Why everyone should do an Ancestry DNA test
I sometimes wonder whether my need to travel is embedded in a gene I have. Perhaps it comes from the fact that ancestrally, I come from a plethora of places. I’m born to parents of Jamaican and Anglo Indian heritage predominantly plus more, but fully aware that things are never quite that straight forward and I’ve never been quite sure about the plus more!
My quest to know exactly where I come from on both sides has always intrigued me so a few months ago I joined Ancestry.co.uk and Family Search and started putting my family tree together. There the complications began! With having parents that have a history that spans both the slave transatlantic trade and commonwealth countries ruled by the British Empire has thrown a few spanners in the work to say the least.
In my quest to learn more about my lineage, I joined several genealogy groups on Facebook in an attempt to find out more alongside my online research.
You’ll be surprised how much information you’ll find online from sites such as Ancestry and family search. A number of countries have scanned in billions of important documents from birth, death and marriage certificates most with associated images of these documents for many decades. Be warned however there are still some areas missing
I saw a post in the global travel group I’m part of, Nomadness Travel Tribe (An amazing resource started by Evita Robinson for those of us who share a love for everything travel). A number of tribe members have ordered DNA kits from a number of sites and most people said that Ancestry was one of their preferred sites.
DNA tests used to be a hell of a lot more money, so when I saw Ancestry advertise it on the site for £69 whilst working on my family tree, I just did it!
The wait for the results was antagonising! I went through stages of pretending to forget about it, to then calculating the weeks since my last email from Ancestry. The possibilities were endless, but the most intriguing part… Ancestry DNA will start to suggest people on the site that you are a DNA match with and therefore genuinely related to. That element blew my mind!
I think everyone in the world should have access to this information about themselves, We’d live in a much more tolerant society, as most of us well travelled and educated folk know, we are all from a number of places and It’s truly a beautiful thing.
Even if you are convinced you are from a specific place, I’d strongly suggest doing this test.
Interested in doing a Ancestry DNA test?
Step 1: Sign up to Ancestry.com and roughly start your family tree. Start with your immediate family and go from there. It’s very simple to start.
Step 2: Navigate to this part of Ancestry and order a kit for £69
Step 3: Whilst waiting for your kit to arrive, sign up to Family search and start to find a bit more information to add to your Ancestry tree.
Step 4: When the kit comes, Activate the test ( there are instructions in the pack) then follow the instructions to spit to the level indicated and then place the blue serum ontop in order to preserve the sample.
Step 5: Package it all up in the prepaid box and post in your post box and wait to get the email from Ancestry that your results have been received.
Step 6: You can link the dna result to yourself in your family tree which in my eyes is an essential thing to do. You’ll then get a further email saying the lab is now processing your sample.
Step 7: Look out and wait for that email with those amazing results!
On the 12th November 2016, I finally received my results!
The test results are approximate but are largely accurate.
My Jamaican heritage was made up of the following areas
- 16% Nigeria
- 14% Ghana/ Ivory Coast
- 7% Cameroon or Congo
- 11% Trace of a plethora of other African places which make up the rest.
My remaining heritage?
- 15% Asia South
- 5% Trace of other Asian areas – Central and East Asia
And the final bits?
- 15% Ireland
- 10% Europe West
- 7% Trace Regions in Europe
Worth noting about Trace Regions: where you seem to have just a trace amount of genetic ethnicity — there is only a small amount of evidence supporting the regions as part of your genetic ethnicity. Because both the estimated amount and the range of the estimate are small, it is possible that these regions appear by chance and are not actually part of your genetic ethnicity. – Ancestry DNA.
Was I shocked by any of the results?
Completely! 4% Great Britain appeared as a Trace and was probably the most shocking statistic for me. I always thought a larger percentage of me was English, but in the grand scale of things? No! In fact I might not be English at all.
Anything else? Not particularly but the breakdown was intriguing
Next steps for me
- To go back and trace my ancestors as far back as I can, I want to know my story inside out.
- Looking forward to finding some family members I never knew existed and to also get on a plane to go and visit some of these places and explore some of my many homelands!
- Trying to convince more family members to do the DNA test. Why? Read more here how it can improve accuracy.
- Convince my 3 year old niece to keep this up amongst her cousins so we continue the information giving.
Next Steps for you
Start a 14 Day Free Trial on Ancestry here and start with your family tree.
Would you do an Ancestry DNA test? Are you intrigued to find out where you’re from? Let me know if you did the same and how it went for you.