DSC_0227Remember this photo? I suppose I could go out on a limb and tell you this is an extended family photo. Ancestors upon ancestors upon ancestors are represented in this photo.

Right now you’re thinking, “Candy – it’s just a cheek swab.” Well guess what. It’s my blog, and it’s my DNA, so if I say it’s an ancestral photo it’s an ancestral photo. Moving on…

I once wrote that this was the beginnings of a story, and I still think it is. I’m just not entirely sure of all of the characters and details within this story. But I’m working on it! The beginnings of this story (other than the initial cheek swabs) is that I was given an opportunity to try and test Ancestry’s DNA test product before it was offered to the general public. I wasn’t really surprised when the email arrived telling me they were getting into the DNA side of genealogy. They are one of the biggest names recognized with genealogy, and I’d say my reaction was more like “It’s about time!” They were providing the test kit and the results…I was providing the sample. And $10 shipping. I jumped on the chance to be a part of this, and considering that these tests run anywhere from $99 to $269 depending on the sort of testing that you want done, I could afford the meager $10.

In November 2011, I responded to the email,ordered my kit, swabbed my cheek, and sent it back to the lab just as soon as I possibly could. When I say without delay, I mean it. I responded to the email – that day. The day it arrived in my mailbox, I swabbed my cheek and returned it via my postal worker hubby, the same day. I was told via email that my results would be available sometime “early next year”. Thought it was a pretty vague time frame, but again, I wasn’t going to complain over the opportunity.

Early the next year arrived.  2012.  I wasn’t naive enough to think that on January 2nd there was going to be an email waiting for me telling me where I came from. It would have been nice, but I knew better. I even told myself not to look for anything until the end of February. Good thing too, because there were no results at the end of February. Fast Forward to a Friday in March…A new episode of GTV (genealogy tv) was airing – “Who Do You Think You Are”, which just happens to have major sponsor Ancestry.com…and SURPRISE! The new episode was featuring the results from their new DNA testing! Well now that the cat was out of the bag, surely my results would be on the way, right? Nope. My email inquiry was answered that it would be a few more weeks.

So I waited.

And waited.

All of this waiting was leading up to the time when I was able to take my mind off of my waiting and was able to keep myself busy preparing for the release of the 1940 U.S. Census images. (I had the sinking feeling that my DNA results would arrive the same day as the ’40 census images were being released! What would I do? Which would get my attention?? As it turns out, there was no conflict.)

I have a friend who believes that I have to be at last 1% Asian. (Fairly certain they were being just a wee bit of an “intellectual rear-end”) My dad has always thought that maybe, just maybe, there was a wee bit of Africa running through our family. This was due to an ancient family picture that showed a great-great-great aunt with what appeared to be features of a colored woman. I have been able to trace my dad’s paternal side back to England, so I wasn’t completely convinced of his theory. As it turns out, the facts don’t lie.

April of 2012,  I received that wonderful email, alerting me that my results were in! At that time I clicked through the provided link and found my results:

I clicked through the link and this is what I found…

  • 38% Scandinavian
  • 33% British Isles
  • 24% Central European
  • 5% Uncertain

Intrigued? Of Course! Fascinated? Certainly! Surprised? Not really. Especially with the finding that 33% of me is British Isles (That was more of a “Whew! I did that research right!” reaction). The Central European I don’t completely understand since it doesn’t look very “central” to me. But that could just be me and my geographically-challenged self. But I do know of a family on my maternal side that did originate from Germany, so this also makes sense. But it’s the majority of me, that 38%, that is showed of Scandinavian descent. As in – Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. That’s the one that had me saying “Huh…never saw that coming.” Although again, not completely blown away in surprise. Let’s face it. I’m a white girl’s white girl. But since I’ve yet to get my paternal grandmother’s family out of Ohio, this at least gives me a little something to look forward to one day. When after years of research, finally stretching beyond the borders of the Buckeye state, reaching that coastal edge of our country and realizing that before they stepped foot on this land, they sailed from …. Scandinavia??

Yep. Never saw that coming at all.

Fast forward a few years – Ancestry’s product has done well for itself in the genealogy DNA department, and they’ve constantly made changes to the testing they do and other scientific things that just make my head hurt to attempt to understand.  Basically, they’re able to narrow it down even further.  My updated DNA looks like this now:

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 9.29.00 PM

  • 58% Great Britain
  • 16% Scandinavia
  • 13% Ireland
  • 5% Europe West
  • 3% Italy/Greece (Aha! There is an inner Italian in here somewhere!(
  • 2% Iberian Peninsula
  • Less than 1% European Jewish
  • Less than 1% Europe East

Even Common Core math tells me that all in all, I am 99% European.

And that remaining 1%?  Would you believe that is a mere trace amount of DNA from West Asia?

Huh…go figure.