Thursday, November 7, 2013

My DNA Results Are In

We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies.

Shirley Abbott

Old Settler's Graveyard in Lancaster, Massachusetts. Many of my ancestors are buried here.

Received the results of my DNA testing yesterday, and I have to say there is a tiniest part of me that is  a wee bit disappointed. Not that the test wasn't worth it. Indeed, it actually confirmed that all the work I have done on my family tree is correct. I'd always been quite sure of my Celtic background, but I have to admit that I was surprised that Ireland is such a small part of DNA. Of course, that all fits. In actuality, many of my paternal and maternal ancestors are from Great Britain, while only my paternal great grandmother and her ancestors are from Ireland. 

I guess I was hoping for something that would 'blow' my mind, something totally unexpected. Alas, it wasn't there. One thing I am definitely excited about is that they identified several distant cousins whom I have already sent an email out to.  This may help me to identify family members who are lost...brick walls as we say in genealogy. 

Europe 100%
    ...Great Britain 45% (primarily located in England, Scotland, and Wales)

    ...Europe West  37% (includes Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein) Can also be Celtic as well as Germanic. So this also covers my ancestors from my maternal grandfather's side, as well as my early Dutch ancestors, including my 9th grandmother Margaret Stuyvesant,  who settled in New York, then called New Amsterdam, and the Elizabethtown colony in New Jersey.

    ...Ireland  11%  (Somehow I thought this would be much higher)

  ...Iberian Peninsula 4% (primarily found in: Spain and Portugal) Well, they say there is a lot of genetic similarity between Irish and Spanish people. It is believed that the ancient Celtic explored these regions a long time ago between 600 and 100 B.C. 

  ...Europe East 1 % ( primarily located in Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine, etc.) Not enough DNA to really count.

  ...Scandinavia 1%  Finnish/Northern Russia 1%  (Both are less than one percent.  Not even worth counting.  Guess there goes my Viking heritage, huh?) Oh well, my German ancestors can account for my interest in heathenism.

Amazing facts.  Every time I see that commercial on television where the woman said, "I was lost, but then I saw you coming home" I am reminded that just  a few short years ago that was me.  I didn't have any idea who I was. An only child, my mom and dad had passed, and I'd never met any of my father's family.  My mom's family was so small that when my grandparents passed away, all contact was lost. I felt so alone in this world.  Now I not only have an amazing family tree, but I have also chatted with cousins I never knew existed.  And, through my maternal mtDNA I have learned of Ursula, my first mother who lived about 60,000 years ago. Indeed, I am no longer alone.

*Your maternal DNA results are relevant all along your maternal lineage and apply all the way down the line.


  1. Wow, very cool! It is always so comforting in a way to find out more about our ancestors. Now with DNA we can know so much more!

  2. What!!! No Zulu? Now THAT would have been a surprise!

  3. Yay! I'm glad you learned so much about yourself and your ancestors Mary! You already knew a lot, but the test results reinforced it all. You and i have a lot if heritage in common too. My ancestors are mostly from England, and a very few from Ireland. (I, like you, always wanted to be more Irish.). :).

  4. Hi Mary.....How cool is this.......I have not done my ancestry but someone else has....although I HAVE NOT done my DNA perhaps I should.



  5. What a totally interesting report that you got back! Sorry that there wasn't more Irish in you, but you have some! But like Debra said, too bad there wasn't any Zulu! :)

  6. Did I miss your post way back when you were still working about the results of your lab work that you were worried about ? This has been in the back of my mind ever since.

  7. That is very cool. I would love to have my DNA tested. I've worked on my family history for over 20 years. I go off an on with it and am currently on an "on" phase. :-)