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DNA Test Results Arrive

Several months ago, I resolved to take a DNA test for genealogical purposes. I purchased both an autosomal test and a mitochondrial test from Family Tree DNA. After performing the cheek swabs and mailing in the samples, I received my results earlier this summer.

Since then, I have spent a bit of time reviewing my report. My ethnicity results varied some from what I expected:

What I Thought                          What the Test Said

44% English and Scots Irish    38% British Isles

25% Finnish                                 30% Finland

25% Norwegian                           21% Scandinavia

6% German                                   9% Iberia

—-                                                  2% East Europe

What am I to make of this? It seems my maternal line matches pretty well with the heritage I anticipated. My mom was half Norwegian, half Finn, and 51% of my ethnic origin lies in Scandinavia and Finland.

The disparity appears to come from my dad’s side. The family said he was primarily English and Scots Irish with the exception of a German great-grandmother. My heritage shows plenty of British but no German on this test. Surprisingly, I do have a sizable connection to Iberia (Spain and Portugal). I also have a bit of eastern European that the FamilyTreeDNA map shows centered in eastern Poland and western Ukraine.

Where would I get Iberian and eastern European ancestors when my family does not know of any? Could some of it be Germans from Russia? Black Irish?

My dad does have an unidentified grandfather who would have contributed, on average, 12.5% of my DNA. Perhaps all or part of this 11% Iberian and Eastern European comes from him. I wish I could find a DNA match that would help me explain this part of my heritage.

Unfortunately, nearly all my closest matches on Family Tree DNA are Finnish, so they must be my mother’s relatives. So far, no one leaps out of the list as a good prospect for deciphering my mystery lines on my father’s side.

I plan to keep working to understand the DNA data and to contact matches that might help me. As more people submit test results, perhaps a closer match will become available for comparison. In the meantime, I am participating in a DNA class through the Colorado Genealogical Society, and I am reading a couple of books on DNA testing. When that DNA match arrives someday, I want to be able to recognize and interpret it.

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