I have been on a DNA test buying frenzy with all the good deals being offered by Ancestry and Family Tree DNA for the holidays. Can you think of a better gift to your relatives and friends than an opportunity to “please spit here?” And of course since I was shopping, I couldn’t pass up the chance to order the mt DNA kit from Family Tree DNA for myself. I am still waiting for the result from the mt DNA test, but I am hoping that it answers the pesky problem of where my great-great grandmother Margaret Augusta Radel came from that I outlined in a previous blog. I haven’t gotten very far with the autosomal matching, but maybe the mt DNA test will be enlightening since it is focused on the maternal line.
How is autosomal DNA testing helping me with putting me in touch with relatives or solving genealogical questions?
- Most of the closer cousin matches keep turning up the very prolific southern Hollingsworth’s and Turner’s. With each generation having 10+ kids, there are a lot of descendants!
- I have some intriguing matches to my Perez’s that might help to answer the questions of where did they come from. One story is that Joseph Perez’s (1862-1929) mother was from Arizona and I match someone (who doesn’t have the Perez name) whose family was from Arizona in the late 1880’s.
I uploaded my Ancestry autosomal DNA test to Family Tree DNA for a lower fee than taking the test again. The results in “MyOrgins”:
- I am at least 3-4% Native American from the Perez/Arro side. (consistent with Ancestry)
- 11 % from Southern Europe from the Perez/Arro line.
- The 5% North African I assume is also from the Perez/Arro side via Spain. Perhaps a Moorish ancestor?
- The 7% Eastern Europe is a complete mystery….
- The British Isles makes complete sense and most of my identifiable ancestors come through these lines.
Comparing the Family Tree DNA to the results from Ancestry:
- I am curious about the 11 % Irish as I don’t have any “pure” Irish in my background (must be based on the Scots Irish that stayed in Ireland and didn’t come to America)
- They have divided Southern Europe into Italy/Greece 5 % and Iberian Peninsula 3%.
- The Native American % is much more broad geographically (all of North/South America) than the area identified by Family Tree DNA which was focused on Mexico/Central America.
- The 2% European Jewish is unexpected, but could also be part of the Perez/Arro families or even the Radel line.
- The Ancestry test appears to be getting more sophisticated since they made changes to it a few months ago. All the “trace regions” were unidentified when I checked back in June.
So, while I am an Indian Princess (tee hee), my sister (who has a different father) did not have any Native American in her DNA results. This was a surprise. The family always speculated my grandmother was secretly adopted and her biological parents were Native American because of her olive complexion (which my adoptive Dad and sister inherited). So while that might be true that Grandma Mary Jane was adopted, the darker skin remains a mystery.
My friend Laura also had unforeseen DNA results. The family believed that her great-grandfather had married a Native American from Eastern Washington/Oregon area and some of their children looked Native American in family photos. However, no Native American DNA showed up in her tests. So, she is back at the drawing board and trying to see if there is another relative she can test to prove/disapprove the theory.
So, I encourage you to take the plunge and take a DNA test while the sales are going on. No telling what you will find out or it might add more questions to your list!