So for my birthday this year, I asked TYG to have my DNA tested through ancestry.com. She said yes. I’ve wanted to do it ever since TYG did hers because she’s had great fun with the fact she has a lot of British DNA (i.e., England/Scotland/Wales) — more than I could have, from what I know of my ancestry.
The process itself is simple. They sent me a small vial, and I had to spit and spit until it was around half full. Then I mail it off, then three months later the results came back. As I thought, biologically I’m not very British:
European Jewish: 40 percent.
Ireland: 34 percent.
West Europe: 6 percent.
Great Britain: 5 percent
Caucasus: 4 percent
Middle East: 4 percent
North African: 2 percent.
Scandinavia: 2 percent.
Iberian peninsula: 2 percent.
Italy/Greece: 1 percent.
(image taken from Science Daily, photo by DigitalGenetics)
The big one isn’t surprising. My Dad’s Jewish and his dad came from the Ukraine.
The Irish surprised me a little. I know my Great-Grandfather, Tommy Farrell, was Irish, but that’s 12.5 percent of my genes. But it’s not that remarkable that the rest of my English side had some Irish mixed in.
West Europe? My paternal grandmother was German, so that probably explains it.
Great Britain: Well, I am English.
Caucasus/Middle East: I’m guessing these might be something picked up among my father’s Jewish ancestors.
North African: Common in Spain and Portugal so it might be tied to that Iberian Peninsula DNA. A number of the genetic traces are found outside the region referred to so it may be I’m really tied to much fewer regions.
Scandinavia: I have been told there’s some Danish on my mother’s side.
And as there’s no Mongolian or anything east of the Middle East, it appears I am not one of the 50 billion people descended from Genghis Khan.
Overall, nothing that transforms my sense of self. Being English has never been about my DNA, any more than being American. And it’s certainly interesting. Also good for lots of fun with TYG (“You’re the really English one!” followed by whatever failing of Mother England I can think of to indict her with).