History: Ethnic DNA testing sheds light on who you are
July 15. 2014 12:21PM
Ethnic DNA testing is the newest craze for genealogy. Imagine being able find out if great grandma’s story about being related to the president or a famous character in history is true.
I recently had taken a DNA test through Ancestry.com. I thought it would solve some of my genealogy questions and mysteries or maybe find out I am related to someone famous.
Some of the surnames in my family tree are: Henderson, Crumrine, Mosher, Steffee, Miller, Snow and Schoonover. Through years of research I have discovered most of my ancestors were from England and Germany.
I have one big mystery in family I fear will never be solved. As the story goes when my grandfather was just a few days old, his parents gave him away to a nearby couple. Joseph and Margaret Henderson took him in and decided to keep him, become his parents by proxy. There was never any legal paper work, no signatures, and no names. Margaret decided to name him William McKinley, after the president at the time.
Unfortunately, the DNA test did not yield much information on my grandfather, like I had mistakenly thought it would. But it was fun to see the results.
Turns out that my ethnic DNA is 55 percent Great Britain - no surprise - and 18 percent is from Europe West. What did surprise me was that I am 19 percent Irish. I guess I never thought about it. I have always had a touch of red in my hair and my cousins have red hair and my son has a bit of red hair as well. Duh!
It didn’t tell me I was related to anyone famous. However, I thought it was fun and interesting so of course I wanted to see what Scott’s results would be.
Of course with surnames of Fiegen, Dietz, Gebhart he had to be German. Other names in his tree: Anderson, Cornelius, Goodale, Myers and Morgan.
Once again I was surprised by the results. His ethnic DNA was 38 percent Great Britain, 22 percent Scandinavia, 17 percent Irish and 8 percent from Finland and Northwest Russia. I was flabbergasted; with all those German names he’s not German?
Then I read more about the Ancestry DNA tests. One would think you are 50 percent your mom, 50 percent your dad. That is not necessarily true. I was so focused on the name Fiegen I forgot about his maternal side, which is where the Irish and Scandinavian come from.
You are you! Maybe 85 percent of your genes come from your father, where as your brother, he may only have 40 percent of your father’s genes. It’s not always 50/50.
Ethnic DNA testing can be done through numerous companies and the prices may vary. It is a genealogical tool that has advanced and become more accessible over the years. It doesn’t take long, a few weeks total.
If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to search, discover and share your history! Find out who you are!