Alright! Back in May, I wrote about how I was gonna try Ancestry DNA to see what my DNA points back to. And after a job change, a nasty hail
storm, a totaled car, a crazy political season, and a holiday or two; I’m finally gonna write about what I learned. I was curious to know what my genetic make up was. I predicted it would be mostly (obviously) from Africa, and due to the slavery (I’m not judging and don’t care) issue , that British would be my second largest genetic factor. And based on family folklore, that American Indian would be my third largest portion.
Well I was close. I am composed of African (1st), “European” (2nd), and West Asian/Middle East (3rd), as opposed to what I thought would be my American Indian portion. So here we are; in a glimpse, My DNA composition is divided into:
— 88% from Africa,
— 8% from Europe,
— 3% from West Asia, and
— 1% from America
Once you break down those groups, you see that Ancestry DNA has compiled in a bunch of different regions within Africa including Congo, Mali, Benin, Ivory Coast… and others. As an American, I don’t really know the differences, but it’s interesting to know that genetics can be broken down to tribal regions as well as the general continents. My European side is also broken up in to several regions including Great Britain (4%), and Northern Europe, around Finland (3%) and some general West Europe (>1%). I predicted the Great Britain portion, but the Finland/Russia is interesting for sure.
The most interesting item in my DNA profile is a random 3% from “West Asia”. That West Asian are, actually means “Middle East”. I never saw that coming. The curious part of this, is that people used to ask me if I was part Indian (from India) when I was younger. I used to get told that it was something about my face. I don’t see it at all, but perhaps some people saw something in me. I would attribute it to the standard migration patterns of humans, maybe between Africa and Middle Eastern countries; but it is pretty interesting the same.
Have My DNA Results Changed My Perspectives On Life?!?!
Since learning about my DNA, has my life changed? Nope! Not At All! I can’t say that this experience has even “shocked” me that much, because it was pretty much in-line with what I realistically expected. I expected African, European, and some from the Americas (which can ban be anywhere in North, or South America). So the only thing that could’ve shocked me would have been based on percentages. If I’d have found that I was 40% European and 60% African, that would’ve been really shocking.
It is pretty cool to be able to specify with a level of science where my genes come from. Prior to Ancestry DNA, there was a level of “Faith” that forced us to believe certain aspects of our family histories. If there is one thing notable, it is that there is a bit more proof that, THERE ARE NO PURE BLOODLINES; at least for us Americans. We’re all products of a level of “interracial” and/or “migratory” mixing. We’ve been able to believe our family tales, mostly based upon how we appear as our “evidence”. We’ve literally been judging books by their covers. We’ve seen the commercials where people thought they were one thing and after DNA testing find they’re something else. It makes our American Story that much more interesting to show that our backgrounds are more complex than we knew.
Amazingly, when you receive your results, AncestryDNA.com links you with people who are genetic relatives of yours that have also had their DNA screened. I have hundreds of genetic relatives out to 4th cousins, but it is pretty odd to see how we are all linked together in families.
On The Bright Side
On the bright side of this all; Regardless of political differences, appearance, and all the other superficial indicators, I can now say with 100% certainty… ‘that my mother is my real, genetic, mother. All BECAUSE AncestryDNA figured it out and told me so. That’s gotta count for something.