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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ancestry DNA

Back in November 2015, I had my DNA test done.  I found it very interesting for about 5 minutes.  At the time, there weren't many matches.  Now, I am overwhelmed with 134 pages (about 50 people per page) of DNA matches with many distant 5th cousins or more.  The results are a mixed bag for sure.

First and foremost my ethnicity estimate is interesting and yet rather mundane at the same time.  I can't say that I did not know what to expect since we'd had my husband's completed the prior year.  His was enlightening in that it eliminated the family lore that they were Native American in there somewhere.  My husband is not.  Nor is he related to Betsy Ross.  Lots of made up family lore passed down on his line.  But, there is still a potential that some proof could be out there to show different.  Even his line could have surprises to the contrary but someone would need to pay for the research at this point and hunt down the truth to prove it!

My ethnicity estimate is as follows:

58% Ireland
28% Great Britain
5% Scandinavia
4% Europe West
4% Europe East
1% Finland/East Russia
100% - European

Being only 58% ethnically Irish was a little surprising.  I would have thought it would have been closer to 70%.  DNA ethnicity is not an exact science nor do the genes pass down the line in exact proportions.

What I do glean from this breakdown is that 28% of my ethnicity is Great Britain.  Does this confirm that my Maxwell's were from Scotland?  It might.  Does this confirm that my Irish ancestors living in the "Pale" married those from Britain?  There again, it might.

The 28% Great Britain is a bit of a mystery to me.  Does that include my McGuire's who were from County Fermanagh which is part of Northern Ireland and is considered Great Britain?  Well, I would hope McGuire's of Ireland would not be considered in that British ethnicity but who can really tell here.

Overall, I consider the ethnicity estimate nice to know.  In some cases, it is anecdotal at best but certainly tells you where not to look for your ancestors.

As for DNA matches, that is pretty distant.  I have three people who are 2nd-3rd cousins, only one was a surprise.  Once we figured it out, we pretty much have noted it and moved on.  I have four people in the 3rd-4th cousin range.  Again, no real surprises but there is one person who has not responded to me.  I guess that's the way it goes.

I have had contact from one match who was adopted so is searching for his real parents.  That's interesting.  I come up as a 4th to 6th cousin.  We seem to be distant relations.  The person has figured out what line he is related too though.  I wish him luck in discovering is biological parents.

Many people don't have their family tree connected to their DNA.  Without that information, who knows how we might be related.  Also, those people who choose to just put initials like "J.R." truly aren't looking for their ancestors if you ask me.  That person has no tree attached to their DNA.

The DNA section also has a Beta out there called DNA Circles.  Again, this is kind of nice to know but in some cases in duplicates information even within the DNA Circles.  It also does not really tell me anything that I didn't already know about my ancestors from the Irish Settlement in upstate New York.

Ancestry DNA is interesting.  I do think people should participate in this database.  Until the database has a good collection of people's DNA, it will continue to have "emerging" results.  I'm waiting for more.


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