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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.