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Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Why are so many people checking into their DNA ethnicity?
Good marketing and people are curious. Many who are not interested in the Genealogy part of it, just want to know, what exact ethnicity they are. Gone are days, of referring to yourself as a "Heinz 57". Many want to only confirm, whether or not the "stories" they heard growing up, that Aunt Gilda was Jewish or Grandpa Peck was Cherokee. DNA can prove ethnicity sure, but only what you received from your parents. No two siblings will have the exact same DNA. So forget about trying to save the cost of ordering 1 kit for 3 siblings! Only identical twins share the same. You still could have some Cherokee - or Ashkenazi. You just didn't inherit that particular DNA from your parents. One sibling could have a trace - and you didn't receive any. I think it is worth it, for all the siblings of one family, to have it done. Unfortunately for me, my only sibling has passed. I have to rely on first cousins and that takes some deciphering.
The story from my family - Grandma had Cherokee. The family swore up one side and down the other. She was adopted by some relatives and down through the years, no one knew exactly what her original surname was. She took on the surname of the cousins that raised her. After many years, I have yet to find any proof, that Grandma was Cherokee plus it did not show up, in my DNA. Bummer! When I was a teenager, I "related" to being Cherokee - some said, I even looked Cherokee (in the summer, with a good tan)
What did show up in mine was shocking. Scandinavian! That is my predominate ethnicity by a lot! Now, where the heck, did that come from? No one in the family EVER talked about Scandinavian roots. Then it occurred to me - My dad's side is from Scotland and England. HELLO! The Vikings conquered those areas - and I hate to think about it, but way back - quite possibly some Viking had his way with a female ancestor. WHO KNOWS? My search continues - not that I will find any Vikings - that just goes back too far but it revealed how far back DNA can go. AMAZING.
Besides Ethnicity, there are other compelling reasons to test; to find long lost cousins, who may have the answers, to the other side of the story. I tested through Ancestry - and I linked it to my family trees. I have so far, linked to 1,086 4th cousins or closer. Besides the shocking Scandanavian, I also have DNA from Italy/Greece and the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain)
If you haven't "tested" yet - TREAT yourself. The more people get tested, the bigger the database and the chances of finding distant cousins and family is greater.
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- Stay at home Mom to 1 dog and 2 cats. I am the "big sister" in the photo. My baby sister, passed away unexpectedly, Sept. 2015 at the young age of 56. I miss her terribly. Everyone in my childhood family has now passed. I have 3 sons. My oldest son died in 2003 at the age of 25. GENEALOGY is a growing passion of mine as well as History.