With all of my grandparents gone, and with the passing of my maternal uncle over the summer, I know many of the stories I hoped to hear are lost for good.
So, I did it. I purchased a DNA test from ancestry.com, the site with my family trees and where I do most of my research. After I received the box with the test kit inside, I let it sit there for a long time.
It sat for so long, I wasn't sure if it was still good. I'm not sure if it was paranoia over "big brother" having my DNA results, or what, but I just couldn't register the kit and take the test.
After several episodes of Who do you think you are? and other TV genealogy shows, I decided it was time.
So, I registered the test, spit in the tube, sealed it up and sent it off. Then I waited. And waited.
I decided to stop checking the status, because it felt as though the results were taking for ever. They weren't taking any longer than the website stated, but it felt.like.forever...
Then, suddenly, up popped an email saying my results were in. Before I describe the results, I need to lay a little groundwork so you can understand why I was so shocked:
My paternal great-grandparents emigrated from Italy in the late 1880's (ish), at least the ones from my dad's dad's side. I'm having a terrible time finding information about my paternal grandmother's side of the family, so lots of unknowns there.
My maternal grandfather's side of the family have been in North America as far back as the Mayflower - my 7x's GGF is William Brewster, Elder of Puritans. So I know we have some UK in the mix, in addition to a lineage from France. I have done some preliminary searches on other branches of the family tree that lead back to the early colonial days, but I haven't dug deeply enough to find homelands, yet.
My maternal grandmother's side are all from Ireland, or so I thought.
Because of these "known facts" from my family, I've always said that I was 50% Italian and 50% American mutt; mostly Irish, a little English and a little French.
My test results say differently. I am:
34% Italian (shocked - thought this would be significantly more)
29 % British (WHAT? WHAT? Should be way less than this!)
12 % Caucasus - the "stan" countries (Kazahkstan, Uzbekistan, etc.) + Turkey and parts of the Middle East, etc.
(you can pick me up now that I've regained consciousness)
9% Western European (France, etc. not shocked)
8% Irish (What the heck?! Thought this was WAY more) and... drumroll...
5% European Jewish (OK, I'm totally blown away - I had no idea)
There are some traces from the regions of the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula, too.
Of course, as a person of Christian faith, I believe that we all come from one location and one couple anyway. (I'm asking all of you not to argue this point with me. You don't have to believe this; I do, and you won't change my mind. Let it go).
So, standing in my beliefs that we all descend from Adam and Eve, it makes perfect sense that I would have this ethnic breakdown.
The other point to make here is that we are one race. The HUMAN race. There is evil in this world, and there is hatred in the world.
But evil and hatred aren't races - they are mindsets and choices.
If we choose to spend our time doing good for others, respecting others, honoring people's differences instead of attempting to "homogenize" our beliefs, and treating others as we wish to be treated, perhaps our country - our world - can come to a place of healing and unity.
I challenge you to do your own DNA test and find out exactly how much of this world you share in your DNA. You may be shocked by the results, too.
Colossians 3:12-14 The Message (MSG)
12-14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Have you done the ancestry DNA test? What results have you found? Did you find any surprises?
Tell me about it here in the comments, then swing by my Facebook page and like it! You'll find funny and inspirational memes and devotionals there.
If you liked this post and are into genealogy, check out my other posts on genealogy research here.
If you really like this post, please scroll back up to the top and click the "subscribe by email" button. You can sign up to receive an email whenever I publish something new.
No spam, no junk. Just me. Promise.
Need to reach me? Send me an email at email@example.com! Happy researching!