A while back during a sale, I got a DNA test done, in part to verify if my immediate relatives were actually my relatives and also for my dad to verify the same thing down his line and oh boy, there's a story there. Anyway, turns out everyone is actually related to who they're supposed to be. (Which doesn't disprove any cheating, but at least kids were with the right parents, aye?) I picked Ancestry.com's tests out of curiosity about the ethnic stuff, since both my parents lie about crap. Out of the options, their ethnic estimates are the most accurate and they let you download your data, which I wanted to look at myself for other reason. You can take that data and put it in other sites that allow that, some free, some for a fee, that give you other kinds of data. The average person probably doesn't need that though, because most people don't really get how these work or what to do with them, what's BS, etc--hence despite these tests being continually improved, the average person online still goes "this is highly inaccurate!!!" Of course, some of that is also because the average person never learned anything about genetics past HS Biology, so some of what people assume is "wrong" or "inaccurate" is actually just plain not knowing what they're talking about. Anyway, since Biology is what I got a degree in, no worries, you don't need to educate me on this topic, thanks.
I thought I'd make a page sharing some of the info I got on ethnic stuff for fun and to track it over time. Ancestry updates these every so often as their pool of data gets larger, so they should be getting more accurate as the years pass. I'll update this page as time goes on, to see how my info changes/doesn't change. Here's my current estimates from September 2022.
For comparison, here's my estimate from earlier in 2022. Not much has changed since then, but it'll be interesting to see how much things continue to diverge or stay the same from early estimates.
One of the things people get confused about with these is they seem to think they'll inherit a bit of every part of their parents' different ethnic groups in their DNA, completely evenly somehow like your DNA just KNOWS what's what like that. Of course, this is not true. You get a random 50% of what each parent has, which means you may not get certain ones at all! Moreover, and this is something people really seem to struggle with--these percents don't have as much to do with racial/ethnic "appearance" as people think. Remember, while DNA may be coming from different ethnic groups, that doesn't mean every single group will contribute to your skin tone, facial features, etc. Much of your DNA actually is not for that. Typically though, you will look like what's the biggest percent the most if you have a really big percent of something, or a mix of the biggest percents you have. Siblings also shouldn't have identical DNA. I can see people getting this mixed up with twins, but I've seen people think siblings should too for some reason. Identical twins don't even necessarily have identical DNA either, and well, we won't be getting into epigenetics here. Anyway, speaking of siblings, here's a comparison of my brother and me. Notice how our percents on Irish and Scottish are basically flipped!
Now, on to my parents. Here's my mother's estimates compared to mine. As you can see, there are clearly groups I didn't inherit from her at all.
And now my father. His stuff is a lot more, uh, concentrated to a few groups, but even here, there are groups I didn't inherit.
I thought I'd include a few more close relatives who had tests done. Here is my paternal granduncle, the brother of my paternal grandfather.
As you might guess, the Irish part in my dad's line is not coming through his father, but his mother. I ended up being contacted by his mother's side of the family while working on a family tree and learned a lot about the Irish portion of my family. The person managing all that information had tracked over a thousand members of that family line, but still has not uncovered a specific person. Turns out my great-great-great-grandfather was some important person's bastard child by the records available, but who was the father? We still don't know! Maybe one day someone will take a test and things will start connecting...Haha.
Now, on to my mother's side. My maternal grandaunt (mother's father's sister) and one of my first cousins got tests done too. Here is my grandaunt.
And here is one of my maternal first cousins.
For those curious about your ethnic estimates and family history, it's always a good idea to get as many close family members as you can to get tests done, because again, you don't inherit everything. If you can, also start searching your family history via records. Obviously, cheating does occur (and adoption, which may not always be clear in records). The more data you have, the better idea you get of the truth. And depending on the service you use, keep an eye out for updates with more accurate data.
If you're looking for health stuff, I wouldn't recommend Ancestry for that. These days, there are places you can get your whole genome sequenced and everything, which is cool, but probably not worth your time or money if you uh, don't really know what you're looking at. As for privacy issues and rights, again, you'll need to do your research. I won't recommend a company for that, as I've found time and time again, most companies are lying bastards anyway. You should presume no matter what they claim they're all selling info.
Oh, and back to the lying family bit. So, were my parents lying about their ancestry? Yes, both in fact! My father claimed he was "mostly Cherokee, probably also (ever changing tribe)". He's 100% white, haha. While making the family tree, I did eventually
find a rather famous indigenous woman, like centuries
ago, who is most definitely not Cherokee. But that's so far back that doesn't matter at all. My mother claimed she was 100% white, 100% Spaniard, and her entire father's side is nothing but blond, blue eyed 100% Spaniards. Whelp, obviously that's not true. From the records I could find and old photos, I can't even find an immediate relative of hers on either side who had blond hair OR blue eyes, much less both. There was quite a range in skin tones and facial features though. If you're wondering, yes, my mother buys colored blue contacts constantly and sometimes dyes her hair blond. Given the photos I've seen of her younger, I suspect she's also using products to try and lighten her skin. Never believe family stories about this kind of stuff is the lesson here.
Since making this page, my dad has started on his own family tree, as he didn't find my exciting enough and tells me every other day about some new king or lord or knight that he's totally related to that never came up in my research. Some people really won't accept the truth even when you present it to them. Ironically, due to him inventing a whole new tree full of bad research to find kings, he keeps pestering me on how I found the one indigenous part of his branch from centuries ago. Whelp, sorry, Dad, you can't find her now that you've rewritten the tree to your liking in the centuries between you and her. Given that he's just making up shit now, I'm not sure why he thought by adding completely different people he'd somehow still end up finding her down any line. My mother also still continues to tell people all her relatives are blond and blue-eyed people who are 100% Spaniard, as well. The truth doesn't matter, only their comforting web of lies.