23 and Me – My first thoughts

I received my 23 and Me DNA results a few days ago and I wanted to get some of my thoughts on “paper.”

First of all,  I didn’t realize when I ordered the kit that it included health as well as genetic results.  I found out about the health component, but wasn’t really interested.  Then, I got the health results first, and I was so wrong.  I’m not going to go into my results here, but it was quite fascinating, and I’m really glad it was included.

As far as the genetic results are considered, the first thing I saw was my maternal haplogroup, which is H1, and shows where my direct maternal line ancestors originated from.  According to the 23 and Me website, “Haplogroup H1 is widespread in Europe, especially the western part of the continent. It originated about 13,000 years ago, not long after the Ice Age ended.”  Click here if you want to read more about the H1 haplogroup, including seeing a map.  I did mtDNA testing with Family Tree DNA a few years ago, with the same result, so I consider this a confirmation.

The next thing I checked was “Ancestry Painting.”  This is the part of 23 and Me’s product that looks at where all your chromosomes came from (well, the ones they test), not just the X chromosome (which is what the mtDNA test described in the previous paragraphs reports on).  Those of you who watched Faces of America last year will remember when Dr. Gates revealed this information to Stephen Colbert. . .Stephen was a 100% white guy.  I’m a 100% white girl.

Since we think there is an American Indian in my background, this result means that if there is, it’s so far back that the DNA is insignificant.  The person I suspect of being half- or full-blooded Indian is eight generations back, so that makes sense.

Lastly, there are my “Relative Finder” results.  23 and Me located 790 inital potential matches. 790! I’ve made contact with a few but, so far, I’m completely overwhelmed.  I’ve come to a few conclusions.

  1. I need to study up on DNA results, so that I know what I’m looking at, what it means, and how to evaluate the connections.
  2. Since the autosomal results (which are why I wanted the 23 and Me test) go out to 5th cousin, I need to add more names to my database.  For the past few years, I’ve been limiting myself to two generations down from my direct ancestors.  For the last 5 or 6 generations, I need to go down five generations.  The reason for that is these DNA  matches may well descend from from female lines for which I don’t have a surname in my database.  Without the surnames, there is no way to figure out how we connect and who our common ancestor is.  My thought is that I won’t look for all the detailed events on these additional generations, but will concentrate on getting the basic birth-marriage-death events (with sources, of course).
  3. I need to get more people in my family tested.  The reason for this is that if someone matches me and one of my relatives, that will help narrow down the lines to research.  I bought my kit at Thanksgiving, when it was on sale for $99.  I’m going to keep my eyes open for another sale and possibly buy kits to test my grandparents.  (Any of my relatives, if you get tested yourself, look me up on 23 and Me, so that we can compare our results).

The bottom line here is that I’m excited about the results and the possibilities, but it’s going to take a lot of work to use.

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  1. Linda Davis says

    I coerced my male first cousin to submit a specimen for a surname project for me on our Thompson line. We used Family Tree. We got a total of 6 matches…of sorts. No real close. The closest match was a guy who lived about 30 miles from us!!! He had his line documented on paper back to the Civil War and I had our one generation back more. All lived in GA.

  2. says

    Just received my results. On my dad’s side the numbers R1b1b2a1a we are of European descent. I did some research and we come from the St. Clair group going back centuries with no mutations of the NWH (Haplogroup) which a lot of us come from. On my mom,s side I need more research. All I know is that they were big game hunters Fascinating.

  3. Alan says

    I have never met an American who didn’t claim to have an American Indian ancestor. Almost invariably, it was a female, usually great-great grandmother (making the claimant 1/16th Indian). For some reason, having a male American Indian ancestor or having more than 1/8th or less than 1/32nd Indian blood wasn’t cool.

    Having a smidgen of American Indian blood seems to be necessary to confirm one’s uniqueness, as well as to erase any sense of guilt over the plight of the American Indians at the hands of European immigrants (after all, the Indians were your people too, right?).

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Okay. I’m not claiming anything. I’m simply trying to confirm or refute a family tradition. If you had actually read the post, you would see that I said that my DNA results show no (as in zero) Native American DNA in my DNA for the past 5 or 6 generations, which is all that autosomal DNA testing claims accuracy for.

    • Susan W says


      I’m American and I don’t claim any Native American Ancestry. I’m Dutch/Belgian ancestry through and through. I know plenty of American’s that don’t claim Native American ancestry but I live in an area that was settled by various groups immigrating from Europe. We all know where and when our relatives moved here.
      I suspect you need to meet more Americans. :)


    • Viktoria R. Medicine Elk says

      Not only great-great-grandmother, but a Cherokee Princess! LMAO I am 50% Northern Cheyenne on my FATHER’s side. :P

  4. says

    My mother’s mother’s mother’s paternal grandmother was full Cree Indian in Indiana. Her “english” name given to her when she got married was Elizabeth. She had 8 children. A son was named his father’s name (George Craft Jr.) but she always called him “White Hawk”. He married Francanna Roberts and they had several children. One was my great grandmother, Josephine. A brother died at age 22 in 1896 I believe from the flu epidemic.
    I would love to look at this Cree indian relative’s life in the tribe, etc and where she started out. Cree indians were also in Canada and the great lakes area.

  5. patricia d calvert diehl says

    i am interested in finding out any health problems that my ancesters had. i have had colon cancer and now may have a small lung cancer. could i find anything out with this test?

  6. Larry Joe Daves says

    My gggrandfather was Georgr Sizemore from what I understand is he was Cherokee we find a card in my mother thing were he was awarded some land in a settlement with the groverment so I am perry sure it correct

    • Martha Copeland says

      Hi. If your grandfather is George “Of All” Sizemore, he is buried in Leslie County, Kentucky but your grandmother Aggie Shepherd is the Cherokee. My great grandmother is buried nearby. The cemetery is located on an Indian burial mound–much older.

    • Kim Waddell says

      My great grandfather was adopted and always said he was a sizemore. He was adopted by the cole’s. He was an Indian from Western North Carolina.

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