• Learning and Exploring

    Ancestry Updates

    This is probably totally boring to most people, but I think it’s fun, especially trying to tie back to my favorite Rosemary Sutcliff Britain before the Anglo-Saxon invasion. I want to be related to those fictional characters! Yes, I’m nuts.

    Original Test

    Update 1

    I was so sad I lost Scotland/Ireland. I know I don’t have Irish really, that is a very distinctive pattern of movement and culture in American history that would have shown up in genealogy, geography, names, and religion which doesn’t in our family. Whereas what I’ve figured out from genealogy is that Scottish makes sense, but probably Scottish before anyone came over here.

    Update 2

    Current update.

    Good, I got my Celtic/Rosemary Sutcliff/Scotland back! Although per Ancestry, England would still included ancient Brits not just Anglo-Saxon (and Norman too), they didn’t take out everyone, I guess like most people assumed.

  • Learning and Exploring

    Ancestry DNA Update

    I think DNA is fascinating. One of the aspects of Ancestry DNA is that they update our results as more research becomes available (just re-affirms that this is a new science, and they are trying for accuracy).

    So, here are my results. My heritage isn’t particularly spectacularly interesting to any but me except in point of reaffirming historical patterns, and I wasn’t expecting huge changes. I did see bigger changes than I thought, and then looked again at the map and realized they weren’t as huge (I wish I’d saved the first maps; I forgot they changed groupings, previous to my test the Celtic peoples were under Ireland rather than Ireland/Scotland/Wales.

    They changed their maps a bit (more overlapping, I think), so while it looks like my Great Britain/Europe West changed, when you look at the new region map and add the percentages, it didn’t actually change much. Basically, Great Britain changed to more a broader area and now includes some of continental Europe and Wales, while Western Europe might have shrunk a bit. I think that is probably because of all the waves of people groups coming to England.

    I no longer show a huge (to me, I wasn’t expecting any) amount of Scandinavian, but the more specific and smaller Norway. Finland, a separate category as before, has been bumped a bit and Southern Europe eliminated. So the actual change is significant lowering of Scandinavia and significant raising of Ireland and Scotland (which I’m THRILLED with and which going by migrations plus family history is probably all Scottish, as much as I’d love to be Irish, I really think the history doesn’t fit at all).

     

  • Learning and Exploring

    My AncestryDNA Results

    I ordered my AncestryDNA test during the Black Friday sale and then in January received a notification that I would have to send a new sample (I got a free second kit), so people, the instructions on the package are NOT STRICT ENOUGH. My email (after the AncesteryDNA people couldn’t retrieve my results) stated to wait 1 hour after drinking, eating, smoking, brushing teeth, and chewing gum (or is that my extra precaution for gum-chewers?).

    The box only says 30″ for eating and drinking. I cannot remember doing ANY of those things listed in the email (I don’t smoke, and I almost never chew gum). The only thing I can think I did was brush my teeth . . .which was not prohibited on the box’s instructions. I made sure and waited over an hour for all the email items the second time. Moral of the story, go above and beyond what the box says to save yourself time (especially because I don’t know how many free boxes you can get before having to pay again).

    I mailed the second box around the middle of January, I think. I received my AncestryDNA results around the middle of February (not too long to wait considering I thought I might have to wait until the middle of March). I have to say I was spot on (not that that was difficult knowing what I know of history and my genealogy . . . or what anyone knows of history and U.S. genealogy :/).

    Here were my predictions:

    ~60-70% British
    ~30-40% Western Europe (Germany and Switzerland for me specifically because I know)
    ~Above average (0.19%) African American
    ~Average (0.18%) or below Native American
    ~Wondering about European Jewish?

    I realize anything less than 1% isn’t going to show on the test, but I really don’t have anything in my family stories to safely assume anything more. The alleged Native American ancestor was quite far back plus I saw a photo, she looks European to me. And my European percentages are variable because like I said, ancestry doesn’t equal exact ratio. And my Dad’s history is empty of immigrants after the 18th century, so I assume a massive if not entirely British heritage from that fact and their locations.”

    Bear in mind that Ancestry.com points out in this article that the average modern Brit’s results include: “36.94% British (Anglo Saxon), 21.59% Irish (Celtic) and 19.91% Western European (the region covered today by France and Germany)” and the article also points out significant Scandinavian results in the UK which I think might explain mine since I have zero reason to believe of Scandinavian American ancestry (meaning it was a VERY long time ago). Granted, my British ancestors came in the early 18th century (also covered in the results), and the genetic results for the British now may be more mixed.

    Here are my results:

    Yeah, boring, I know.

    I did find the migrations interesting. I love to see pieces of history I’ve learned from different sources match up. Also, I signed up for matches, and I have over 1,000 4th cousin or closer* matches and over half of these people have family trees. I want to look into joining DNA circles also. The DNA page states that testing parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles increases the ability to properly place one’s matches in one’s family tree.

    I have a tree I filled out with my grandparents’ collected information during two free trials, but I want to wait to get a membership on sale and purchase some DNA tests for my parents and grandparents. I also want to see if I can cross-reference my results on other ancestry websites. I’ll have to see what I can do now. Many of my matches don’t have familiar names or don’t even have full names listed, but I have had two contact me (both are from the most well-documented branch of the family, the ones that came over most recently, which for us isn’t very recently, late 19th century).

    *Most of the very close ones will be 1st/2nd/3rd cousin many times removed. I printed out this cousin chart to try to understand confusing cousin terminology terms.

  • Learning and Exploring

    I Finally Bought the Ancestry Test

    Things to Bear in Mind (watch this video, focus especially on his explanations after the comparisons).

    1. DNA test are new, sketchy, and general and humans are dumb.

    2. In order to determine ethnicity matches, we must have reference populations. These are MODERN, so may/probably don’t reflect when my ancestors came over. For non-Europeans, the modern reference groups are much smaller or non-existent which distorts their results.

    3. It only takes a few generations back before you reach ancestors from which you receive 0 DNA because DNA is halved every generation.

    BUT

    4. DNA is random. Don’t expect a perfect halved percentage of your ancestor’s ethnicity and don’t expect your siblings ethnicity percentages to match yours closely.

    OKAY. So I bought my DNA test through ancestry.com via a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. I had previously built a tree with a free trial plus got an extra two weeks for this. So hopefully I will get some matches.

    Now, I want to try and predict my results based on what I know from my grandparents and my research and estimating with help from this previously mentioned study. Like I’ve mentioned before, from what I’ve seen on my ancestry, my family REALLY matches the patterns described in David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed.

    I’m looking at the averages for European Americans and then at the charts plus factoring in what I know.

    ~60-70% British
    ~30-40% Western Europe (Germany and Switzerland for me specifically because I know)
    ~Above average (0.19%) African American
    ~Average (0.18%) or below Native American
    ~Wondering about European Jewish?

    I realize anything less than 1% isn’t going to show on the test, but I really don’t have anything in my family stories to safely assume anything more. The alleged Native American ancestor was quite far back plus I saw a photo, she looks European to me. And my European percentages are variable because like I said, ancestry doesn’t equal exact ratio. And my Dad’s history is empty of immigrants after the 18th century, so I assume a massive if not entirely British heritage from that fact and their locations.

  • Learning and Exploring

    Link Love: Genealogy and DNA

    I mistakenly assumed that my DNA ethnic breakdown would exactly match my siblings. I also assumed it would proportionally match my ancestry. Genes are far more complex and random than that. For example, my grandfather is of 1/4 Swiss ancestry. Yet, his DNA might not show 25% Swiss genes nor mine 6.25% although it could. I found this out via this article, and the concept is further explained in this article.

    This fascinating study of a small sampling of people attempts to analyze the backgrounds of the three main ethnic groups in the U.S.: European Americans, Hispanic Americans, and African Americans. Now, there is no way of knowing if this is a representative sampling, as they note, but I think it is still great for general information. Be sure to look at all the maps. This is something to regularly refer back to.

    And in a similar vein, this map displays subgroups and migration patterns and typical generation length in U.S. This matches with my family’s genealogy and some of David Hackett Fischer’s explanations. We’ve always moved West, quite literally.

    And if you are ever in the market for DNA testing, this is a thorough¬†analysis of the pros and cons. I’d like to test a couple people in my family for a variety of these tests. The ethnicity one is interesting, but the Y-DNA is probably most helpful for genealogical research.