Ancestry.ca, the genealogical and historical record website, recently sent me over their test kits for AncestryDNA, a portion of their company that shows ethnicity dating back 1000 years or more using saliva samples.
A box arrived at my home that contained a tube and a funnel for you to deposit your saliva in. Another box is provided that will protect the sample in transport. Once the lab has received your sample, they test it 40 times to find different variations and post the results as a mean average, and a range of results from the 40 tests, to your Ancestry.ca account.
My background, as far as I knew, was this. My mother was born in England with Irish ancestry and my father was born in Morocco with Jewish ancestry coming from the Middle East. I was expecting to see pretty much 50% British Irish and 50% of Middle Eastern/North African. In my case, this is pretty much what I got.
It seems, from the results, like my mother’s side is very english and all the ancestry is confined to the UK and Ireland. My dad’s side of the family you can almost see the journey from the Middle East to Morocco where my dad was born. Along the way, genes from the area around Greece and Italy were picked up before picking up more genetic markers from Spain and Morocco. Roughly 50% of my dad’s DNA came from the Middle East and 50% came from southern Europe and North Africa.
The Ancestry website goes into great detail on the history of each of these regions. There is a wealth of knowledge on genealogy and history of the world located through the pages of the site.
On top of getting the ethnicity results from your test, you also get matched with potential relatives. I personally had 45 potential cousins that were thought to be between 3rd to 5th or even 8th cousins. The top result of mine I found out was my grandmother’s cousin’s son. So crazy! Apparently after about 5 generations back it becomes harder to know for certain that you are a relative. The matching program also uses location to pinpoint matches which can sometimes lead you to a possible match that was really just a neighbour.
There are 3 million people currently in the Ancestry database giving them a huge pool of people to match you with. They are also talking about adding traits to the tests to see your chances of having curly hair or developing baldness. With the cost of running these tests declining, it allows more people to take the test, growing the database and improving the research of human’s origins.
Check out their website for more info.