Sunday, September 27, 2015

Me, DNA, and Thee

In mid-August, Ancestry had a special on their DNA testing kits. I ordered one, deposited my saliva, sealed, shook and dropped it in the pouch, then sealed the pouch and took it to the post office. And then I waited impatiently for my results.

I confess that I didn't warn my husband. He's not into family history or any history for that matter. In his eyes, history is nothing more than boring dates and facts to be memorized for a test, then forgotten. I, on the other hand, love history. For me, it's alive and brimming with life lessons and interesting tidbits and facts I can use in my own life.

So, about a month after I dropped off my saliva filled DNA kit at the post office, we're on our way to Washington, DC for our vacation. My husband has agreed that I can have half a day to meet with my cousin and do some family history research in Georgetown.

He's driving on I-95. My phone vibrates with an e-mail alert. I check it and burst into delighted cheers. My Ancestry DNA results are ready!

I wasn't surprised by most of the results. I expected a sizable amount of my DNA to be from Great Britain, Ireland, and Western Europe, and I was not surprised. The Scandinavian result confused me until I remembered that one of my great great grandmothers was of Scandinavian descent.

Now that I've confirmed that I'm a Heinz 57 mutt as my Dad used to say, I hope that my DNA results will help me solve a few family mysteries. I have three dead ends on my tree. I hope DNA will help me find the branches to add to those dead ends.

I need to learn how to interpret my results and how to use them to find cousins, then how to determine how those new cousins and I are related.

I can't wait to meet new cousins and friends these DNA results will bring my way.