More than 26 million people have completed DNA testing.
My DNA Test
By D. S. Mitchell
A Painful Cry
I have been on the internet this morning, searching for answers to my genetic history. It turns out that I am not alone in my curiosity. More than 26 million people have sought DNA information thru testing. A sign that many of us just want to understand our roots and our family story. In this age of disconnect, I believe the search for our history is a painful cry for validation of self.
My folks divorced when I was 12. There was never much discussion about genealogy, or our family history, other than the most basic information. As in most things the story of my DNA tells a story I did not expect.
There has been a big time marketing push for DNA testing. TV and internet ads encourage testing and the marketing seems to be working. Basically, one of the DNA companies will have you spit in a tube and another will have you rub a swab on the inside of your cheek. Whichever format the company uses the results will be the same.
Like Elizabeth Warren, I believed I had significant native American blood. I mean, I tan deep mahogany and I have amazing cheekbones. In my case, I also thought I might have some black lineage. My mother was first generation American, born in Seattle, Washington. Her mother and her father were both born and raised in Liverpool, England. I believed there hadn’t been enough time for significant genetic mixing from those new immigrants who didn’t arrive in the U.S. until 1900.
On the other hand, my father’s father’s family has been in the United States for at least 15 generations. That’s over 300 years. That is before the United States was even a nation. It was from this group that I expected there would have been a mingling with other available genetic groups. My father’s mother was an immigrant, born in Ireland.
Spitting In A Vial
In February of 2018 I spit into a vial and sent off my saliva to find out who I really am. Six weeks later I had my answer and it was not what I had expected. It was however, exactly what my parents had told me years ago.
I have no Native American ancestry. I have no persons of color in my genealogy. I am 49+% British Isles (mother). I am 49+% German/Dutch/Irish (father). That’s right 98+%. There was however, a mysterious less than 1% from my mother’s side, and another less than 1% from my father’s side of a mysterious contributor. Strange. The DNA indicated that both of my parents have a tiny piece of genetic material from the Central Asia/Russian steppes region. What? How can this possibly be? I’m supposed to be an American Indian princess, not a Russian Cossack.
Less Than 2%
Interestingly, or maybe it is not, I dismissed the 98+% and focused on the less than 2%. If a conversation ever turned to ancestry or DNA testing I would always suggest it was strange that I had this central Asian connection. Sometimes I would start the genetic conversation, about my unique Central Asian mystery relative. But whether in conversation or just imaginings I wondered how that less than 2% figured in my family history.
Life is weird and strange. This morning I’m on YouTube searching for a music video for the www.calamitypolitics.com blog, when my pointer lands on a video history of the Celts and their migration routes to England. I’m kind of nerdy. The video sounded intriguing. Curious, I tapped the video and watched, as a college type, describes the migration of the Celtic people from Central Asia around the Black Sea and the Russian Steppes thru Europe to the British Isles.
Following The Y
I watched three YouTube videos on the Celts. Each one told a similar, yet very different story of the migration of the Celtic people. What most agreed on was that the Celts were a ‘horse aristocracy’ that originally migrated from a place called Scythia on the Northeastern side of the Black Sea. They worked with iron and made beautiful jewelry and weaponry and at one time were spread throughout Europe. The most interesting to me, was the video that traced the 3 primary migratory routes taken by the Celts using “the Celtic male Y chromosome.” Wow, who knew.
So, I am not an American Indian princes or an Afghani princess; I am a Celtic warrior! As I watched one of the video professors describe the routes of immigration I could see exactly what happened. I was less than 1% Celtic on both sides of my biological line. I guess my mysterious middle eastern relative is the Irish in me, or just maybe, it might be the Neanderthal (Neandertal) in me.
The test cost $59. I have been fascinated with the results. Don’t wait, check out your DNA, it is likely to surprise, amaze and possibly inspire you.