I Got My Heritage DNA Tested

My Heritage DNA

Mind blown.

Well, kinda.

I got an email this morning saying that my results were in, and I could view my DNA results.

Part of me wanted to jump out of bed and go straight for my laptop, and the other part was a bit nervous to learn that I had been wrong about my heritage for my entire life.

Turns out, I sort of was.

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A few weeks ago My Heritage sent me a DNA kit in the mail, in which I had to swab my cheeks and ship the swabs back in vials, to be tested at their labs.

Receiving updates every step of the way, I excitedly waited for the extraction process to complete, so I could find out exactly where in the world I had come from.

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For most of my life, I grew up thinking that I was part Irish/English, Polish (Gypsy, but not sure from where), and Native Canadian, from a combination of my grandparents, and a little information from families on each of their sides.

I’m pale and have reddish hair, so Irish/English seemed like a staple. My Mom’s family has a Family Reunion based on pierogis, so I felt pretty confident in their claim to being Polish, and the Gypsy part helped explain her permanent tan. And, of course I knew my Grandmother was from a reservation near Peace River, AB.

I never really questioned that I could have been from anywhere else.

And then, I got my results video (click to watch, it has local traditional music for each region, haha).

 

Whaaaat?!

I’m not Irish?!

Italian?!

CENTRAL AMERICAN?!?!

What is happening right now!!

 

As you can imagine, I was slightly confused.

Then, I started reading the descriptions and realized that it actually made a bit of sense.

 

57.6% North and West European

My Heritage DNA

At first this seemed kind of random–especially that none of Ireland or the United Kingdom were included–but this is likely because it’s actually tracking back further.

Ireland is technically made up of migrants from Central and Eastern Europe, for the most part, which explains this region on the map. Given that I thought I had Irish/English from both sides, I believe this includes that.

Mais.. j’aimerais être français.

 

21.5% East European

My Heritage DNA

This one explains the Polish ancestry for the most part, and possibly also a bit of the Irish/English origins as I mentioned above. It was expected.

 

1.9% Italian

My Heritage DNA

This one shocked me a bit at first, but after some thought, I wondered if this could be the explanation for the unknown “Gypsy” origins in my Mom’s “Polish Gypsy” background.

While much of her family is Polish, it’s quite obvious that my Mom and Grandfather, don’t exactly look like a typical Pole. Without trying to generalize, most people from Poland tend to have light skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. My Grandpa had, and Mom has dark hair, dark eyes, and even darker skin.

Perhaps, somewhere in the past, someone migrated from Italy to Poland.

This also explains my love of Italian food 

 

15.1% Central American

My Heritage DNA

Umm?

This is another section that really threw me off at first. How could I possibly be Central American?

And then I thought back to my Caribbean studies class in University.. many “Native Americans” originated and eventually migrated from South & Central American and Caribbean Tribes. So, knowing that I’m part Native Canadian helps put this into perspective.

There was even a description under the map: “The largest population of Central America, spanning from Mexico to Colombia and Venezuela, is of Mestizo descent–a mixture of Spanish, Native American, and African ancestry.

 

1.9% Native American

My Heritage DNA

It was also interesting to confirm that part of my ancestry comes from a line that actually originated right within North America, as this was something that I already knew for sure.

 

2% Eskimo/Inuit

My Heritage DNA

I was happy about this one.

The Inuit (also known as Eskimos) are the indigenous people of the Arctic in Alaska, northern Canada, and Siberia. They are likely the descendants of one of the later waves of migration from northeast Asia over the Bering Strait during the last Ice Age.

Given that my Grandmother and Dad are from Northern Alberta, this actually fits into the region covered above.

Could this explain why I love snow so much? 

And hey, I now have my own little Siberian fur-baby to share the love (Inuits did invent the dogsled!

 

The Conclusion

If you round it all up, it’s basically 81% European and 19% Native American–which is pretty much what I had thought all along, so My Heritage DNA was definitely spot on.

On top of everything else, it lists potential family members and DNA matches. The first and second people on my list had the same last name as my Nanny (even though I never input any family tree info), but I had never actually heard of them before. That was pretty surprising.

My Heritage DNA

 

Time to Travel

I’m sure you saw this coming–but obviously I have to visit all of these locations.

Funnily enough, Italy was the very first place that I ever travelled to, outside of North America. And, I’ve been planning to go back.

I’ve been to much of the rest of Europe, including France, Germany, and Czech Republic, from those regions on that map.

Now I’m going to have to make an effort to get to the rest of those countries, including Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Belarus, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, the Baltics, Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

The exciting part is that Wade & I currently planning an upcoming trip to Central America, and we will be heading to Nicaragua in February! Plus, I’ve already been to Costa Rica and Guatemala, and other areas such as Colombia and the Caribbean.

And next, I’ll have to set aside some time for the Northern parts of Canada and Siberia.

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Interested in learning where you’re from? You can get your own test for only $69 until October 2nd, and then $99 after that.
+ use coupon code MHSEATTLE to receive free shipping ($12 US value)!

My Heritage sent me a kit for free,
but obviously all of my excitement and opinions are my own.

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One Response to “I Got My Heritage DNA Tested”

  1. Rachel
    September 25, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

    What a fun idea! I’ve been wanting to do one of these!

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