Sunday, January 26, 2014

My DNA Results Are In!

One of the gifts I asked for and received this Christmas was an autosomal DNA test kit from I sent it off with my DNA before the end of the year and then patiently, or rather impatiently, awaited the results. Today, I received an email saying that were in so I eagerly logged into and went to my DNA hompage. I was both surprised and unsurprised by the results.

My strongest ethnicities map
While all the strongest ethinicities listed were not unexpected, I was a little surprised that I had so little "Europe West" (which would be my German heritage) and so much British because in my tree, I feel like I have more German ancestors than British. However, I do understand that we inherit random amounts of ethnicity so just because I have more German ancestors doesn't necessarily mean I'll be mostly German. I guess I just thought statistically, that would be more likely to be the case. Plus, my maiden name is German, which of course I know means nothing really, but somehow I just feel like I have to reassess my ethnic identity a little bit. My English husband was pleased to hear I'm mostly British though, and joked that his secret injections in the middle of the night must have worked!

Meanwhile, I was also not surprised to see a reasonable amount of "Italy/Greece" since my paternal grandmother was Italian, but I was surprised that it's likely to be as much as around 1/3 of my ethinic make up because everyone says I look just like my mom so I always thought my non-Italian side was genetically stronger. Apparently this is not the case since my mom has always considered herself mostly Norwegian and German but my DNA came back only 5% "Europe West" (German) and 2% Scandinavian (Norwegian).

Here's the full results:
  • Africa < 1%
    • Trace Regions <1%
      • Africa North < 1%
  • Asia < 1%
    • Trace Regions <1%
      • Asia South < 1%
  • Europe 95%
      • Great Britain 55%
      • Italy/Greece 31%
      • Europe West 5%
    • Trace Regions 4%
      • Scandinavia 2%
      • Finland/Northwest Russia 1%
      • Ireland < 1%
  • West Asia 3%
    • Trace Regions 3%
      • Caucasus 2%
      • Near East 1%

Full Ethnicities Map, including trace amounts
Apparently any amount likely below 5% is considered a "trace" region and it was interesting to see very trace amounts of genes from South Asia and North Africa. These trace amounts are represented in the map to the left as outlines whereas the regions filled in with color are my three strongest ethnicities: British, Italian, and German (shown closer above). My mom was very disappointed to see her Norwegian heritage represented only trace amounts.

I think it's noteworthy that the trace amounts of North African actually include parts of the Mediterranean, such as Sicily, which is where my great grandfather was from so it's likely these small portions of North African came from my Italian side long ago when Sicily was a very Moorish region. In fact, my dad says that his Sicilian grandfather used to talk about how a lot of Northern Italians held prejudice against Southern Italians, especially Sicilians, for their "darker" skin, hair, and eyes, which was probably from the Moorish influence.

It's because of my Sicilian heritage that I was also not too surprised to see some trace amounts from regions like the Middle East and Eurasia since both border the Mediterranean. In history, I think there was a lot of intermixing and intermigrations that went on around in nations in the Mediterranean.

Equally, the trace amounts from Findland/West Russia didn't surprise me because it's probably related to my Norwegian heritage. The only trace that really surprised me was the South Asia, which in particular seems to be mostly circling India. I don't have a clue how that got there but it's fascinating all the same. Everyone in my family is now saying my brother should have the test done as well, to see how ours compare. This stuff is addictive!