Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ancestry testing

Bizarre trees in Madrid where one of my nieces is living. It is both of my twin nieces' birthdays along with one of my step-niece's birthday

Colorful Maya: my rainbow girl

Birthday girl Naomi: if only she'd let her hair go natural and lighten up on the make-up

6 month Allie
Recently I bought an ancestry test on Living Social which if you provide some DNA from your cheek cells, they can tell your origin. Sounded good and it was half price. But then I read in reviewsthat at best, I would get a map with various continents circled and the percentages each continent was a part of ones DNA. Since I am fairly sure I would be 100% European, this was disappointing and I got my money back. I was hoping to find what percentage Scottish versus German I was. I have since read reviews of the other tests on the market. A lot of inconsistencies between tests. I am sure at some point, these will become more useful. Until then, I will keep my money.

A few years back, there was a show on PBS Where are you from..or some similar title. As most African-Americans have no idea where they specifically came from, they were targeted. Their DNA was tested and then they were told, you are from this tribe and this region and they would be so happy to know about their past. But now I am a skeptic: always they were found to originate from a single group but most likely they are from several groups. In the US, slaves were split apart so various groups could not communicate with each other, unlike Brazil in which African languages are still spoken. And a whole lot of European blood got mixed in too.

I had considered having my rainbow child Maya tested. On one side: African-American and Native American but in what percentages and from what groups specifically? On the other side: Jewish and various Northern European groups. But until the database is larger, I'll hold off on the testing.

Ah spring. Naomi and I were able to walk around downtown last night without jackets. We went to an Italian restaurant for her birthday dinner, looked in some stores and then went to half price artisanal martini night: she got some coconut-pineapple-lemon concoction; I got a Persephone made from pomegranate and cranberry. Both quite tasty and extra bonus, she barely looked at her phone while we were together. A good night.


Teri Bernstein said...

Barely looked at her phone! Worth double whatever the dinner cost! xoxo

Kat&Chris said...

Hi Sue,
I was in DC a few years back and visited the Nation Geographic museum. They had a great exhibit on their Genographic Project, and I bought a kit to have my DNA tested.
My Mom always claimed to be Native American, but no real records to confirm. The test results were what I expected, NA and West European ancestry. I ended up getting in volved in the 'Benedict' project and got hooked up with relatives on my Dad's side- seems I am a 12th generation direct descendant of one of the first Benedicts in the US. Unfortunately this project was focused on male Benedicts and my brothers declined to participate. The project included me anyway due to the NA connection, which was unique within the family.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Kathy, what Native American group did they find or did they just say NA?


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