does this mean?
Great Britain shows that there is a probable range of 49-97% with the average being 73 in my case. These results have ancestors primarily located in England, Scotland and Wales. Well, I do know for a fact that my father’s father’s side does hail from Scotland. This I have seen in black and white and have followed the paper trail myself. But that is only a small portion of my family tree…
Other possible ancestors can come from Ireland, France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Italy. Well, two of these totally make sense. Knowing that I have had ancestors from Switzerland that moved to Germany….sure I can buy that. But that leaves a wide area open. Open to possibilities that I have yet to discover. Now, it doesn’t mean that I have actually had ancestors from any of those other possible regions; it’s just letting me know that it “could” be. This is what makes me a little unnerved. I get it, it’s been a really long time since the dawn of civilization and I know I have had to come from somewhere and someone…but I feel like it would have been more exact. You know? Like the commercials? The commercial make it seem like “hey, I think I’m German but it turns out my family is really Scottish.” Not, “hey, I think I’m German but it turns out my family is really Scottish, Welsh and English.” That’s totally different. Don’t these areas of the United Kingdom have different ideals and customs?
Plus, the website does explain that the history of Great Britain is often told in the invasions of different groups that actually displaced the native people. Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans have all invaded in Great Britain. My sister is also currently reading a book on the history of Scotland that pertains to the area our family is from and she believes it is highly likely that our family actually descends from Vikings. Kinda makes me feel like pillaging something…
The website also explains that most people living in Great Britain today are a very mixed population. So, when creating a DNA profile they find that 60% of the typical natives DNA comes from this region. They also give you a history on the region that was interesting to read. All that reading about Anglo-saxons made me wonder if my family ever knew an Uhtred, son of Uhtred.
Next on the list is Ireland. I am ten percent Irish. Primarily located in Ireland, Wales and Scotland but also can be found in France and England. Still, makes sense in the Scottish aspect but maybe there is an Irish ancestor I have yet to discover. Here my DNA is only ten percent where the native to Ireland is 95 percent. So, maybe I am not at Irish as I think?
The next surprise on the list was the Iberian Peninsula. This shows as eight percent. This region is mainly Spain and Portugal but also can be found in France, Morocco, Algeria and Italy. Here I am at eight percent to the native’s 51 percent. But this still makes sense if you read more of the history of this region. They have a Migration Period, or Volkerwanderung, that was primarily Germanic tribes around 400 A.D. Everything circles back around to Vikings…
Now finally, we come to the results that I thought would have been the highest percentage, Europe West. In this category I am only at five percent. This region is primarily located in Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein but can also be found in England, Denmark, Italy, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. This region is a broad expanse stretching from Amsterdam to the peaks of the Alps. It was dominated by France in the west and Germany in the east. Its region is very culturally diverse. The typical native has about 48 percent to my puny 5. Even though I can specifically trace many ancestors of mine back to Germany. Recently I even posted about my ancestor Michael Holt and how he because one of the second colony settlers at Germanna.
Lastly, there are two categories in the “trace regions” section. First being Finland and Northwest Russia and the latter being Europe East.
Three percent for Finland and Northwest Russia which is Finland and Russia but also found in Estonia, Latvia, Sweden and Lithuania. Finland is a Nordic nation and shares a border with Scandinavian nations of Sweden and Norway. I have a tiny three percent compared to a typical native at 99 percent.
Finally is Europe east. This region isn’t very large but seems to boast the most countries. Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Russia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia. Not to be left out but also found in Germany, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Estonia and Bulgaria. Phew. That was definitely a mouth full. Here I only have less than one percent of a DNA match to a typical native at 82 percent. Interesting but not particularly helpful.
Not only does the website provide the ethnicity estimate but they also give you DNA matches. These are other ancestrydna members who have been previously tested. Their DNA profile is compared with your results. So far, I have 312 4th cousins or closer that I may be able to contact and share my tree with. This could lead to a whole new way to discover your ancestors than just following the paper documents available on websites. These people could have living history stories and photographs that you would not have been able to access otherwise.
Also, they provide something called a DNA circle. I can see my 4th Great-grandfather, James Edward Hart’s DNA circle. There are 16 other members in this circle that I can contact and build from. I can’t wait to get started and jump into the gene pool!
This was a very cool project to undertake. It was easy to do and the results actually came very quickly. But, it only leads to more research. This is just a gateway into more secrets of my family tree I have yet to uncover.
Thanks for reading!