Wow, it's been awhile since my last post! April was a very busy and celebratory month filled with baby showers, bachelorette parties, birthdays, and bridal parties. With all the big changes quickly approaching (twin baby girls due late July) my posts will probably become a bit sporadic, but I will not give it up!
I first shared my interest in Ancestry.com's new venture in DNA testing for genealogical research a few months ago, read my post and reader comments. At the end of November I swabbed my cheek and sent my DNA sample to Ancestry.com. Just 4 months later I was SUPER excited when I finally got the email notification that my test results were available. Since Ancestry DNA is still in it's Beta stage, there are disclaimers that results may not be as accurate as possible at first. They warn me that as more samples are processed and more samples are added to the database, results will become more accurate. This might be due to under or over representation of certain ethnicities.
How is ethnicity determined?
"Your genetic ethnicity is a prediction of your ethnic background. We take segments of your DNA and compare them to our ethnicity database, which contains one of the most comprehensive collections of DNA samples from people around the world. We group individuals with a well-established family history in a given place (British Isles for example) and then compare your DNA to each unique group in order to identify overlap. And as our database continues to grow, you could receive updates with new information.
DNA changes slightly with each generation, and over time any group of people that are relatively isolated (by geography or culture) develop unique genetic signatures that we can look for. It’s this aspect of DNA that makes our ethnicity predictions all possible.
We expect that over time, as the science continues to evolve, we'll be able to show more granular ethnic regions—even regions within a specific country."
I do wish they had the ability to break it down into specific country, but I understand how challenging that is with constantly changing borders! A big mystery I'm looking to solve in my family tree is the birth place of my great grandparents who are from Galicia, a region within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They might be from Poland, Hungry, or Austria.
Anyways, back to my results. They found my genetic ethnicity to be 44% Eastern European, 41% British Isles, and 15% Scandinavian (BIG surprise there). I expected the eastern european/british split (mother's side/father's side), but I have no idea where the Scandinavian comes from. I also expected some German in there, from census records I've found my ggg grandfather Jacob Grimm would have been born in Germany and so were both of his parents. TBD!
This is how my results are displayed:
Did you participate in Ancestry.com's DNA project? Do you have an interest in DNA testing for genealogy? I'd love to hear from you! I am VERY novice when it comes to DNA and genealogy, but I want to learn more!