I’m slow to get into things but once I do, I’m pretty committed. The DNA craze has been going on for awhile. My SIL Becky got hers done long ago and has been encouraging me to do mine for a long time. I finally decided I was ready and knew which company I wanted to go with, etc. Actually…my great-uncle and great-aunt wanted me to help them do theirs and I decided if they were doing it and I was helping them I might as well do my own. Then I decided if I was doing it my husband was, too! Then I even got my parents to do it. I chose Family Tree DNA for a few reasons, the most important of which are that they don’t share your info with other companies and also they utilize a swab test rather than a spit test. (The kits are still on sale but only for a few more days! Hurry and buy one now!!)
I ordered our kits the second week of November. We held on to them a couple of days and then sent them in. I’m not sure what happened with the mailing process but it took a couple of weeks for Family Tree to acknowledge receipt of our packages. However, my uncle and aunt’s kits were acknowledged right away. My husband and I swabbed and sent in our samples in mid-November. Our results were posted about a week before Christmas. For the record, the results were posted well in advance of the date projected by Family Tree DNA. I COULD NOT WAIT TO READ THE RESULTS!!
I opened them and I was so confused and frustrated! My husband’s, aunt’s, and uncle’s results all read 100% but mine read 99%. I messaged Family Tree and asked why mine were only 99%. I didn’t get a response (to be fair it was Christmas time) so I called them and asked the same question. I was told that it is normal to receive between 99% and 101% on results due to the fact that there are sometimes fractions of percents that cause the total to come in under or over 100%. The company doesn’t report fractions less than 1% total because that amount falls within the margin of error.
So for my family reading this- I know you’re asking yourself when I’m going to get around to talking about that 99% so here you go:
98% European- broken down to include:
56% British Isles (United Kingdom, Ireland, Great Britain area)
25% Scandinavia (Norway and southern Sweden area)
10% Western and Central Europe (Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic area)
7% Southern Europe (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Albania, Greece area)
1% Central/South Asian- specifically:
Central Asia (Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan area)
In case you do better with pictures, here you go:
For the most part I was not surprised with the exception of the 1% Central Asia. I WAS surprised that there was no Native American percentage since I can prove that heritage.
Now back to that 1%. Along the way to discovering all of the above information and subsequently trying to find relatives on the Family Tree DNA website and the Gedmatch.com website, I have discovered that the missing percent includes about half Eastern Middle East (the best I can tell that includes Turkey, Israel, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan area) and about half Ashkenazi Jew. I will say that there are a lot of extraneous discussions on the internet about Eastern Middle East DNA and the possibility that Native American DNA is being interpreted as Eastern Middle East. I just don’t know enough about DNA to say what’s going on with that.
About the Ashkenazi Jew…I used to tease my son about having a “Jew nose” and I would affectionately call him my “Jew boy” sometimes. (He’s no longer with us but as soon as I learned about the Ashkenazi heritage, I texted my daughter to let her know she really was my “Jew girl”.) I used to tell my son there’s Jewish in there somewhere! Then about a year ago I found some information in my research that indicated the possibility of Ashkenazi Jew and I mentioned it to my mom but then I just put it on the back burner and forgot about it because what are the chances this Oklahoma country girl is really Jewish?! Seriously. And there was ZERO family oral history about being Jewish. Well, wouldn’t you know…I am!! And now I know where that Jew nose came from! And it totally explains my maternal grandparents’ tight grip on money! I *think* my Ashkenazi DNA may come from my maternal 2nd great grandfather, Nicholas REITER. Those of you who follow my blog may know that I’m kind of stuck on Nicholas REITER’s family history. I just can’t get anywhere with him even after nearly three decades of research. As soon as the Ashkenazi Jew heritage was confirmed with DNA I started looking around online and found Jewishgen.org. I found a few REITER researchers on this website and I have contacted all of them hoping to get a positive response and finally make a breakthrough on this family line. Something really cool about being Jewish- if I’m understanding correctly- is I can obtain dual citizenship in Israel based on my mother’s Jewish heritage because of Israel’s Law of Return. Very cool!!
I’ve uploaded my results to the Gedmatch.com website hoping to get more results but honestly- I feel so dumb when it comes to this DNA stuff. There is so much to learn! And it isn’t an exact science. Each company I test with could come back with slightly different results due to differences in testing. And your DNA can NOT tell you everything. For instance, I know I’m Native American even though my DNA results don’t indicate that. On top of that, my brothers’ DNA results may be slightly different than mine because people don’t inherit equal amounts of DNA from each ancestor. So while my results may show Ashkenazi Jew, my brother’s might not show that at all. And while my DNA may shows no Native American heritage, that Native American may show up on my brother’s results.
I encourage each of you to get tested. The more people that test, the easier it will be to continue researching the family’s history. You have options including Family Tree DNA, Ancestry, 23andMe, and the newest one- MyHeritage. Please let me know if you decide to test. If you can get older family members to test, please do so. With each generation, we lose a little piece of DNA. I’m so looking forward to this DNA journey I’ve started on. If I make any incredible breakthroughs I’ll be sure to keep you updated.
Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives