For a while now, I’ve been super curious about taking a DNA test. In the past few years it’s become fairly popular. I did feel a little strange about sending someone my DNA, but I thought it would be so cool to see what the results say.
*This is NOT a sponsored post!*
The process was very simple. I ordered a test kit from 23andme, I spat into a tube (it was a decent amount of spit…), mailed back my package, and awaited my results. They came one week sooner than expected!
What I knew before the test — my mom’s side of the family is 100% Pennsylvania Dutch, my dad’s side is a little less straightforward, but mainly English/British with a little dash of Scottish.
Genetics and DNA are super complex, and there is still so much that we don’t know about, and that scientists are continue to understand today. While we all have a common ancestor at some point, I believe the DNA test works by highlighting your recent history, within the past 200-300 years at most — not sure if it’s capable of detecting before that point. Although, this test was still able to pick up on prescience of Neanderthal DNA and maternal/paternal haplogroup.
Here are some screenshots of my results…
- 57.1% German
- 30.2% British
- 4.4% Scandinavian
- 5.9% Broadly Northwestern European
- 0.7% Italian
- 1.0% Southern Indian
- 0.2% Coptic Egyptian
I was not surprised at all by the great amount of German plus a lot of British, it was cool and surprising to see Italian, Indian, and Egyptian!
The “broadly Northwestern European” can refer to anywhere in Northwestern Europe — either an unidentified location, or a mix of several different locations. I am hoping Greece is somewhere in there? Maybe Nordic?
Even though “1%” or “0.1%” may seem insignificant, it’s actually of great significance! Think of it this way — you receive 50% of your genes from one parent, 25% from one grandparent, 12% from one great-grandparent, and so on. That means that 1% comes from only around six or seven generations ago from someone who had 100% of that heritage. And then 0.1% comes from about 10 generations prior — rounding up to about 200 years, taking you back to as recent as the 1800s. In the grand scheme of things, when you realize how many years humans have existed, the 1800s is really not that long ago!
So, my 0.2% Coptic Egyptian comes from around 9 generations ago at max.
The ancestry timeline helps put it into perspective. Looking at the percentages can be very misleading. Seeing how I’m over 50% German, you would assume that most of my heritage comes from Germany — but that’s not true. The higher the percentage, the more RECENT your ancestors. So in my opinion, placing greater emphasis of the *smaller* percentages truly tells you about the core of who you are, the culture and traditions that more of your ancestors took part in, the greater impact on your family history.
From looking at the timeline, it seems that German ancestry did not come into my lineage until around 1930, or at least was not prominent. This makes sense to me, because my mom’s side of the family came to the USA very early, in the 1700s or early 1800s. Pennsylvania Dutch is NOT the same thing as German — what it refers to are German-speaking immigrants who came to the USA 1700s-1800s (to escape religious prosecution in Europe.) Some came directly from Germany, some came from Switzerland or other parts. Correct me if I’m wrong, but from this chart, it looks like a majority of my ancestors did not come directly from Germany.
4% Scandinavian tells me that I most likely had a great-great grandparent, or third great-grandparent (4 or 5 generations ago) who was 100% Scandinavian. It is also likely I had one ancestor who was 100% Italian, and one who was 100% Indian, from about 6 or 7 generations ago. And although it’s not on the timeline, the 0.2% Coptic Egyptian would come from around 9 generations ago at most. And again, all of this is as recent as the 1800s!
This is what makes DNA results tricky and somewhat misleading. The largest percent does not directly equate to who the majority of your ancestors were. Being mainly Northwestern European, you can see that this really only refers to my very recent ancestors. Going back, you see more Southern European as well as Southern Indian, and back even more you find Egyptian.
I have read some books theorizing that memories are directly imprinted on your DNA blueprint. Not sure if this has been fully proven (or accepted), but I know it’s been argued. It’s the similar concept to ancestral trauma — parents passing their childhood traumas onto their children for example. So this is why I say that your *smaller percentage,* or whichever lineage goes back the furthest, are what hold the most significance with cultural and traditional imprints on your personality.
Making up over 10% of Egypt’s population, Copts are a Christian minority who share an ancient history with non-Coptic Egyptians that dates back before the first pharaohs. However, after the seventh-century conquest of Egypt by the Rashidun Caliphate, the Christian Copts began to become genetically distinct from the Muslim-majority population, while the Coptic language was replaced by Egyptian Arabic outside of a strictly religious setting. Today, most Copts live in Egypt or Sudan, but there are also large Coptic communities living in the United States, Australia, and Canada.
Humans first arrived in Sri Lanka and the southern states of India as early as 70,000 years ago. Within the past two millennia, southern India saw great Hindu kingdoms come and go, including the Chola and Chera Dynasties as well as Vijayanagar — whose capital, Hampi, was among the largest cities of the medieval world. This genetic signature may be related to the spread of Dravidian languages, although the majority of Sri Lankans now speak Sinhalese, an Indo-European language.
The famously boot-shaped Italian peninsula has been home to modern humans for over 30,000 years. In the early Middle Ages, Germanic invaders brought about the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and a northern European genetic signature persists in modern Italians to this day. This influence is strongest in the north, while southern Italians share a rich genetic heritage with island Greeks. Over the millennia, a number of migrations from around the Mediterranean brought North African and Western Asian ancestry to Italy as well.
The “Neanderthal DNA” aspect was interesting! I have more Neanderthal DNA than 28% of others who have taken this test. Overall, it comes out to ~2% of my DNA. Neanderthals were a separate species who bred with humans before becoming extinct.
The “traits” section was somewhat fascinating and also a little silly. My eyes are greenish blue, my natural hair is dark blonde in the summer and light/dark brown in the winter, I think I have cheek dimples but not sure if people see them, my earlobes are detached, my big toe is actually longer, and unfortunately the stretch marks part is accurate!
All of this is basically true — except not sure about the bitter taste part, and I definitely prefer VANILLA!
The rest are somewhat accurate with a few exceptions! The waking up time is super random, though… 8:46 on the dot!? Not 8:45?
DNA testing was a very fun experience and I can’t wait to learn more about my results. I certainly will try to learn more about my ancestors and heritage. Not everyone is a fan of this stuff, but personally I find it super fascinating. I believe that looking back and seeing where you came from can grant you great self-understanding and bring you a feeling of connectedness in your soul.