A little over a month ago my parents took DNA tests from Ancestry.com. I have a pretty good idea of what my mothers ethnicity will be, but I was really curious about my father’s. There were a few things I really wanted to know. One was if any Native American would show up. The family story is that his great-grandmother, Bertha May, was part Cherokee. (there is more information about her in my last post) The other thing I wanted to know was what was the rest of his ethnicity was.
One of my genealogy goals is to trace all the family lines back to the immigrant ancestor. On my Dad’s side I have only found 2 of the original immigrants. I can trace my fathers paternal line back to England and my grand-mothers paternal line back to Germany.
The other thing to know about my father is that he looks a little exotic. He has dark skin and hair and hazel eyes (well his hair used to be dark). He gets asked often if he is middle-eastern. None of us children look like that. One of my brothers has more olive skin and hazel eyes too, but he’s still lighter than my father.
I got his results back on Friday and I was shocked. I would have never guessed what two ethnicities he had the greatest percentages of.
He turned out to be 36% Irish and 26% Scandinavian. That’s a little over 50% of his ethnicity right there. Shocked. In fact when I shared the results with my parents and the rest of my family they asked if the tests had gotten mixed up and this was actually my mom’s. It took a little while for me to convince them that this was not the case. On Ancestry it will share with you, others that are close DNA matches (no personal details) and you can see their tree if they have one and have shared it and his closest cousin matches were known cousins. He also had 19% from Great Brittain and 6% Western European. Western Europe includes Germany.
My mother always claims that she is Icelandic. Her great-grandfather on her father’s side was from Iceland but he married a woman who was Danish and all the other great-grandparents had English and German origins. I haven’t gotten her results back. They should come in the next couple of days, but I think they will probably show up as mostly English and Western European. Her brother has taken a DNA test and I haven’t seen the actual report but he was a little upset that no Icelandic showed up on his profile. This doesn’t mean that none will show up on my mom’s but I think she will be a little disappointed if it doesn’t.
I told my family that my guess is that my father is probably more Scandinavian then my mother which is kind of funny. My mom is light-skinned with light blonde hair and blue eyes. Her hair got a little darker as she got older, but as a teenager she got teased about bleaching her hair, which she never did. One of her relatives, I forget who, nicknamed her cotton top because her hair was almost white.
Oh I didn’t mention, no Native American showed up on my dad’s DNA. It doesn’t mean that his great-grandmother wasn’t Cherokee, he just may not have inherited that DNA. Though I think she definitely wasn’t 100% Native American.
I need to do a learn more about how to use these results to help my research, but it is certainly interesting. Apparently I’m Irish, which I didn’t know. I thought I was a little Scandinavian from my mom’s side, but I’m a lot more than I thought. I look Scandanavian, and this might explain why those traits are more prominent in me. My father was pretty shocked too. DNA certainly is interesting.