Back in December I purchased two kits from 23andMe as a Christmas present for my Husband. We have been talking about ancestry and DNA forever, so I knew it would be the perfect gift to do something together, and learn more about ourselves, and each other. To begin with, the "extraction process" is super un-romantic, because you have to spit into a tube, over and over again until it reaches a certain line. It is quite entertaining though! We had a good laugh for sure!
We mailed off our samples right away and patiently (well, me... not so patiently) awaited our results. Brien got his back much sooner than I did, and we had fun learning all about his ancestry, and learning which family stories he was told were inaccurate. I grew up hearing from my family that I am
This of course I walked through life understanding to be my heritage and Ancestry. My mother moved to the states from Germany when she was 18. My Great-Grandmother spoke Italian. All of this lead me to be super duper curious about what my DNA actually says, and what kinds of things are expressed through me! So.... here are the results from my DNA test from 23andMe!
Honestly, it's really not too far off from what I grew up with from family stories! One of the things that surprised me the most was the Ashkenazi Jewish, and East Asian & Native American. I also opted to pay a little extra to see my carrier status and genetic health risks. I totally feel like the cost of these kits are worth it, even if it's just a fun little thing you do for your own knowledge!
For instance the chart below shows how many generations ago your most recent ancestor was for each population.This module uses your Ancestry Composition results to estimate the generation range where you are likely to have had a single relative who descended from a single population.These results may be helpful for learning about your genealogy, in figuring out from which ancestors a particular ancestry may have been inherited, or for piecing together the history of their likely migrations. This is mine!
I also loved learning about my Maternal Haplogroup. I descend from a long line of women that can be traced back to eastern Africa over 150,000 years ago. These are the women of my maternal line, and my maternal haplogroup sheds light on their story. This group is I3.
As our ancestors ventured out of eastern Africa, they branched off in diverse groups that crossed and recrossed the globe over tens of thousands of years. Some of their migrations can be traced through haplogroups, families of lineages that descend from a common ancestor. Your maternal haplogroup can reveal the path followed by the women of your maternal line.
If every person living today could trace his or her maternal line back over thousands of generations, all of our lines would meet at a single woman who lived in eastern Africa between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago. Though she was one of perhaps thousands of women alive at the time, only the diverse branches of her haplogroup have survived to today. The story of your maternal line begins with her.
One of the really cool things I learned from this was that Haplogroup I may have been carried to Iceland by the Vikings! Some Icelanders also bear haplogroup I, a suggestion that their ancestry traces back to British and Irish women who were taken away from their homes by Viking raiders during the 9th and 10th centuries AD. But haplogroup I also appears to have been present in Scandinavia during the Viking era. Ancient DNA belonging to the haplogroup was extracted from skeletal remains at an early Christian cemetery in Denmark.
Today, haplogroup I is very rare in Denmark. But it is found at a level of about 4% in Finland and 2% in other parts of Scandinavia.
I am definitely pleased with the thoroughness of my results and the ability to connect with DNA relatives (some of my actual cousins did kits and also showed up!) and to learn so much more about myself. In a weird way, I feel more at home in my skin, knowing that certain hunches I had were correct, and that I can walk through life knowing where my family came from!
Are you excited to give it a try? Let me know!