… and DNA Proved It!

DNA is without a doubt the latest BIG thing to hit genealogy. So big, that it is changing (or should I say supplementing) the way people research.

Genealogical DNA testing has been in Australia now for a couple of years, but I’m never one to be first in line for new things. In saying that I have tested with both AncestryDNA and Living DNA, and I have interesting results from both. However it’s not exactly those results that I’m writing about here.

Before continuing let me just state that I’m no expert in any form of the word on genetic genealogy. But I wouldn’t consider myself a “complete total newbie” either.

Even so I wanted to share an interesting result with you.

My family has some illegitimate births (as does every family I’m sure), but one particular family story was one that questioned the legitimacy of my great great grandfather’s last child. For privacy reasons I’ve chosen not to name names here.

The story goes that after the death of his wife, my great great grandpa married the lady who had been his housekeeper for many, many years. She was 38, he was 77. Sadly due to ill health he died just a few months after they married, and her baby boy was born six months after that.

Certainly among some people, there has been speculation as to if the baby boy really my great great grandpa’s child.

Well, as they say “DNA doesn’t lie”.

I’ve tested, and my mum has tested, and we’ve had matches with people who are connected to that particular line. So, yes we do indeed have his blood in us! And that puts paid to those rumours.

So you see, it can be useful.

Next up, I’m hoping it’ll help us find the fathers of some of our illegitimates.

DNA Testing and Bullying

While genealogy DNA testing has been around for a few years now, DNA testing in Australia only became a big thing last year when AncestryDNA hit our shores.

I, along with numerous family members, and many others I know have done the “spit test” to see “where we came from”. So far all good and easy. Right?

For many this is enough. That’s all they wanted. Do the test, and see their ethnicity. But for the rest of the testers, they want more. They want to find the long lost cousins and branches of their family. They want to find matches, and this is where you can find issues arise.

I have heard it so many times “they don’t have a tree online” or if they do, “they haven’t replied to my message about a match”.

Personally I’m not a ‘tree online’ person. I am happy to work on my own tree, on my own computer, but due to public pressure, I did put a mini-tree online, and am now having people contact me saying that they match, and wanting more information.

Can you see the issue here?

Not everyone tests for the same reasons.

So my suggestion to those who have tested, and have sent queries to those who are possible matchers, don’t be a bully about it. If you find that someone doesn’t have a tree online, don’t pressure them. And if they don’t respond to your request for more info, don’t hassle them. The more you do, the less likely they’ll want to share their info with you.

Maybe in time they’ll look into the whole matching thing for themselves, but at present they’re happy with the ethnicity report, and seeing the match of a close relative or two who have tested as well.

…. and my Results are in!!

It was only a few months ago that AncestryDNA hit Australian shores. FINALLY Aussies would be able to take the test … myself included.

Let me mention straight up that I am a total genealogy DNA newbie. I know incredibly little about the whole DNA side of genealogy, simply because it is something that I haven’t explored yet, as I’m still busy on the paper-trail. However when the opportunity came for me to take an AncestryDNA test, which is an ethnicity test, I thought this should be an easy enough one to start off with. One that I could get my head around.

it arrived!

it arrived!

So the box arrived, and the instructions seemed simple enough: activate an account on the AncestryDNA website, spit in the tube, seal it, and post it off to Ancestry … then sit back and wait for the results, this can take anything from 6-8 weeks, so be patient.

what comes in the kit

what comes in the kit

Then the email arrived. “Your AncestryDNA results are in, see my results”.

the results are in ...

the results are in …


So the moment of truth. What does my DNA say about my ethic origins?

and my results ...

and my results …

Actually, no big surprises.

I’m made up of mostly English origins, with a bit of Irish and Scandinavian thrown in. Though why the list Finland separate from Scandinavia I don’t know.

Great Britain 58%
Ireland 15%
Scandinavia 14%
Finland/Northwest Russia 7%
Trace Regions 6%
– Europe East 3%
– European Jewish 1%
– Iberian Peninsula < 1%
– Europe West < 1%

Have you thought about doing a DNA test to check your origins? If you’re interested you, can find out more about AncestryDNA and buying a kit here.