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In Focus

For Christmas, my mother got me one of those DNA tests to check out my ancestry. Today, I got the results.

My whole life I was told I was German, Irish, Dutch and a smidge Cherokee. Well, it was mostly right.

On the Recent Ancestry Analysis I am 98 percent European with 48 percent being German and the rest is Italian, British, Slavic, French and Scandinavian with two percent South Asian, specifically Sri Lankan Tamil. Pretty neat stuff!

The Advanced Ancestry Analysis was a bit more detailed explaining I’m 90 percent European (Northern European, British Isles, Northwestern European, Iberian and Toscani Italian), five percent South Asian (Gujarti Indian, Punjabi, Bengali and Sri Lankan Tamil), just over three percent AdMixed American (Peruvian, Colombian, Mexican and Puerto Rican), just over one percent East Asian (Southern Han Chinese, Japanese, Chinese Dai, Northern Han Chinese, and Kinh Vietnamese) and a smidge African (Esan in Nigeria).

All of this information encompasses what I was told, except for the Cherokee. I’m pretty much a mutt and I’m fine with that. I think it’s interesting to come from an array of different lineages. I still find it interesting being mostly German and I don’t like the taste of beer. But I do like whiskey!

Another fun thing I received was an advanced time line that shows how many generations back these lineages came from. About four generations back, around the 1900s, is where I got the Sri Lankan Tamil. The Northern European, British Iles and Japanese were five generations back. The farthest back it went was 49 generations, around 775 A.D. and that was the North Western European. I think it’s pretty cool.

We also did a maternal haplo report that traces the first female of the family they call “MT-Eve” to Kenya. I belong to Haplo Group K. They explain this as: A haplogroup is a collection of common inherited genes that trace male or female ancestor lines back to an original parent. Unlike regular DNA, mtDNA exists outside the nucleus of your cells and is only passed down by mothers to daughters and sons. Haplogroup K represents a common ancestor that ties you directly to ancestral Mitochondrial Eve (MT).

Haplogroup K originated in West Asia between 20,000 and 38,000 years ago. Haplogroup K is present in early Neolithic farmers from the Near East and among early European farmers. Yet it is absent among the Western Hunter-Gatherers who occupied Western and Central Europe before the Neolithic period. Haplogroup K spread during the Bronze Age to Germanic countries and Central Asia. Today, mtDNA K is particularly common in Northwest Europe. A 2012 study found that Haplogroup K has been found at strikingly higher frequency among Chinese and Italian centenarians. It may be associated with longevity and resistance to stress.

Now I get to say I am European, South Asian, AdMixed American, East Asian and African. Or, just a little bit of everything!

It’s a ton of information to process. This company also offers a report to see what celebrities you are related to. I just spent the extra $10 to find out. At this point, why not do it? Supposedly, on my father’s side, there’s some relation to Martha Washington. It will be interesting to see what turns up!



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