dna, me, updates

My Ethnicity Fractions – Based on My Tree

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Years ago my younger brother Derek asked me, “What are we?

He was curious about our ethnic makeup as so many people are.  All those years ago I did a quick calculation based on the research I had done and drew up this little map for him.  Over time I have learned more about my heritage and can now update that set of data to reflect my most current understanding of our tree.

ethnicity percentages

Based on this new chart, our ethnicity percentages – from our tree – are:

  • 34.4% – English
  • 12.5% – Mixed British Isles
  • 12.5 % – French Canadian
  • 12.5% – Scottish
  • 9.4% – Danish
  • 6.3% – Italian Jewish (I don’t think this is really a thing, but I’m not sure yet what to call this portion of my tree…see here.)
  • 6.3% – Spanish
  • 3.1% – French
  • 3.1% – Welsh

I know that totals 100.1% – I rounded.

Based on how Ancestry DNA lumps things together, these percentages should look like this on my Ancestry DNA ethnicity estimates:

  • 62.5% – Great Britain (English, Mixed British Isles, Scottish, Welsh)
  • 15.6% – Europe West (French Canadian, French)
  • 9.4% – Scandinavian
  • 6.3% – Some mixture of European Jewish & Italy, Greece
  • 6.3% – Iberian Peninsula (Spanish)

But here’s the thing about DNA.  We don’t inherit exactly half of what our parents inherited.  We inherit a unique combination of half of what they inherited.  So while the percentages based on my tree look one way, the actual DNA I inherited is an entirely different matter.  I have four siblings.  Each of us inherited different combinations of our parent’s DNA – half from each parent, but a unique and random half.

My DNA results are in.  I will share them tomorrow.  They are fascinating.  The portion I am most curious about happens to be the potion that is brand new to me – the Jewish ancestry of John Costello.  What combination of DNA did he pass on to me?  12.5% of me comes from him.  Based on what I know, he could have given me DNA from these three regions – Iberian Peninsula, European Jewish, and Italy, Greece.  Because the Jewish portion is a brand new – weeks old – discovery, I wonder if I inherited any of it?  If so, how much?

Care to take a guess?

Tune in for my DNA reveal tomorrow.


18 thoughts on “My Ethnicity Fractions – Based on My Tree”

  1. I’m so interested to hear your DNA results! My aunt gave Emily one before she left on her mission & we just got the results a couple weeks ago. the only surprise we got was it says she is 0% Irish even though there’s Irish on all sides of her family. It still just blows my mind that that is possible!

    1. I am just barely getting my mind around this whole DNA business. I agree, it is super surprising how some things don’t show up and others are so strong. My Grandpa (not bio) know exactly who in his tree is Native American. He was married on the reservation, he has always been really into this part of his tree. He even looks NA. His results show 0%. He was more than a little bit upset by that. 😉

  2. When we find such a mix of different cultures and sometimes races making up our pedigree it is an eye-opener. I also think it shows us our common humanity. And hopefully we can go beyond the labels and look at other people differently. That person of a different background may be a relative. Kind of gives new meaning to the saying “family of man”.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. We are always more alike than we are different. Finding our connections allows us to view our differences with a more open perspective. I think it puts us in the position to be humble, accepting, and to have a desire to support those who may be struggling in some way. We really are all one, whether we see it or not.

      1. Amberly, that is it. I did some serious soul searching when I found that I have 2% Northern African (Morroco) in my mix. I had to reconsider my attitudes and be more thoughtful about what is going on now in the world. Although that 2% was much greater a part of my line in the past, somewhere it will always be a part of our family line. I realized that it’s not the percent it’s the realization that we’re all connected more than we realize. I think this posting gives pause for thought and hope you do another one on James Costello, too.

  3. I love math and charts but I just can’t seem to sit myself down and do what you’ve done above. I haven’t really paid all too much attention to the ethnicity of the test I admin. My testee did the test mainly for his ethnicity and turned it over to me to use as needed. Maybe I should try to do a chart from the paper trail to see the difference between his DNA and my research. There is a 10% Italy/Greece on DNA that I haven’t found with research. Very interesting, Amberly.

    1. Thank you Cathy. It didn’t take all that long for me as I have so many recent immigrants, that really speeds things along. I also love math and charts. I really love fractions, not sure why, but there is something so satisfying about fractions. 🙂

        1. Maybe so, I wish I could recall what teacher that was… we moved a few times when I was in Elementary School so I don’t remember much about those years.

  4. What a tease you are! I am glad I was off the grid for two weeks while traveling so now I can just go look for your next post!

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