I've always wondered how much of my genetic ethnicity was real. Like most Americans, my family history is a mixture of known and unknown. I don't think there is "real" value to knowing what percent I am of this and that. I'm just curious.
The genetic tests are becoming more common, and more detailed. Deseret news. I haven't plunked down the $$$ for any of these tests. My suspicion is they will come back with, I'm mostly NW European and Germanic. There is some thought that my mother's origins were in a racially mixed community in the 19th century, but no way to know without testing. And what would that accomplish?
I rebelled against the Germanic / Midwestern part of my temperament and psyche for most of my life. Only to discover, that my Manchurian Chinese partner seems to have as many "German" traits as my Dad.
If any members of this group have used these tests, I'm curious to know what they thought of the process, and the result.
I'm quite intrigued by these tests. Like you, I probably would not be surprised by the results....but you never know. There could be some hidden ethnic gem that may raise an eyebrow. Personally, I wouldn't mind knowing the percentages of my ethic makeup. Although I don't believe the results of these tests would/should change the actions or identity of who an individual is today, the real interest is in knowing where we came from merely as a fun fact or for historical reasons. I would be interested in knowing the full story, however mundane it may be.
I have done some genealogy on my family trees and found a few surprises. The interesting things to me were the numbers of religious zealots there were a century or two ago. English Pilgrims on one side, hot headed Irish on another, a little cherokee thrown in and she turned out to be the most civilized of the bunch. For a while I thought there was an African and it turned out that an Englishman owned a slave who took his owner's name. I had really hoped to have some African blood. The big surprise came when I realized there are a lot of very dark skinned Africans in what was once the Belgian Congo with the last name Denoo, a Belgian name. I contacted as many as I can find, but still haven't found a common ancestor. We correspond and I find them to be lovely people, very kind and generous and playful. They appear to have very strong family ties. We claim to be family even though we have no proof yet. One day I shall get a DNA test to find out what kind of mongrel I really am. Until then, I am just homo sapiens vulgaris (common human). I would like to know the migration patterns of my ancestors.
Have you watched the documentary
Spencer Wells, Nat Geo Explorer-in-Residence, maps the history of human migration by analyzing the DNA of hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
Joan, that's a great series. It's on You Tube. I've watched it twice. It makes complete sense, that DNA patterns would reflect human migration. There is also a separate YouTube series from BBC (I think) that makes use of different DNA markers. It is nuanced slightly differently, but the two approaches overwhelmingly come up with the same conclusions.
I haven't taken a DNA test before - is there value to learning this?
Yeah, my thoughts exactly Sentient - what would knowing the results accomplish really?
Steph, for me it's a matter of curiosity. It wouldn't accomplish anything tangible, that I can think of.
For me, it is trying to understand the lives of ancestors. Genealogy is one way to track, but there are many problems: following the female line is virtually impossible, the named father may not be the birth father, adoptions get in the way of lineage and can lead to some interesting stories. One experience I had was knowing someone in our ancestral tree was with Daniel Boone in his travels in the early days. It turned out Daniel's daughter married an ancestor of mine. That sent me on a trail to discover what their lives were like. Daniel had been kidnapped by indians and I think held for three years. During that time Daniel's wife had a child by Daniel's brother. That must have been an interesting family reunion.
Another story I ran across was of the arrival in 1632 of a widow and her young son who were from Plymouth, England, persecuted because of their religion and they went to Laden, Holland for religious freedom only to find too much freedom. She negotiated passage for herself and her son by agreeing to become "breedstock" in Plymouth, Mass. I would not have found that except I looked up descendants in Plymouth and they told me the story.
I had ancestors in Ireland during the famine and they migrated to Oklahoma with the Jesse James family in the 1860s. My great grandmother, a Cherokee descendent of a "Trail of Tears" Cherokee, didn't want her sons robbing banks and horse thieving so she convinced her husband to move to Tekoa, Washington, where the "streets were paved with gold." It turned out the gold was wheat.
The real value of knowing the genetic migration is it leads one to a pathway and one can retrace that, sometimes with fairly accurate time frames, and learn the conditions of that time. It gives one a "map" of migration that can lead to some interesting history. Of course there is no proof of who was where when, but it is like a mystery, "where did my ancestors walk?"
I have not had the test and so cannot speak from experience, only what I have read.