I have been discussing my love for my Genealogy research on my blog posts by sharing my personal family history with everyone. I wanted to dedicate one page to my DNA results with Family Tree DNA. I hope it will help anyone who is thinking about going this route to help them with their Genealogical Research or just to find their ethnic origins.
The first test I did was called the family finder test. This test cost me $99.00. I was mailed a swab kit with instructions. After swabbing my cheeks properly I mailed back my samples. Within about eight weeks I had my results. My DNA is matched against all of the participants in their system. The report generates a list of cousin matches, and will typically tell you an estimated distance on relations, and how much DNA you share. I am not getting into the technical details. I just want to share my experience here. The report will also generate something called My Origins. My Origins is a map of the world that will highlight in colors your ethnic origins. The report will also breakdown how much of each region you carry in your DNA.
It is no surprise that I am 95% European. I was surprised to have 6% (I know that’s over by 1) Middle Eastern. I was also very surprised to have such a little amount of South Europe. My Great Grandfather immigrated from Sicily, I have the papers; yet I share very little DNA with him. Usually a Great Grandparent shares 12.5% DNA but mine is only 5%.
That is a basic view of my ethnic origins. Now I can collapse the percentages for a more detailed breakdown.
As you can see, I am mostly Northwest European. This is no surprise because my Paternal Grandfather is a Danish immigrant. My Maternal Grandfather is German, and Scottish. My two Grandmothers Maternal lines are Irish. Their Paternal sides are Italian, French, and Scottish.
The second test I did was a Mitochondrial DNA test. A mitochondrial DNA test (mtDNA test) traces a person’s matrilineal or mother-line ancestry using the DNA in his or her mitochondria. mtDNA is passed down by the mother unchanged, to all children. If a perfect match is found to another person’s mtDNA test results, one may find a common ancestor in the other relative’s (matrilineal) “information table”. However, because mtDNA mutations are very rare, the match will not necessarily be within a genealogical time frame.
(Learn about mtDNA here: http://www.isogg.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_DNA_tests)
This test was more expensive, and I only paid to have the first two regions tested so far. I am waiting to upgrade to that final region to pinpoint my Maternal lineage even better. This test will test your Mothers, Mothers, Mothers, Mother…all the way back. With this test I was assigned a letter called a Maternal Haplogroup. I was also given all of the mutations my DNA carries because those markers help to connect you with specific groups of people. My Maternal Haplogroup is H.
Here is a picture of my mtDNA Origins:
If you look you will see from each of those Countries my markers or mutations match one person here, one there. Ireland; however has six on my first region, and three on my second. Testing that third region will be beneficial. This result is amazing because my Mothers, Mothers, Mothers, Mother is in fact Irish.
**Update I have tested the final region and my haplogroup was narrowed down to H1ap. I only have one match that matches me perfectly on all three regions and they are in Scotland.**
This Map is a Migration chart of the Haplogroups:
I am happy I made the decision to invest in this, and there are so many benefits. Family tree DNA connects you with cousins that have information you may need. I found two helpful ones out of the many I had, and it was a breakthrough my paper trail couldn’t get around. Finding out my Maternal lineage is connected to Ireland was a gift as well. I love all my heritage but Ireland holds a very special place in my heart. My Grandmother always sang Irish folk songs, and so did my Mother. Having those little memories brings me full circle with this whole experience.
If you want to learn more about Family Tree DNA you can visit their website: