A few weeks ago I shared with you all that I had sent in my saliva to 23andMe to get my Ancestry composition. I shared that I was nervous about my results. What if they weren’t what I expected? What if they were completely different from what I’ve thought my whole life? Well… I got them back finally. Let me tell you… I was SURPRISED!
First some basics about 23andMe (affiliate link). You spit into a vile, send it away in their self-addressed box, and then you wait 6-8 weeks for it to come back. Mine took about 6ish weeks. You get an email that your results are in and then they send you to a page where they break down your percentages for different regions of the world. Some areas are broken down into more specific countries and some are more broad. This is based on how much information and research is known at the time of your results. The good thing though is that as they find out more information and details they will continually update your profile and ancestry composition summary.
Now for my results… I was quite surprised! For my entire life I believed I was about 50% Polish, about 25% Italian, and 25% German. This is based on what we (thought we) knew about my grandparents. The only one that we knew for sure was that my maternal grandfather was from Italy. This was corroborated by the Ancestry Results. We thought that my Maternal Grandmother’s family was of Polish decent.
My father’s side was harder because he left when I was 4 years old. But I knew last names and maiden names and did research a few years ago on Ancestry.com. This led to the conclusion that my Paternal Grandfather’s side of the family was of Polish decent through folks that immigrated into Canada and Pennsylvania. We think my Paternal Grandmother’s family were German immigrants.
So what did the DNA test say? Apparently I am about 21% Italian (my maternal grandfather being from Italy influenced that more), about 14% German, about 10% Balkan, and only 10% Polish. These are the only ones that are specific. I am also almost 5% British/Irish, 3% Iberian, .3% Ashkenazi Jewish, almost 17% broadly Southern European, about 9% broadly Northwestern European, 10% broadly European, .8% North African/Arabian, and .1% broadly Sub-Saharan African.
What do the “broadly” ones mean? That means that they don’t have enough data on those particular regions and/or enough science for that DNA yet. As more information is learned those percentages can change. For example “broadly Southern European” includes Italy, Iberia, and the Balkan peninsula. So when they get more information about that DNA they may increase my Italian percentage.
When I tell you I was SURPRISED!! That is an understatement. All my life, and my moms, and my grandmothers life… we’ve lived under the impression that we were Polish. When people ask me I tell them I’m Polish culturally. I’m so torn with these results. My mom says that despite the results I’m still Polish.
Now I’m curious what my sister’s DNA results would say because we always joked she got all the Italian and I got all the Polish blood. If you look at her and you look at me you will see she is the darker version of me and I am the lighter version of her.
What are your thoughts? Have you taken one of these DNA tests? Did your results match what you thought? I would love to know in the comments. If you haven’t taken one yet you should! You can use my referral link.
Thanks for reading!
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