Services like Ancestry.com and 23 and Me have sparked interest in our heritages. Where did we come from? Which of our ancestors were first to arrive and set-up shop?
Do we have any surprise, genealogical connections that we may not have known about? Is there a Princess Diaries level reveal waiting in the wings? If so, come on out, Julie Andrews? I'll happy take the tiara and take up Genovian pear juggling.
For many, taking the first step and submitting that DNA swab is intimidating. Discovering where you came from could alter where you are now. Fortunately, people that followed their family history answered Reddit user, r/sator8's question and shared their tales: People who have used DNA-Ancestry testing (ancestry, 23andMe) what were your results and was it worth it?
50. Ryan Merriman, Eat Your Heart OutGiphy
My aunt and uncle did one for themselves and for anyone who wanted one. I don't know who all did it, but I know their son-in-law did it.
So my aunt is fair skinned, red-headed, and covered in freckles. Her husband looks kiiiiinda like Lassiter from Psych but bald. Not your stereotypical leprechaun, but you can totally tell.
Welp, they got the results back and it turns out that neither of them are even a drop Irish, which is really weird because they even have "Mc" in their name. They're pretty much the McFakeirish family. But there son in law, turns out he's 1/16 Irish. He's just as much Irish as our side of the family is Native American. Yeah can kinda see that in our side if the family. If you know to look for it, the features are still visible is a lot of the family members. The son in law in the other hand.... He's black. We thought he was 100%, I think he thought he was 100%.
So yeah, my Uncle NotLassiter McFakeirish very often said the phrase, "If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and walks like a duck, it might just be a duck." So my natural response when I learned all this was, "So if it looks Irish, sounds Irish, and thinks it's Irish, it might actually be less Irish than your black son-in-law."
49. Rich Cross Heritage
I did AncestryDNA and got my results a couple of days ago. It confirmed that I'm mostly African with some European. What surprised me was the percentage of indigenous ancestry. Only a small percentage of Dominicans have such ancestry, so that was a nice surprise. It's nice knowing which places in Africa my ancestors came from. It's also quite sobering to think of all that they suffered.
My aunt who was adopted at 9 months old by my grandparents did I believe ancestry. The weekend of my grandpa's funeral her daughter called to tell her she found my aunts birth father. They lived a few hours away and were driving through my grandpas town that weekend. It was a lot of emotions that weekend and she was worried we would be upset but we were all so happy for her!
She struggled a lot as a teenager with being adopted and I think she needed the closure of knowing why her parents didn't keep her. She now has more wonderful family members that have lovingly welcomed her. She has multiple brothers through her birth father. She hasn't found her mother yet but now knows who she is and why she was put up for adoption.
47. Sometimes White Is Made By Mixing Every Color
I'd say yes. Found out a significant chunk of my ancestors were from the Middle East and Africa, which was surprising given how pasty white and fair-haired my whole family is. The only reason I know they didn't mix up my DNA sample with someone else was because the test showed that a number of my known relatives to are, in fact, related to me.
Including my dad.
(Which is a relief).
46. A Warning For All Who TestGiphy
I've heard that the two companies have different data sets that they're working from, so people of African origin will get much more detailed results from Ancestry, while people of Asian descent will get more detailed results from 23andMe. For example, an African-descended person might get results from 23andMe that just tell you your ancestry is from that continent, while Ancestry might tell you a specific country or local region of Africa.
45. A Happy Ending
My wife was adopted. Never knew much about either birth parent. She did it more as an ethnic blend curiosity since she's mix race. Turns out her bio aunt had already done a DNA test so she got notified of the link. Once we had the aunts name we started Googling and FB stalking and found what we were sure was her bio mom. My wife messaged her her in a very delicate manner saying what we believed to be true.
And she replied back almost instantly. We shortly found out who bio dad was (unfortunately now deceased). For about a year all communications between were very friendly and sweet, but just written. Last summer we went and met her. Super nice family. They're coming to stay with us this October.
44. You Become The Thing You Hate
I know my lineage on my mother's side, but have always been ignorant to my heritage on my father's side. What little I know comes in the form of stories told by my paternal half-brother, who got them from our aunts and uncles.
One of those stories is about how my great grandmother had an affair with the Asian landscaper. Then, my grandfather was born. Everyone ignored that he was clearly Asian. I've never seen a photo of my grandfather, and none of his kids remember what he looks like (he died when my own father was a baby). Therefore, the only one privy to this information on his heritage were my great grandmother and my oldest aunt.
None of them looked particularly mixed, and what features they did have were mostly grown out of. My father's only noticeable differences are tan skin and semi-emphasised facial features.
Here's where it gets interesting; my father is racist. Like, "every Middle Eastern is a terrorist, kill them all" racist. He's never been so racist towards Asians, though, so it never much impacted me... until I took the Ancestry test.
Turns out 'Asian' was 'Arabic'. Man, I wish I could've seen the look on my father's face when my half-brother told him.
43. It's Like Solving A Mystery
I've been very involved in my Dad's side of the family, who came from Greece two generations before me. This family and heritage has been all that I've known about and I've identified very heavily due to my name being pretty Greek. My mom has a long strand of mental issues and, as a result, most of her family has exiled her and it wasn't until I became an adult that I was able to connect with that side of the family, but I had no idea what side of the family even came from.
So I get a DNA test and turns out I'm mostly English/Irish by about 30% and Greek was next at 17%. This wasn't too shocking considering a lot of the Greek traits weren't passed down to me (like olive skin, green eyes, and black hair).
I'm not too sure about other DNA sites, but 23andMe offer a service called DNA relatives and, if you opt-in, you can look through every person, who also opted-in, and request to chat with them. It'll show you what percentage of your DNA is related and what the algorithm thinks you two are (such as first cousins or second cousins once removed). This feature is the best part to me because I can connect with these people and learn more about my Mom's side of the family.
You can also opt-in to do some genetic research where you just simply answer questions about various things. I opted-in to a study about the role genetics play in depression and bi-polar disorder.
It's definitely worth it to not only learn about my family's history but you can also help researchers understand genetics more and more.
42. The Family Grows
I did it, and just last week I found out that my father was not by biological father, but that I was donor conceived. A guy calls me out of the blue to say that he thought he was my half brother. He asks if I am on 23 and me (I say yes). He says go and check out the relative section (that I hadn't looked at in years), and there are more than a dozen half siblings. Turns out I was #19.
I talked to my parents, and they confirmed it. Last week I found out I had a huge family, half of which is nearby. It was a huge deal!
41.The Plot ThickensGiphy
I was raised by a single-mother and never had a relationship with my dad, who lives in another country. I haven't ever had a desire to find him or make contact but did 23andme because I was curious about any medical issues I might be predisposed to. The report came back and I was connected to a long list of people - third, fourth, fifth cousins and further relations. Then there was the family I knew, who had taken the test.
The most interesting was a first cousin who I'd never heard of. We messaged through 23andme and it turns out that he was the son of my fathers sister. No one on my fathers side of the family knew about me...it was quite a shock to my new-found cousin. We messaged back and forth and it turned out we lived in the same state and I had a trip to his area already planned. My fiancé and I met with him and his family. He has four children who all hugged me as a greeting...it was the best feeling. We had so much fun hanging out with them and having the opportunity to chat. I'm grateful to have an expanded family.
The story is still somewhat developing but he told my dad the story and my dad said he'd written to me and never received any responses. He asked my cousin for my contact info and we are talking, albeit timidly. It turns out that he had always wanted to be a part of my life. I always felt that you don't miss something you've never had but I'm excited for the opportunity to have him in my life.
40. Survey Says...White
I did it out of genuine interest for my family background. Like most white people, I had heard from older family members that we had Native American ancestors. My results actually showed that I may be the whitest human being on the planet. My largest portion showed 32% likeness to French, German, Belgian ancestry. 2nd was Irish/Scottish/Wales with 24%. 3rd largest was British with 24% and at 4th, with 11%, was Scandinavian.
Then they referred to the other 9% as low confidence regions, where I shared similar genetics to people from Italy/Greece and Eastern European Countries (Russia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine, etc.). Someone in the family, at some point, was a lying piece of crap. If I were a super villain, my name would be Mega Honky and I would have skin so pale that it blinded people. My weaknesses are my inability to season food properly and my likeliness to develop diabetes.
39. The War Caused Many Problems
My grandmother was raised in the foster care system, so she always felt a mix of "I'm fine on my own" and "I do want to know where I came from". So I took it into my own hands to test her DNA (with her permission).
A few years later, we ended up finding her great nephew, who in turn introduced us to his grandmother--her younger sister. Her sister ended up explaining to us the whole story of our family and why my grandmother and her three brothers were put into the foster system. The 1940s were...quite a time.
Anyway, it was definitely worth it. My grandmother is so excited to have a sister, siblings, etc. etc. Even though our family history is not very pretty to put it mildly, it's still family and my grandmother finally has that sense of peace.
38. Hinga Dinga Durgen
A question I can answer!
So, I haven't directly done it, but both of my parents did so I suppose it sort of counts?
Anyway, my dad was adopted and didn't know anything at all about either one of his birth parents. Just from how he looks, as well as my brother and I, we sort of figured we weren't 100% Caucasian. And because my dad was doing it, my mom figured "what the hell?" And got one too.
The first thing that surprised me was finding out that siblings don't necessarily share the same makeup. I might be 56% A and 44% B while my brother might be 52% B and 48% A. Just rough numbers to illustrate the point. I'm not sure why that surprised me as much as it did. I guess I just assumed if I was half A he'd be half A too and genetics don't work like that.
It also definitely shatters any illusions you might have over being proud of your heritage. On my mom's side, we can trace back at least 4-5 generations pretty accurately, and we expected her to match up with what we knew to be true based on that. Turns out, people like f*cking a lot, and lying a lot too. Go figure.
It's been a while, so I don't remember the exact numbers, but the results ended up being:
Dad: Primarily Irish with a heavy Native American side dish. Also, a dusting of West African on the top. He also has one of the highest Neanderthal profiles on the site. I'm not sure if it was a gene or the amount, but they put him in the 99th percentile of people who have it.
Mom: Super-white, coming in with Germania frontrunner, with Scandinavian as a close second. I guess we descended from Vikings, and I'm totally okay with that.
All in all, it was a fun experience. The Neanderthal thing was probably the most interesting part. I did have fun imagining my Native/African ancestors and trying to figure out what they'd think of me as their relative. However, it's not really useful outside of being able to answer the "what's your heritage?" question. Because he was adopted, we were never raised with any sort of strong ties to any other people. A lot of German recipes handed down from my mom's side, but that was about it on the "cultural heritage" front. I'm glad we did it, but it hasn't changed anything.
37. Cultural Vs. Genetic Identity
So i'm east african. my parents are, my grandparents are, etc etc. we don't have records of most things, but the oral history tradition is strong.
I'm currently dating a white man and i've always wondered if i would want to have biracial children. nobody in my family really has even had the opportunity to date outside their race, since we're from rural farmlands. my identity is super strong and i am of a dying ethnic group with a dying language, so i always wonder how i want things to play out.
When i got my results back, i found out i'm not even genetically east african (tho i think this is a consequence of the weird timelines the test uses and migration) and i'm 4% a bunch of other stuff. i'm 2% unassigned, but the rest is a mix of european, middle eastern, asian, and even native american. the last part is especially surprising since we immigrated to the states when i was a child. but it changed the way i think about myself and my potential progeny.
Anyway. i paid $0 since it was for a study. but now i really want the rest of my family to do it since it'd be fun to see who got what.
36. Saddled With A SecretGiphy
I have a few stories.
Story #1: My grandfather never knew much about his own father. His dad was in the Navy (always gone) and was killed in WWII when my grandfather was 9 years old. My grandfather had always idolized his dad (he chose to get married on his dads birthday, and chose to become a pilot which is what his dad was). I had him do the 23andMe test and he had quite a few close DNA matches that all listed this same village in Russia as a place of ancestry. There were even matches from Russia and Kazakhstan. Anyway I reached out to some of them and was able to learn that his dad had immigrated to the United States as a young boy from Russia. It was fulfilling to be able to piece that together and share it with him.
Story #2: I have a first cousin that I had never known about. One of my closest DNA relatives on 23andMe is someone I have never met. I thought at first it might be one of my cousins and the account was just under an unfamiliar name. I did a search of the persons name on Facebook and saw that she was a mutual friend of one of my aunts and her son. The girl is my age and my aunt is 10 years younger than my dad. My aunt would have just been starting college when the girl was born. I never told anyone in my family. I didn't tell my aunt either that I knew. I figured that if she wanted to share it with me or the family then she would have already.
I felt a lot of things. Her Facebook picture looked so much like my grandfather (a man I respected quite a bit). She also worked in a profession that required talents that my grandmother has in spades. I wanted to meet her and tell her all about the people she came from. I wanted her to know where she came from and feel proud to have a connection to it. At the same time I felt deep sadness for my aunt and for her. My aunt is a woman I have a lot of respect for and is a genuinely caring person. I sincerely hope that my cousin is happy and has been able to find some peace in meeting my aunt and her son. It is not really my place to make a move. I will just keep this under my hat and pray for healing for everyone involved.
35. An X-Man In My Gene Pool
let me preface this my saying I am pale, blonde and blue eyed. I was not expecting the results I got: 62% British and Irish 23% French and German 12% Italian 6% Spanish 2% Scandanavian .5% Middle Eastern .5% North African .1% East Asian (of the Yakut people) .1% Native American .1% Unassigned obviously, the above was enlightening since I was previously told I was 100% British (and to be perfectly honest, I think it's cool that I'm such a mixture) so that was worth it. But I also did the health tests, and that was also worth it. now I know all I have to worry about is late onset Alzheimer's and age related macular degeneration, which just means my eyes will get bad when im older.
My BIL (brother in law) also did it, because like my husband and I, he too is adopted. he is almost 100% south African, and also tested positive for late onset Alzheimer's. we agree it's helpful to know it's possibly coming, so you can prepare.
just as an aside: the test also made me really curious as to how north African, native American, east asian and middle eastern made it into my family tree. I think there must be an interesting story there.
edit: the hubs said I should add that I am more Neanderthal than most and have the muscle composition most common in elite athletes which is probably why I was able to get up and walk around immediately after waking up from back surgery. I also heal quickly but nowhere in my DNA report did they mention I am related to Wolverine.
34. More Details Necessary
It was interesting to see the results, but there was one thing that I really did not like about it. Ancestry categorizes all Native American tribes together. I understand that it is not exactly easy to find living relatives for most of those tribes, but it irritates me that they have "Eastern European" and "Western European" but the entire Americas are just "Native American". As someone who turned out to be 20% 'Native American' and whos parents know little to nothing about their heritage, it would have been nice to know exactly what tribes I decended from, their cultures can be vastly different.
Besides that it was interesting to see the minor results that only make up like 1% to 5%.
33. We're All From Everywhere
I was a bit miffed to find out I was 45% "Europe West" from AncestryDNA...Europe West meaning French/German/Dutch/Belgian. I get that they're somewhat geographically similar but those four cultures and peoples are extremely different so it'd be nice to know which of the four I am.
What was interesting was that I came out with zero Great Britain lineage, however my aunt is big into family tree stuff and can trace my family back to a man who settled in America from England back in 1632. A quick search of my last name online theorizes that my ancestors were one of the German clans that invaded England in 547. This would make my aunt and AncestryDNA both correct and that they were just taking samples of our lineage from different points in time.
Am I English because my ancestors came to USA from England and lived in England for ~1000 years before that, or am I German because my ancestors were originally from Germany way back in 500 AD, or am I African because all of humanity came from Africa way back before that? AncestryDNA made me think about these things and ultimately come up with the conclusion that I'm American and figuring out where your ancestors came from hundreds and hundreds of years ago is ultimately pointless, seeing as people migrated around over the millennia so it's not like your family just originated at this one place and was there since the beginning of time.
32. Haha Yikes And More Yikes
My birth mother and my half siblings are raving racist loonies. One half sister defended slavery by saying she always takes good care of her pets. I'll let that sink in.
My bio uncle, birth mother's brother, took a DNA test.
We knew we were Native Hawaiian, which was somehow okay because we were related to 'royalty'. (No we weren't, great uncle so and so was a secretary or something in the palace.) We all look white, thanks to the impossibly pale Irish genes that my bio grandfather inflicted on us.
Turns out we're also Hispanic, black, Native American (likely Apache), and a whole variety pack of random things like Korean, Portuguese, etc because everyone slept with everyone back in Hawaii.
You ever get the satisfaction of texting a dyed in the wool violent racist 'one drop rule' and then listening to the furious self hatred vitriol that comes out? It's....well.
I didn't know my father very well, was always told he was half Mexican half Spanish. Then my white mother always said she was British and "black Dutch". After looking up that term, I came to find out in the south (we live in Texas) that's a common misnomer, typically it was what people with Native American or black mixed heritage would call themselves to try and avoid persecution in more racist/xenophobic times.
Sure enough, I get my 23andme test back and not a trace of Dutch. 33% British/Irish, sprinkles of French/German, 22% Native American (I assume mostly Mexico or South America) and 22% Iberian/Southern European. And even 2% west African!
It was pretty cool seeing my doubts about what my mother told me come to fruition. My mom was very interested in what I was able to teach her, and she's waiting for her test now!
23andme also recently announced they are adding 120 reference populations to further break down your results, all future tests and eventually all previous tests will be given these additional results. I am very excited because there's a bunch of South American countries, Mexico, and Spain included in these new populations which should give me a lot of insight.
Highly recommend the test to anyone, very worth the investment.
30. Light And Dark Hair
I did the 23andMe Ancestry+Health kit.
Things I learned:
- Zero Native American in my dad's side of the family despite their strong claims otherwise (they still argue)
- A surprising amount of African on my mom's side
- I'm mostly Northwestern European (not surprising at all)
- A bunch of silly trait things I'm inclined towards due to my DNA (e.g. having cheek dimples). Not terribly important stuff, but it was fun to compare how I am to what my DNA shows me as inclined towards (inclined towards light hair, but my hair is naturally quite dark)
Things I'm hoping eventually come from this:
- More detailed ancestry breakdown (my report should be updated soon)
- My mom was given up for adoption as a baby. She has met her bio mom and keeps minimal contact. Everyone on that side of the family does not know my mom exists. My mom knows quite a bit about the family she's never met - she has a half brother as well as a number of aunts, uncles, cousins, and I believe nieces and nephews... but she is her bio mom's dirty little secret. She can only hear about them through the occasional email or letter from her bio mom. The "evil-ish" side of me hopes one of my close relatives from that side does the test and sees me in their relative list (I know someone on that side has been doing Ancestry, but I haven't done their test yet).
- More health information. As 23andMe gets more approvals about releasing DNA info that may impact one's health, my reports will be updated to give me that information. I've already run my raw data through Promethease, so I have an idea what kinds of things my DNA might show, but there's still a lot of progress to be made in DNA/genetics testing.
29. Politics Do Affect Heritage
I did it with my wife and kid. My wife's results were fascinating. There were bits from all over the world and it was neat to see which parts of Africa and Europe her family was from. There was even some Native American in there.
My results? Japanese. And I was, like: oh, right, my ancestors are from a tiny island nation with nearly 500 years of isolationist policies.
Seriously, though, I still find it neat because they told me things I have a genetic propensity for. And they're continuing to find more information.
28. Love Is An Open Door
My mother, sister, and I did 23andMe 5 or so years ago to see if any of us had any markings for cancer since my grandma had breast cancer. Her Dr told her that it was the fastest way for us to find out. Luckily, none of us have the markings and it proved that her cancer was from hormone treatments at menopause.
Last year, I received an email from another 23andMe user saying we shared DNA. I went to the website and saw that we shared 1/2 of the same DNA. My half brother had done 23andMe because he was adopted and was curious about his health and ancestry. He was not expecting to find us. My other siblings and I had already known we had another brother out there somewhere, so we were hopefully optimistic that this would be a good thing.
He and his family came to visit a couple of months after finding us. He is fantastic and so are his kids. We are so fortunate to have them in our lives now. We all get along great. His parents are wonderful and his mom calls our mom often just to chat. She had been telling him for years to look for his bio-Mom.
So, thank you 23andMe. Without it, we wouldn't have a new brother and a new niece and nephew.
27. First Impressions May Not Be Correct
Late to the party, but this is a fun one.
Initially I was a little disappointed with my test results; I'd been hoping for a clue on a native american great great grandmother and found out... I'm white. I'm more English than most people living in England. It was supremely boring. (Hispanic MIL thought this was hilarious.)
BUT, eventually I was contacted by a a woman I'll call Teri about a possible match. It was distant (second cousin level), but her mother had been adopted from a tiny, tiny rural town in Montana around 1918 and had never been able to find out information on her biological family. Mystery time! So I rolled up my sleeves and started digging.
The first step was the tiny town, and found out that both my grandfather's maternal and paternal lines had lived there, briefly. I printed out photos of the mystery adoption lady and took them to the family reunion that happened to be around the corner, and they were all intrigued, as it was probably had to do with the oldest living's deceased uncle or aunt. The facial features suggested my grandfather's maternal line.
And then I found out one of the uncles during that time had died of the flu, fall 1917. Spanish flu, maybe-- my great-great grandfather on another branch had died of it around the same time. Teri's mother was born in Spring 1918. Facial features were a match. So Teri got her grandfather's name and picture (he looked a lot like her), and the most probably explanation that he'd had gotten his girlfriend pregnant, died when she was ten weeks along, and left her in a really bad situation. It also made Teri my second cousin once removed.
Teri was thrilled. We also have things in common besides genealogy (she's a librarian, I write fantasy books and she loves my work) so we keep in contact. It's not the most dramatic story, maybe, but digging up answers out of old archives is amazing.
26. Justifying Your Love For Coffee
My husband and I and our first child did 23 and me before they got sued for giving medical advice so we got the full panel
Overall it was fairly amusing, but not revelatory. I am more native American than we thought, but that's because lots of native American women who entered white society said they were only half so they could have more rights.
Also they said I should have curly hair based on my genes. Which is HILARIOUS. I have pin straight hair. I wish I had some hair texture. I'd settle for wavy!
Oh, and both my husband and I are coffee addicts, and the test said we were less susceptible to caffeine negative effects, so no wonder we love coffee!
25. Like Something Out Of Greek MythologyGiphy
I'm adopted and did both ancestry and 23 and me. I found my maternal great aunt on ancestry and my paternal uncle contacted me through 23 and me.
I've spoken to my uncle a couple times and my great aunt a couple times but that's it. I've seen my bio mom and Dad via Facebook and that's enough for me. If you find yourself really uncomfortable and not wanting to go any further, don't let anyone push you into a meeting or relationship you're not ready for or comfortable with.
To me, it's like opening Pandora's box. You have no idea what could happen or who these people really are, so just remember that you have all the power and should be able to control where you and your bio dad go from here. I wish you the best of luck, it's a very very strange situation to find yourself in.
24. Partial Princess?
My sister did this, and we found out we were even whiter than we realized (she had believed we had some Native American in there. We do, but it's way less than she thought)
I've been into genetic genealogy almost as long as it's been a thing (since 2006), and I can't tell you how many white Americans believe they have some significant Native American ancestry somewhere. Many, many families have the clichéd "Cherokee princess" legend that they heard from their grandparents. DNA testing shows that these tales are almost always false, usually to the testee's profound disappointment.
23. Bragging RightsGiphy
We did this for my grandma for her birthday a few years ago, it was really interesting! She knew she was mostly Italian, but we found out that she is actually (genetically) more Italian than most people who currently live in Italy.
She got a kick out of that.
22. Your Wife Might Not Be Just Your Wife
I was adopted as a baby, never knew my birth parents. For my wedding, my wife's best friend got us both Ancestry kits. At the time the joke was it would be funny if we found out we were related. We weren't. Flash forward to about a month ago when I got an email in Ancestry from someone saying we may be related. Ancestry classified the connection as very high probability of parent child relationship. So I found my birth father. Trying to figure out how to go forward now.
Since this has come up a lot. My wife and I were not related. 3.5 years after taking the test my biological father reached out to me and said Ancestry.com says we're related and would I like to find out how we were related. I think he was unsure if we were father/son or grandfather/grandson. After a few additional emails back and forth he provided information that confirmed he was my biological father. We are going to meet for coffee at some point in the near future.
21. The Family Castle!
Found out that my 16th great grandfather owned a castle in wales that is still there today! He was [beheaded] though
20. Knowing Your Past Can Change Your FutureGiphy
My mom is super into her family tree. She is 99.9% Rusyn (a specific kind of eastern Slavic from the Carpathian Mountains). She was born and raised in North Eastern Pennsylvania and had a feeling that her parents had to be distantly related somehow.
Got both of her parents DNA tests for Christmas this year... and they are indeed distant cousins.
19. Who Am I?
Turns out my neither my mother nor my uncle are related to my grandfather. And my mother and my uncle are half-siblings. So yeah, worth it
18. When You Are What You Hate
I just got mine today. I used Ancestry but because I'm Korean all I got was 100% East Asian (wow so insightful! /s). Anyway then I uploaded my raw data to Wegene that pinpointed my DNA better. I was SHOCKED. I expected Chinese, Mongolian and Korean.
- 55.43% Northern Han Chinese (this makes sense because my dad's side is North Korean and my last name can be traced to Chinese ancestry).
- 44.21% Japanese (the surprise)
- 2.8% Other (stuff they couldn't figure out)
- 0.32% Korean (I don't know if I can classify myself as Korean after that low percentage..... lmao)
So I found out I'm very not Korean and my mum was the most shocked because she absolutely hates the Japanese... and the Japanese dna is most likely from her side.
17. Excuse Me?Giphy
The chair of my department at work told me his story recently. He has a brother (we will call him Jeff) and a family friend (we will call him Henry) who was best friends with his brother growing up. Henry's sister did one of those DNA kits. Her results came back saying she had a first cousin in the area, who happened to be Jeff's first cousin.
After more investigating they found out that Jeff and Henry were actually switch at birth in the hospital. My department chair's biological brother is actually Henry.
His mother remembers there being some confusion with the babies in the hospital but never thought anything of it again after that. This is probably one of the craziest stories I have ever heard.
16. Sounds Like A Crazy Doctor's Office
I have a crazy story. The ancestry results were definitely unexpected in this case.
My friends mom did the ancestry test. She loved the whole thing and got her dad to try it, too.
The results showed he wasn't her father. They weren't connected via the site. She performed a paternity test (saying it was part 2 of the ancestry test) and confirmed that he is not biologically her father.
Then she nonchalantly brought up her (late) mom being pregnant and her father said that they had difficulty getting pregnant so her and her brother and sister were all conceived via artificially insemination. This was like the 1950s. Freezing sperm wasn't a thing then and her father claims to have been there. So there's probably only one to two other men in the room - the doctor and maybe an assistant.
Idk what happened in the doctors office 60 years ago (for three children) but secrets were definitely kept.
15. A Little Certainty
There were a lot of very interesting tidbits I picked up about my DNA that I wasn't expecting, and a lot of it made sense too. For example I found out that, according to my DNA, I metabolize a certain drug too quickly... And guess what? My mum has been on triple treatments of said drug for months with no result.
The reason I wanted to do it, though, was because my granddad on my mum's side was abandoned as a baby and never knew where he came from. Looks wise, he was clearly foreign and that passed through to my mum and to me (my brother looks more typically Irish, like my dad). So I wanted to find out where that part of my ancestry traced to. The results were a bit confusing and didn't outright say... But according to my results, my maternal haplogroup is a pretty rare one that is most common among the Sami people of Scandinavia. Looking at photos of traditional Sami people they look /a lot/ like my granddad and my uncles, so it kind of fits - but I'd still like to know with certainty.
14. Having A Good LaughGiphy
Brother did one. Turns out the family rumor of Irish/Native American descent was in fact incorrect and we are 98.9% Welsh, with the rest being a mixture of French and German.
13. Old Photos Take On New Meaning
My dad never knew who his father was; I've spent my adult life helping him search with what little information we had (which all turned out to be total red herrings) and it's basically been my life mission to find this person while my dad is still alive.
I bought him one of those ancestry DNA kits for his birthday last year, which brought up some "connections" that didn't make sense; first, second cousins we couldn't figure out. Luckily one of the people he connected with was really into geneology and had done a lot of groundwork themselves. They went through their photos and found one of a man at his wedding, said "Hey, you look a lot like my uncle"; the resemblance was totally uncanny but we didn't want to get too excited.
So from that, the children of the man in the photo did their own DNA tests to corroborate what we thought we were looking at. Yep - turns out that the man in the photo was my dad's father. He now has a whole new extended family he never knew about (he was an only child) and can finally finish searching for this piece of his life puzzle.
So yes, worth it.
12. Welcome To The Family
I signed up for 23andMe, primarily to do research on possible markers for some hereditary health concerns that run in my family line (all is good there). While I was there, I started digging into the ancestry side of the site. That is when my life split open.
Turns out I have a half-sister. My mom gave birth to a baby girl a few years before marrying my dad, and put her up for adoption. I had no idea about this, and I actually kinda doubt that my dad knew either.
You can imagine that this kind of new can really rock a family. With us, it's all been positive. Both of my parents have passed away, which eliminates a lot of the possibilities for awkward or problematic fallout. Basically, it just means that my brother, sister and I have another sister that we just have never met. All good! She has now met my (our) sister, and she is coming out to visit me in a couple months.
For her, it's been quite a ride. She has been searching for family for her whole life, and she finally found us! Of course, she was also very interested in finding out about her father. My mom never once mentioned old boyfriends to me, so I really didn't know how to help her, but now she had a bit more info to go on, and her search continued.
But wait, there's more! So, when she visited our sister, they were digging through old photos, and they came across a dated one of her with a guy, that was more than likey taken right around the date she was conceived. So she manages to track this guy down (she's been searching for decades, and apparently is damn good at it by now). She gives him call, and learns that the photo was taken at a party at one of his friend's house.
11. Getting Told, "NOPE."Giphy
I grew up being told I was primarily Cherokee Native American among many other things. My aunt and grandmother collected Cherokee artwork and artifacts to honor our heritage. Got my test results back... NOPE! I'm all white.
10. Doesn't Make Sense
I have believe my whole life that I was half Native American and half German. My father is Lumbee Native American and he and I both are registered and enrolled in the Lumbee tribe. I took a DNA test and the results came back that I was 88% European and 12% Sub-Saharan African. No Native American whatsoever. It kind of feels like my whole life was a lie.
This especially affected my father, because he grew up with this tribe in North Carolina and they've been fighting for federal recognition from the government for years. Just doesn't make sense.
9. What If You Hailed From Thor?
I won a test for free in a competition. There had been rumors in the family of Australian indigenous and American indigenous ancestry. Turns out they were incorrect as that didn't show up at all. What did show up was mostly as expected. Around 10% Pacific islands (Maori great-grandfather), 10% European Jewish, and the rest was mostly British isles.
The only unexpected thing was like 10% Scandinavian which we had no clue about. I'm not sure if that might've been random like Viking ancestry or something lol.
8. Show Me The MoneyGiphy
Apparently, I'm a fourth degree relative of Te Atairangikaahu (Maori monarch) family line on my father's side, and a very distant relative of the Norwegian Royal Family on my mother's side
So, technically, I'm part of the goddamn royalty. I'm still waiting on the gold, land and peasants.
It was worth it honestly. I am half African-American... so searching for your historical roots is a hot mess of a situation. Records are scattered around. There were always rumors in the family about where we originate from... but when I did the DNA testing it was... I don't know how to describe it -- a relief? To see where my ancestors came from in Africa, to see there were people that I share blood with.
As an African-American, there is a strong community to other black people, but to see on paper that at one time, long ago, you belonged to a region, to a group of people... and that they are still there, it is just... powerful. Also found some cool stuff on the white side of me (German/English ancestry I didn't know about). Would recommend especially to people of color.
6. What Was Your Dad Getting Up To?
Found out that my best friend growing up is actually my half-brother.
My Dad had a lot to explain that day.
5. Was It Worth It?Giphy
Yes, in a couple of ways.
Finding out I have a significant percentage of Jewish ancestry I knew nothing about got me major points with my Jewish mother in law.
I was also able to take the raw genetic sequencing data to my doctor to find out I have a genetic mutation causing my chronic fatigue. Something called MTHFR (because it makes a mess of your life) that makes it hard for your body to absorb folic acid, which in turn makes it hard for your body to process essential B vitamins. I now take a really inexpensive over the counter supplement called methyl-folate and avoid energy drinks and BAM! Chronic fatigue almost completely gone literally overnight.
4. Covering All Your Bases
I did a mtDNA (mother's direct female line) years ago because I had hit a wall. This line is more likely British.
Had my male cousin do my mom's father's side, yDNA (direct male line). I knew they were Jewish, but discovered that this direct male line is from Siberia. About 8% of Ashkenazi Jews are this group. It's been worth it because I'm able to see we are related to other families with same and different surname. One would have expected the surname to be the same.
I sent my Chinese mother-in-law a test. One of her grandmothers was adopted and the family is uncertain of her ethnicity. Hoping the test may provide some information.
I just sent in a sample for a total breakdown of my ethnicity for fun.
I think if you are doing the work of genealogy it's a great tool. It can't provide all answers, but it can verify or disprove some information. As more people do testing, the more precise the information will be. Also, finding cousins is a help as they may have information and documentation.
3. House of Lies
Quite worth it, confirmed some of the family legend and opened a whole shocking new chapter.
"Russian" as written in the passport and by name of both parents, but as it turns out Hungarian (but again, less than 10% while we thought it would be at least 25%) - that is what we knew, Ashkenazi Jewish - that is what we also knew (but less than 10%, and we thought it was about half), and a whole bunch of specific ethnicities and places in Western Europe (about 80%+) - that which we did not know.
2. When Parents Come To Blows
Well I am an orphan. All I knew is that I was Italian.
I am 98% Italian.
Mom side has been in America since 1910s. Help run the American Mafia and fight the prohibition. My family name is found with some of the worst American mafia members.
Dad side corrupted a part of the Italian police force. The corruption is still going on. My family helped put a communism leader in office and when he turned his back on my family, they took him out.
I have no surviving family members in America. I got a couple cousins in prison for robbery and money laundering. I got a grandfather in Mexico hiding from the American police. He is a wanted suspect for the Manson murders.
Not a fun read. I read so many police records it made my head spin.
1. Sigh of ReliefGiphy
I found my biological father and 4 half siblings, so I'm going to go with yes it was worth it. I also found that I don't have any of the incredibly obscure genetic diseases 23andme looks for - nowhere near as informative as I hoped, but okay.
Story - my actual father couldn't have kids but my mother wanted them, so they went the donor route. I've known this my entire life, so it's no big deal to me. I also grew up knowing that I could never find out who my biological father was, because anonymity is built into the donor process. Well... turns out he wanted to find any potential offspring and put himself out on a couple DNA testing websites. I found him in March. It's been a pretty interesting few months!