How far can you trace your family back? Do you know your ethnic or ancestral roots? Does it even interest you? I didn’t have any clue as my mother is adopted and my paternal grandfather is unknown. I’ve never been that interested but recently I took a DNA test with MyHeritage and found out my ethnic mix.
The results gave me a few answers and I became temporarily fascinated by it all as it left me with more questions about my mother and father’s background. I’ve now managed to persuade my mother to have a DNA test to find out even more and we’re excitedly awaiting her results.
The results found in my DNA were:
Irish, Scottish, and Welsh: 59.8%
East European: 2.6%
They were quite surprising as my mother has always been convinced that she has some Italian or Mediterranean ethnicity in her. She is olive skinned with black curly hair. But without any trace of that in my DNA, we are now wondering if she is Irish, Scottish, Welsh? And who do I get my Scandinavian part from? My mother’s adoptive mother is Scandinavian so it’s thrown open all sorts of questions!
In terms of how far these results can go back through history, MyHeritage told me that they can go back centuries. But if you have 25% of an ethnicity, it’s likely that the higher the percentage the closer the ancestry.
So, was the Scandinavian on my father’s side? Sadly, he passed away a while ago so no more answers there. But I do have a random picture of a rather dashing blonde Lieutenant Colonel found in my paternal grandmother’s photo box. Her past is a little complicated but put briefly – her husband wasn’t the father of my father and she never revealed who was!
On finding out my results, I fished the army photo out. Who is he? There’s nothing written on the back apart from ‘Approved Military Photographer no.157’…I’ve checked records and asked on Facebook groups and apparently, he’s wearing colonial uniform and a Sam Browne belt so he could have been posted overseas? He might not even be my mystery grandfather. I got nowhere with that quest but may continue if my mother’s results tell me more.
My Italian looking mother has never wanted to know about her ‘birth’ parents as she was happily adopted. She does have interesting origins however, as she was born on D-Day in Liverpool which was 9 months after thousands of Americans came over to the UK in preparation. She has always had a romantic notion that her mother was a young woman who met a Yank at a dance… I guess if she shows up as 100% Irish, Scottish, Welsh..that could also be someone who was American.
Whether you know a lot about your heritage or not, it’s still fascinating to find out your ethnic mix. You might be a bit of something you never expected. My husband can trace his family back a few generations but I would love to know what he’s made up of. I’m sure he must have lots of Viking blood!
The whole testing process is pretty easy. You buy your ‘kit’ from American based DNA company MyHeritage and it will arrive soon after. You then take a simple cheek swab, set up your own online account and then send the swabs back to the lab in a secure envelope. You can track the progress of your results online. The results are then returned a few weeks later via email and it’s quite exciting when you open it as a video is created for you.
Not only will you find out your ethnic mix, but you may discover new family members as there is now a vast database of people whose DNA could match yours.
I have partnered with MyHeritage for this post and you can buy a DNA kit here. Use the coupon code PLACESWITHED for free shipping.