14 hours ago
Thursday, August 8, 2013
How to Learn More About Your Ancestry
That's a pretty common question we ask; a normal desire to know our family's story. My paternal grandmother spent years researching our family tree, and I inherited her love of family history. When my grandmother passed away, my aunt sent me the books and paperwork Granny used for her studies, and I have so enjoyed poring over names and dates. I leaped at the chance to work with 23andMe for this post.
What is 23 and Me?
With a simple DNA kit, 23andMe can give you reports on over 240 health conditions, test results for more than 40 inherited conditions, as well as helping you discover your lineage and find relatives. Keep reading to find out how I learned some pretty neat things about my family tree.
I was more interested in the ancestral origins side of things, so when the DNA kit arrived in my mail box, I was excited to send it off and see how the test results compared to what I've grown up learning about my family.
How does it work?
1. The kit arrived in my mail box. It was surprisingly small. No needles, no shots! Just a small vial for saliva.
2. I registered my unique bar code on the site so that my sample could be processed.
3. Next, I followed the simple, quick instructions for leaving my saliva sample.
4. Repackaged, mailed off, and waited for my results. When the "ready" email came in, I just logged onto their site for data!
What did I learn?
I opted not to take a peek at the health records. I'm currently pregnant, and I wasn't sure how I'd handle any stressful or uncertain news. I chose to focus on the positive stuff and see where my ancestors came from! The DNA analysis included data from all sides of my family, reflecting where my fore bearers lived 500 years ago.
I've seen the most research for my maternal grandmother and paternal grandmother's sides of the family, so I knew there was a lot of British and Scottish blood. I was surprised to see such a large percentage of Irish! The "non-specific European" makes sense, as I know some of my grandmother's relatives came from France. The biggest shockers were the mention of Scandinavian and Italian heritage.
One of the coolest things is that if you have any DNA relatives in the system, you can contact them using 23andMe. So far, I see that I have 8 second and third cousins and 570 fourth cousins in their system.
Several years ago, I watched a few episodes of a major network TV show that combined celebrities and their genealogical history. I was jealous when many of them had their genes analyzed by a leading researcher to determine their ancestry. Knowing I could never afford such a costly undertaking, I forgot about it. I was completely floored to learn that 23andMe has reduced the cost of genetic service from $1000 at the time of their founding to just $99 today!
From what I've seen so far, 23andMe can be a valuable tool if you are interested in discovering your family heritage, learning more about your health, or both!
Have you ever researched your family history?
If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. And I always appreciate kind comments.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.