Ancestry kits have become increasing popular over the years. You can actually buy one while standing in line at Walgreen’s for your monthly prescription or you can order from various companies online. The successful marketing of these products proves we all have this need to know where we came from and what we are made of, how are we different? At the very least, we’re curious.
I purchased the 23andme kit a while back, and I was rather impressed with what I learned from my results. For my entire life, people have been asking me what ethnicity I am, just randomly in conversation. Rude right? Nah, we are really just inquisitive creatures sometimes. Plus it’s a decent question, I have some distinguishing features. My eyes are quite slender, cheekbones high, hair naturally curly, coarse and dark, yet my skin is fair. All of which I spend thousands of dollars trying to change each year. People always ask me, “Are you native american, asian, or both?”. I always responded with hesitation… “I am not sure… but I think I am just white?”
What I knew about our family history before purchasing the ancestry kit was that my family was mostly from Texas, probably German based on our short temperament and great grandparents places of birth. Family members always told me that we carried some Native American genes…. because everyone born anywhere in the south before 1983 thinks their great, great grandmother was a “Cherokee princess”. Side note in case the quotations are not clear with targeted sarcasm: There is NO such thing as a Cherokee princess.
If you haven’t purchased and completed one of these ancestry kits, it’s really just a saliva collection process. You don’t have to fill a vial with blood or anything like that and please don’t, because that is just so unsanitary for our postal workers to deal with. It’s bad enough we’ve got them toting spit from state to state.
The price is about $100-$125 and you can pay even more if you want to know how you might die or what your health risks are. I passed on that one originally, but I know some people who went for both results and were glad that they did. I don’t know that I want to see my health risks. I am dealing with all of my other risks at the moment; financial, mental. I prefer to deal with one list of “Oh shit” at a time.
So it turns out I am white! I am 99.3% European. This was not surprising at all. What was pretty impressive though is how that percentage breaks down:
- 61.0% British and Irish
- 23.1% French and German
- 1.7% Scandinavian
- 13.3% Broadly Northwestern European
- 0.5% Western Asian
- 0.2 % Senegambian and Guinean
- Remaining percentage unknown or irrelevant.
What does that mean? It means my most recent ancestors were from the United Kingdom and Ireland in the last 200 years. The results break down your DNA even further by location of those ancestors. So I learned that my ancestors are most likely from London or Glasgow City for the UK and then the Dublin and Mayo areas for Ireland. Two places in this world I am dying to visit! The results go into greater detail to tell you if you have other genetic traits based on your data. It really does give you a lot of nitty-gritty details about each and every molecule of your DNA.
What’s really important though is that I can now wear my Young Dubliners band t-shirt today while drinking green beer proudly, and that’s really everything isn’t it? Rock on!
Nevertheless, today we are all Irish! Today is St. Patrick’s day! So go on and get some green beer in your pint, eat those spuds without counting the carbs, dance and sing obnoxiously in public or at the late afternoon house party. You’ve waited since New year for a solid reason to do this on a Sunday. Just remember that after midnight the Irish magic will wear off, so leave some water and aspirin by the bed. Most of us are working tomorrow, Irish or not. Cheers!
Ps: I am so happy you are here.