31 August 2012

My DNA Results

I considered writing an overview of Ancestry.com's new autosomal DNA test but the Legal Genealogist already has an excellent write up. I highly recommend reading her post if you're interested in the autosomal test.
As of March 2012 the categories for Ancestry.com's results were as follows:
  British Isles
  Central European
  East Asia (includes Siberia, China & Southeast Asia)
  Eastern European
  Middle Eastern
  Native North American
  Native South American
  North African
  Southern European
As you'll see from my results at least one of those categories, Russian/Persian/Turkish, has changed since March. Also, I have yet to hear of anyone having "German" as a result. That may have been a result that was not as clearly defined as they initially thought. As Ancestry gets more input during this BETA phase of testing the categories, and thus everyone's results, may change a bit.  
One thing to keep in mind is that a country's borders are the results of politics not biology and they vary widely over the course of history. If you have any ancestors from "Bohemia" I'm sure you are already keenly aware of this.
My results after the jump.

ⓑⓐⓡⓚⓘⓝⓖ  ⓤⓟ  ⓣⓗⓔ  ⓦⓡⓞⓝⓖ  ⓣⓡⓔⓔ

I was part of the early BETA testing and received a free test back in February. Currently it's being offered only to Ancestry.com subscribers by invitation for $99. If you're a subscriber go to Ancestry.com and click the DNA tab to sign up. You are under no obligation to buy if you sign up for an invitation. Invitations are random. Some people have signed up and gotten an invitation in a week, others have been on the list since day one.
The first test I received was done with a cheek swab. I sent it back in early March. In late May I got an email saying they received my test. I called Ancestry and asked why it took over 2 months for them to acknowledge receipt of my test. They had no record of sending me a test and said they would figure it out and email me. The email came a few days later. There had been a problem with my test (Guess that happens when it sits around for two months!) but I could request another one. By the time I requested the second test they had switched to using a saliva sample. So the second test was mailed and a week later I got the "we received it" email. Whew! Two weeks after that I had my results.
So what did I expect? Honestly I wasn't sure. What I knew from the research I'd done was that my mom's side is entirely native to Mexico. At least back to the late 1700s and there's not a Spaniard or German that I've found. Puro indio.
My dad's side is a huge mixture but on most lines I haven't jumped the pond because the families have been in the United States since before the Revolutionary War. The most recent immigrants were my great-great-grandparents Olaf and Augusta (nèe Nordberg or Norberg) Sundberg who, separately, immigrated from Sweden in the 1860s. All the other branches (Gillespie, Wright, Callihan, Loftice, Hammack, Bray,...) are most likely Irish, Scottish, or English but I have yet to find definitive proof. 
So how did all of that DNA filter down to me?

I find this unbelievably cool and I don't even know why! Me in a pie chart :-) 
As of this week I have 12 possible matches for 4th - 6th cousins, all with 95-96% certainty. Two of those don't have trees. Of the others I haven't found a connection to my tree. On Wednesday I contacted someone with a "low confidence," 5th - 8th cousin match simply because his surname is the same as mine but his tree is private. He's the only person I've contacted so far.
As you may have guessed from Tuesday's post this test is not magic. If you're looking to find relatives the only way to confirm a relationship is with research. That doesn't mean this test isn't helpful or fun. Of course more people being tested means there is a greater likelihood of finding a distant relative so more matches may show up in the future.
If anything exciting happens in my research because of this I will, of course, write about it. If any of you have made a connection or had a breakthrough because of this test I would love to hear about it!

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RELATED POST: My DNA Results II , My DNA Results III, New DNA Results


  1. Yours is so cool. Mine was 48% Scandinavian, 41% British Isles and 11% Southern European. The British Isles was expected, but I thought it should have been a lot higher. Scandinavian?? All those Vikings invading the northern sections of the British Isles I imagine. Southern European (Portugal, Spain & Italy)? That has me wondering unless it was the Roman garrisons marrying the locals & staying there.

  2. Mine was 93% British Isles and 7% Persian/Turkish/Caucasus. It sort of makes sense in that my heritage is probably 2/3 British Isles and my mtDNA haplotype is K, which is from the Caucasus Region. However my maternal line is "German"(Prussian/Bavarian, etc.), so somehow I inherited none of that autosomal DNA but I guess I still have traces through the mtDNA that go to a time before my maternal female ancestors arrived in Germany. It really surprised me that I didn't have any German or "Central European" DNA show up in my autosomal test but I guess it is what it is. I also haven't had any luck in finding an ancestry match - the closest they have found for me are potential 4th cousins with a high predictability of matching. However everyone either has a private tree or no tree at all, so I haven't had any matches.

    1. Hopefully we'll have more luck as the gene pool grows ;-)
      I had one of my matches contact me yesterday because of this blog. She has a private tree and is letting me take a look. I haven't found anything :-( One of her "moderate confidence" matches however, is a 3rd cousin she already knew about.

  3. Yeah, I am hoping there is an advantage to having done this test with ancestry.com rather than FamilyTree DNA, although I do wonder about the accuracy of the family trees on ancestry, which this site illustrates all too well! :)

  4. Yes, I'm there on Ancestry, too. Never met a DNA test I didn't like - I've had both the FamilyFinder and 23andMe autosomal tests. I must have pretty ordinary DNA because I have some four pages of matches on Ancestry - none closer than 4th cousin, though. Among those who actually have posted fairly extensive family trees, I have found about eight matches where apparently we do indeed share ancestors - most from about the 6th-8th cousin relationships. Perhaps half of these have responded to my emails. I have had much better luck on FamilyTree DNA - not so much on 23andMe. My pie chart on Ancestry doesn't really agree with either FamilyTree DNA or 23andMe which match each other pretty well - there seems to be some difference on what the different companies call the regions of Europe. Makes me doubt Ancestry's results somewhat. I'm also very disappointed that Ancestry does not give you the actual chromosomal matches as they others do, so that you can use that on third party sites.

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