I sent my DNA samples off to Ancestry and Family Tree for autosomal testing in January. While waiting for my results I hastily built a “cousin catching” online tree at Ancestry. I received my results in March and enjoy the benefits to this day!
I plan to write a couple of full posts on DNA in the near future. For now I want to highlight one benefit.
Autosomal DNA testing is a “family connections” type of testing. That’s one way I think of it. I’m told it allows you to find accurate connections to a maximum of 5 to 6 generations. It allows you to connect on both your male and female sides. The larger the test pool (total number of DNA contributors in any database), the more accurate the results. I chose the two services with the largest and fastest growing databases.
My results give me a range or approximate amount of DNA compared to the known samples. Both companies’ results were similar as you would hope they would be. Here’s a broad overview.
I’m 99% European. It breaks down with these approximate ranges:
- Great Britain – Range 33% – 95% estimated at 65%
- Scandinavia – Range 0% – 37% estimated at 16%
- Ireland – Range 0% – 21% estimated at 9%
- Europe West – Range 0% – 19% estimated at 6%
- Italy/Greece – Range 0% – 4% estimated at 1%
- Europe East – Range 0% – 5% estimated at 1%
- European Jewish – Range 0% – 2% estimated at less than 1%
- Caucasus Region – Range 0% – 3% estimated at less than 1%
There’s nothing exciting here. I’m about as white and European as you can get. For generations now my ancestors have found and married others with genetic links to the same general part of the world. Boring? Those are the DNA facts and as you know in genealogy facts are good.
My DNA test results answers questions.
- Who was my grandfather’s father?
- Do I have Native American blood?
- Am I related to a particular group of families?
My DNA test results help me make connections.
Some of the best fun and most productive genealogical results from DNA testing has been “meeting” so many wonderful new cousins. They continue to add to my tree and my life.
One thing I would do different.
If I were doing it over, I would build a “cousin catching” tree on Family Tree like I did on Ancestry. I encourage you to build a tree online and then order your DNA test.
A pleasant surprise
I wondered where my western European DNA originated and I think I found it! I knew by the “paper trail” I’m related to the Nichols of Williamson County, Tennessee and Kerr County, Texas. My Grandmother Emma Lee Ingram Roberts’ mother was a Nichols by birth. I did not know until last week that through them I’m kin to the Schaffer family of South Carolina. I found my newest and so far only sets of 5th generation great grandparents! The paper trail clearly leads to:
Frederick Schaffer (1720 – 1786) and Maria E. Schaffer (1734 – 1787)
Johan G. Eichelberger (1729 – 1805) and Elizabeth C. Eichelberger 1740 – 1784)
The pleasant surprise? All four were born in Germany. Why is this pleasant to me? Dee and I have two wonderful daughter-in-laws with clear and close German heritages (Katie and Katy). In August we’ll add our third (Elizabeth)! Well ladies, your husbands have always had the DNA in them. And, by the way, 5 x great grandmother Eichelberger’s full name was Elizabeth Catherine Eichelberger! I’m a proud great grandson and a proud father-in-law.
Thinking about DNA testing? Build that simple pedigree tree. Research your options. Stay tuned. Consider following this blog and signing up for updates. I’ll post more on DNA in the future.