Growing up I would always say that I am Irish and Scandinavian, but I’m adopted. That wasn’t my actual ancestry or ethnicity at all. Thankfully you can now take a DNA test that will show you the results of what ethnicity you are and really learn a lot about yourself.
This past Christmas my in-laws drew names for our gift exchange. Whenever someone draws my name they get nervous. I am clearly not an easy person to shop for, but my brother-in-law was excited. He knew exactly what he was going to get me and the nerves suddenly switched to me.
We were handing our gifts and I literally was nervous when I was going to open it. I unwrapped the package and couldn’t have had a bigger smile on my face. There it was, an Ancestry DNA test. He knew I always wondered what my ethnicity was and here I was going to be able to find it out.
Never did I get a gift that would change my life forever—in a good way. We drove home and I couldn’t start spitting in the test tube fast enough. How simple is that? You spit in a tub, screw a lid with a liquid that keeps the DNA in there and mail it in. In 6-8 weeks you get your results and it’s actually pretty interesting.
Here’s what I am:
Great Britain – 62%
Europe West – 15%
Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) – 7%
Italy/Greece – 4%
Europe East – 4%
Scandinavia – 3%
European Jewish – 2%
Ireland – 2%
Finland/Northwest Russia – <1%
The second I saw this I realized why I was so obsessed with things like Burberry, Mary Poppins and royalty. It’s in my blood (well, at least in my spit). But really, does knowing these things change anything about me? No, but I still loved it.
Do I recommend doing this? Absolutely! You may know that you are 50% one thing and 50% another, but really you could be so much more. When I submitted the test my brother-in-law said when we find out what your ethnicity is, let’s go out to eat at a place that serves that style food. Make a game out of it who know, you could end up thinking you’re going to get Mexican food, but you really are getting Chinese.
Maybe we will be going to get fish and chips (boring) but it’s part of my culture. My wife and I decided though that we are going to take a trip to Europe and see where exactly we are from. It’s so important to find out your ancestry and learn about them. This hasn’t changed much to what I think about family history, but I am excited to really dive in more and see what stories I can find. Family is so important and really learning your history can be a blast.