I must have been a good girl in 2018, because my wonderful husband gifted me all the things I’d written on my Christmas list, including the thing that was right at the top, an Ancestry DNA kit.
They are one of the most popular gift items this year, so although it means my results probably won’t be back for 6 months as opposed to 6 weeks, I’m hoping for some interesting results.
With there rise in popularity, there are some interesting articles and vlogs about, from paternity bombshells, to ethnicity surprises, there is a lot of information to be revealed from taking the test. It’s a big decision to make, to spit into the tube and send it off, it could give you the answers to the brick walls in your genealogy search, or it could completely change your world.
If you’re reading this then you are probably already aware of the pros and cons, but if you’re not, I found this article good for deciding which test to take, (I read the full magazine article). This link good for the pros and cons and this link for a bit more science and evidence base.
My other concern was regarding the data, but I read the terms and conditions and I ticked the boxes that were good for me. It is a personal choice, but according to the t&cs, this data is yours, and you can chose what happens to it.
I obviously made the decision to go down the DNA route, and I decided to do so because I want to know if where I think I come from, is where I come from.
I am looking at my ancestry in Shetland, and as far as I know, my mothers maternal family come from Shetland for generations, so I am expecting to see this reflected in my results, with possibly even some Scandinavian/ Norwegian routes. My mothers paternal family is from the South East, (Sussex/ East Anglia), but they weren’t rich families, so I imagine some Anglo Saxon heritage also. On my fathers side, his family are Scottish (paternal) and Irish (maternal), so some Celtic in the mix to. I am basically expecting to be British/ Irish with a bit of Scandinavian. Given my love for all things Scandi for as long as I can remember, I’m really hoping for this to be in there, even my wedding was hygge themed! I also identify as British rather than English or Scottish specifically, but it would be interesting to know what the official percentage is.
I’ve read some stories of people being surprised by their heritage, this one in The Spectator raised interesting issues on identity, but I’ve also read some articles about people disappointed by their results. This Telegraph author discussed how his results were exactly as he expected, as was this Guardian writer. I have to admit, being disappointed by being exactly who I thought I was, was not something I’d considered until I read these. I’m not looking for surprises however, I’m pretty sure my parents are my parents, my mum didn’t have an affair with the postman and I don’t have any half siblings that I don’t know about, (I really, really hope not!). I am hoping for some answers to some brick walls.
The second blog post I wrote, Six Questions I Asked Myself mentioned there was some illegitimacy in my family tree. My great grandmother and my great grandfather, and their respective siblings, were all born illegitimate, and we have no information on their fathers at all.
This means I am missing two branches of my tree. I only recently learned about my great grandfathers parentage, or lack of, recently when researching him for this trip. I was aware of the story surrounding my great grandmother and her sister though. Apparently he was a gentleman in London and they were ‘looked after’ as children by the family. The only thing that concerns me when figuring out the results, if I am lucky enough to get some matches, is tracing through my South East roots. Managing to eliminate my mums paternal line to figure out if we can identify my great grandmother Rosa’s, fathers family. I have zero hints about my great grandfather, although his brother was called Laurence, and my great great grandmother lived next door to a man called Laurence Williamson. They must have been crofters in the same area of Mid Yell at the same time. I don’t think it was this man, especially as he claimed to be childless and never married, but the coincidences are intriguing. My great grand uncle died childless aged 23 in Canada so there won’t even be DNA to compare to.
I may find that not even the DNA test will provide me with the answers I want, some of these things may remain a mystery forever, but you never know, we might get lucky!
Keep an eye out for my results post in 6-8 weeks.
Till the next post