I had one of those spit-in-a-tube, send-it-in DNA tests done a while back, just out of curiosity. Some of the results were unsurprising (31% Scandinavian? Yup.), but others took me by surprise. On my mom's side of the Family, we're recent immigrants, Swedish and Dutch (read "Dutch" as mostly Dutch, with a smattering of DNA from the Iberian Peninsula and Central Asia). But I wasn't sure about my dad's side of the family. We've traced part of the family line back to the 1600s, and they're still in America, so where did they come from?
Oh, and what about that Cherokee DNA claim? Everyone in the family knows the story of my great-great-something grandfather, a wild young man living on the edge of Indian territory, who stole a woman from the local Cherokee settlement and galloped away, had the whole tribe after him, yadda yadda.
Well, based on my test results (and a few of my siblings' test results), that was likely a story made up of whole cloth. I have no Native American DNA whatsoever in my profile. My brother, however, has a smattering of African DNA, which might suggest there are some other family stories nobody ever passed on. I'd like to hear about them.
Anyway, I also have about 18% English ancestry, which wasn't all that surprising. But the big surprise was the Irish ancestry: 31%. My genetic background is almost a third Irish. I'm as much Irish as I am Swedish. Who knew? But come to think of it, my dad's side of the family does have some very Irish-sounding surnames. Plus that's the side of the family tree that don't branch out much (say this with a Tennessee accent for the full effect), so it's very possible that the families that came over from Ireland who-knows-how-many generations ago largely kept that set of genetic markers undisturbed through intermarriage.
(Still trying to puzzle out that 1% Melanesian DNA result, though. Huh.)
|Public domain photo by isjamesalive (flickr)|
Speaking of boiling, off to cook some corned beef and cabbage and tatties. Because reasons. Tasty, tasty reasons.