Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My DNA Test Results

I been doing genealogy research on my family for more than 30 years now, and with the proliferation of ancestral sites on the world wide web, I've been fairly lucky in tracing my relatives back in time.  A couple of years ago, I hit one of those walls where it seems impossible to get further information, so I hunkered down and started looking at all of my ancestors, as far back as I could go.
   I ended up figuring my cultural identities in eighths - from my great-grandparents.  I had found, here and there, throughout the family tree some one born in France or Germany or the Netherlands, but they were few and far between.  So I totted up the countries, and said that I was 5/8 English (from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland), 1/4 Swedish, and 1/8 Danish. A few of my family lines can be followed back 1,000 years or more, and that's also something I took into account.  I felt pretty sure about those "familial eighths."
   In mid-October of this year, I finally purchased a DNA test kit.  Just because of my own preferences, I chose the Geno 2.0 test kit through the National Geographic Society.  I sent off my two cheek swabs, and sat down to wait.  The company reminds you frequently that the results will take 8 to 10 weeks of testing before they will have answers for you.  I was quite shocked to receive my results a few days before Thanksgiving - 24 November.
   One thing to remember is that since I'm female, and do not receive any Y chromosomes from my father, this result is on my mitochondrial DNA.  It's DNA passed down from my mother,by her mother, by her mother, by her mother, etc.  And following my matrilinear family tree, I "hit a wall" with Betsey (Elizabeth) Lewis, who was born about 1795 on the Eastern Shore of either Maryland or Virginia...
   My  ancestral countries are:  58 %  English;  34 % Scandinavian;  4 %  Finn and Siberian; and 4 % Arabian.   My family tree estimates were pretty close - 62.5 % English and 37.5 % Scandinavian.  We've always had tales in the family of having female Native American ancestors - the DNA pieces that are 4 % Finn and Siberian match 95% of  DNA pieces in Native Americans.  The 4 % Arabian is from my ancestors who came from Eastern Ethiopia, then passed through the Arabian peninsula on their way to the Middle East and Eastern Europe...
    Tracing my way back to "the seven daughters of Eve," I am descended from Jasmine.   My Haplogroup is  J1c4.  So far, it seems to be a pretty rare Haplogroup:  out of the nearly 1 million people tested by the National Geographic Society, only .6% have this designation.  In reading what has been posted on the web, it seems that the estimation of females with the J1c4 Haplogroup is 3 to 4 % of the world's population.  There are a lot of J1c's - but very few J1c4's.    (Apparently,  I'm pretty unusual - snort!)
    Oh, and most people have an average of 2.1 % Neanderthal genes in their DNA.  I have 1.2 %.

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