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A few posts back I mentioned that I had received the results to an Ancestry DNA test that I had taken before the holidays. As I said, my husband had given me this as an a early gift and I was so excited to see what it would come up with!
Now, I have always been limited to what information I have about my family. I have heard names of ancestors and luckily have seen some pictures of Great Grandparents and Great Aunts but I was never REALLY sure what it was that I was truly made up of.
I was raised by a single mother. She grew up in Manchester, England and came to the states as a young woman. My mother and father met in Chicago and he was with us until I was the age of two.
I am biracial, my father being African-American and my mother white with older half siblings on both sides. Growing up I never had a clear understanding of my ancestry or any family specific details, as I didn’t have those immediate connections to find those answers.
I did however, have a relationship with my father up until I was seventeen via letters and phone calls. But felt we never really connected enough to go deep into the matters of family history. Phone calls were short and letters just catered to the surface. After years of broken promises I took it upon myself to cut ties as it only hurt me more to stay in touch.
All I knew was that I had an aunt still in the city of Chicago that I met on one occasion and even today her name is lost to me. He on the other hand resided on the West Coast.
On my mother’s side however we luckily had reconnected with lost family in the U.K. during the early dial-up days. 🙂 We were able to visit England a few times when I was young where I was able to meet family that my mother had grew up with, see her childhood home and spend some quality time together and that was amazing not only for me but for my mother who had been disconnected from them for many, many years at that point. She was so happy during those times!
It was there, that I learned so much about who I was, who my mom was, how she was raised and all that it was that made her the woman that she came to be.
I lost my mother in 2014 and found myself left with more questions about myself. Questions that could no longer be answered by her and needed to be sought out in other ways.
So, the search was on!
I have always considered my nationality to be African-American and British with maybe a hint of Scottish. There was never any real clarity and I was curious to get more specific. So, the results came in and gave me a window into my ancestry…
THE MAIN FINDINGS (Excluding Minimal Regions of Ancestry):
- Ireland/Scotland/Wales 37% Origin: Ulster, Ireland
- Scandinavia 11%
- Cameroon/Congo 11%
- Europe West 9%
- Mali 8%
- Ivory Coast/Ghana 6%
- European Jewish 5%
How specific these results get really blows you away! Your results don’t just include your most connected regions of ancestry but also the minimal regions. Great Britain was just a minimal 2% which took be aback. I really didn’t know what to expect when taking this test but they truly break it down for you. What’s great about doing the DNA testing with Ancestry is how they can help walk you through the path of what your ancestors might have taken when they were alive. What was happening in the world, what people were wearing, what sort of hardships they may have faced. It’s all so fascinating to me. Or I’m just a nerd in this regard but I love it.
Irish was surprising for me. I think the numbers themselves is what was so informative. You may not of had an idea about a certain part of your history but learning just how much your made up of it; is the most interesting of all. I never once thought that I was of Irish descent (or did I miss the memo? Anything is possible! Ha! Ha!)but it’s amazing to learn. The African nations like Cameroon was a joy to learn and the fact I can delve into these specific areas of myself is just wonderful.
Becoming a mother caused me to want to pour as much information into my children as I could. To help them understand themselves better. I have learned some things about myself that I cherish and will be able to share with them. 🙂
Since getting these results I have used them to grow my existing family tree on Ancestry. While I still have minimal information about my father’s side (I’m working on it) I have already discovered EIGHT generations back on my mother’s side! And new findings keep turning up! My 8th Great Grandfather was born in 1695!
I still have so much to research. Like, what some of these ancestors did for a living…I have come across, an Electric Car Operator, Black Smith, House Painter, Agricultural Laborer, Iron Worker, Bed Maker, Lawyer, Detective…
I have roots in Pennsylvania as well as New York where families settled and it has recently been brought to my attention by my cousin that I may still have family residing here in Chicago. Go figure! I am definitely anxious to see what else I can learn.
What is so cool about doing something like this is realizing how small our world truly is and how we can all find connections in history. It really does broaden your awareness and open your minds to certain things you may not have recognized about yourself…
When you start about family, about lineage and ancestry, you are talking about every person on earth.
This journey isn’t over, there is more to find out and more dots to connect. I will be sure to keep you all updated in the future!
P.S. My husband has recently joined the bandwagon. Let’s wait and see what his results come up with!
Cheers! (or shall I say Sláinte) 😉