As regular readers will know from my previous article, my Ancestry DNA results came back and I was very interested by the results. They were no great surprise (basically I am half German, half Irish/British with some Scandinavian from the Vikings, and some other minor markers) but it was nice to know more or less what I was.
I was born in South Africa to parents of foreign heritage (Irish father, German mother) and most of their relatives remained in Europe when their parents emigrated to Africa. My parents died before I was interested in where I came from, and our family background. So I know nothing of my extended family. My father, for example, did not have a single relative in South Africa apart from his parents. My mother had both her siblings and parents.
I did the DNA test just to see what my heritage was. Mainly because I had no one else to ask. Many people – particularly in the US – use this form of test to research their family tree. I know my family tree is pretty stunted with my branch dying off after I kick the bucket, so researching my family tree has never interested me.
HOWEVER, having said that, I have now been discovered by two 3rd cousins on my mother’s side and one 3rd cousin on my father’s side. When my grandparents left Europe with their immediate family, they left their parents and siblings behind. And the children of those siblings have contacted me. They have done more family research than I have, so I now have access to quite detailed history of my family.
The strangest thing is, my personal details are not on the site (no name, no location, no age). My DNA profile is there though, and it suggests matches to people with similar DNA. The people that found me all have my mother and father’s family names still – Häfele/Haefele and Carr respectively. My grandfather’s one brother settled in Pittsburgh and I have lots of cousins there! All that from a small saliva sample! I am amazed! The internet can be a wonderful thing!
You do have an option when you do the test to not be contactable. But in my case I felt if it helped others do family research, why not. I know what it is like to not know anything about your family and if I can help others not to have to go through that, why not?
This is fascinating. How does the algorithm determine if your cousins are of 3rd, 4th or whatever degree, based on your DNA sample alone? Does it give you a compatibility percentage with their DNA samples? It must be so exciting to compare notes with them, just imagine the variety of ethnicity that may exist between cousins. Not to mention the excitement of actually discovering new family!
I am not sure. I guess they have a number of markers in the DNA that show up at each level so to speak.
Janet, did you do this through Ancestry.com? I’m not finding a site that is all inclusive. I’d love to do this because I’m certain of the Danish side of my family but know very little of my Mom’s heritage. This could be fun!
Yes I did. Mainly because Ancestry have a Swedish site so I could do everything locally and they dealt with the international bit. I just got the basic kit, though you can pay more and get a matrilineal or a patrilineal one done I think. I just wanted to see generally where I was from, nothing fancy. This is the one I got. https://www.ancestry.com/dna/lp/ancestry-dna-cost
Janet, if you wouldn’t mind my asking, what is the approximate cost to have a DNA test? And do you go to a hospital to do it? I’ll bet I misused the comma in my first sentence so please tell me how I should have used the punctuation. I’m thinking perhaps a semi colon? Thank you for your time to answer!
Not at all! It cost me $79 all inclusive. They send you a little kit in the post where you spit into a vial, seal it up and send it away. All postage, taxes, lab-work, etc and the website service to find relatives is included in the price. PS your comma was perfect!