Friday, March 1, 2013

AncestryDNA: Fiance edition

Well, it's certainly been awhile, hasn't it??

I meant to write this post a month ago and well, life just got in the way! As I had written before, I bought my fiance an AncestryDNA kit as a Christmas present for him. And for me. And for our daughter, ha ha. As he has a mainly Central American ancestry that is poorly documented, I thought this might be our best shot just to get a general picture of where his family came from, and to maybe, quite possibly, connect to some distant cousins through

So, before we took the test, we knew a few things - both of the fiance's parents were born in Honduras, and so much of his heritage is Native American, namely Mayan. His great-grandfather on his mother's side was a Sicilian sailor. On his father's side, he definitely has an Anglo ancestor, rumored to be from Scotland, rumored to have had a child with a Jamaican woman. So I think we were both expecting to see all that reflected in his genetic make-up.

I have to give AncestryDNA props again. It took two weeks from the time they received the test (which you can track online on their website) to when they posted his results. I don't know how demanding their DNA testing schedule is, and as they grow in popularity it may take longer to get results, but right now, they really don't make you wait all that long to find out, which I appreciate as a customer, considering how expensive the tests are! (Though they're still cheaper than DNA tests offered by other genetic genealogy sites.)

Anyway, the fiance told me only after we got the test results back that he hadn't been convinced that the test was all that accurate, given my surprising DNA results of Scandinavian & Eastern European, both of which were fairly unexpected (well, maybe not the Scandinavian, but definitely the percentage of Scandinavian), but after he got HIS results, I think he was convinced. According to his results, he is 24 percent British Isles, 18 percent Native South American, 17 percent Native North American, 16 percent Southern European, 16 percent West African, and 9 percent uncertain (I tease him that that uncertain part means he's part alien). But really, for the most part, I think this is what we both expected to see, which didn't make it any less exciting - British Isles backs up the family history that his paternal line comes from Scotland, Southern European backs up his Sicilian great-grandfather, and the West African backs up the claim of a female Jamaican ancestor. I think he was surprised by the AMOUNT of British Isle ancestry that came back, and he was definitely surprised by the Native South American ancestry that showed up. As far as he knows, his whole native ancestry is Central American (which is covered by the Native North American ancestry), although he has a great-grandmother on one of his lines who was adopted, and so his family doesn't really know her background. So I think that was the most unexpected result for him. He also said he thought some Middle Eastern or Arabic ancestry might show up, but I explained that just because it DOESN'T show up in the results doesn't mean it's not there. It just didn't show up. But it's interesting to see just how mixed the ancestry of Latin Americans are, with the intermingling of people and genes from the African slaves who were brought over, the Europeans who came over to settle or for business, and the native Americans who were already here. His 24 percent British Isles means he probably has at least another European on his lines that he doesn't know about. And while Southern European backs up his Sicilian ancestry, he probably has some Spanish conquistador ancestry as well covered by that Southern European.

He also found a couple of cousins on Ancestry, and we get notices every day that he has more joining. Most of them are very distant with low certainty, but I'm waiting for someone with more moderate to high certainty and also a little closer in range (4th-6th cousin). He had one that he sent an e-mail to but we're still waiting to hear back - I think he's a little disappointed that he hasn't heard yet, but I'm keeping my eyes open for that potentially helpful cousin who might come along.

So it was exciting getting those results. For him, I think it validated a lot of what he'd been told about his family but so far has no way to prove, and it provided some surprises, which is part of the fun of genealogy and family history. For me, it gives me something to put together for my daughter, something to tell her and pass along to her, my little melting pot daughter, my little mutt, my little child of the world! :)

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