DNA test to find out your ancestry

There are 4 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Splinter.

  • Last Christimas, my husband and I gave our self a DNA kit from myheritage.com as a Christmas gift. Knowing one own's heritage is always a curious thing to do, and I believe everyone has wondered about their ancestors at least once in their life.

    But with longer life spans and people having kids later in life, it is a big deal even if you get to know our grandparents, nowadays! Wars, emigrations and scarce alphabetization were also an obstacle.

    With the kind help of EJLarson and his wife Cristina, we were able to submit our DNA sample to myheritage and we have now gotten back the results!

    The test consists on two cotton swabs you have to scrub inside of your mouth. You ship them to the website facility in Texas, and in 4-6 weeks you get the results back.

    Cristina said she was disappointed with the depth of the results she got from my heritage and we were left puzzled, as well.

    Turns out I am 100% European but 0% Italian. The results were as follows:

    Northern and Western Europe: 39.4%

    Eastern Europe (Balkans): 34.2%

    Southern Europe (Iberian): 22.5%

    Ashkenazi Jew: 3.9%

    While I was certain about some of them (one grandmother was likely Slavic), I am surprised by the proportions: my northern ad western European bit is as much as the Slavic, but these should be three 'German' grandparents against just one Slavic grandparent. And 0% Italian... my mother is Italian. We don't know much about her family because they were field workers in the Veneto region with no alphabetization. However, it looks like they didn't factor in my DNA. My husband, instead is 61% Italian.

    And where do that Iberian percentage come from? Oddly enough, my husband is just 16% Iberian and he has at least one known grandparent from Galicia, while I never heard about people from Spain in my family. :huh:

    My husband is also a little Jew (a tad less than me) and he is not fully European, having a small percentage from Anatolia/Turkey as well (?).

    I was hoping for more geographically detailed results, while there are just big circles on the map. It is also surprising that siblings are getting inconsistent results, so a DNA test might not be that much meaningful as we expected.

    Have you ever taken a DNA test?

  • serafina

    Changed the title of the thread from “DNA test to find out your acentry” to “DNA test to find out your ancestry”.
  • I've never taken a DNA test, but I've always been interested. Just haven't gotten around to it. But your results description gives me pause.

    My maternal great-grandparents were from Scotland and Germany, and my paternal great-grandparents were all from England and Ireland. But perhaps none of those were their actual countries of origin. Regardless of how many centuries they and there ancestors were there, where were their origins? Could the English ones have been descendants of Roman soldiers or Viking raiders? In that case, my ancestry results could show roots in the southern Mediterranean and Scandinavian regions and perhaps zero in the British isles.

    Perhaps that kind of centuries-old migration is a reason for the apparent disconnect you are pointing out?

  • It could be. From the little I gathered from the Q&A on myheritage.com, you inherit 50% of your DNA from your mother and 50% from your father, but that fraction is a fraction of their DNA as well, and this is why you and your siblings are not identical and can also have different physical features.

    So it may be well that one individual has a 30% Greek heritage and their blood sibling has none. I was expecting more detailed results, whereas right now it looks like random DNA combinations.

    Also on myheritage you are matched with DNA-tested individuals with similar DNA to yours (usually less than 3% in common) and apparently I have several in Israel :huh:

  • One of the cautions when analyzing ancestry is the obvious one: can we really be sure our parents or grandparents are who we were told they are? In life, things happen, not all meetings are publicized, and reality may not match mythology. Need to be prepared for anomalies.