With these tests, a woman’s results show a propensity toward her mother’s side, and a man, toward the father’s, so a truer and more accurate picture will emerge when my brother and I put our results together. Much of my genealogy has already been documented, thanks to the tireless efforts of two of my brothers for the last few decades. We know that Madonna is our seventh cousin, George Washington our eighth-great grandfather, P.T. Barnum was a great uncle, and William Wallace (Braveheart) was an ancestor who made us proud (“Every man dies, not every man really lives.”). We’re also related to John Holcraft, who started the whiskey rebellion. That explains a lot.
The ethnicity estimate showed that I am, in fact, 98 percent European, with 60 percent of those ancestors from Ireland, 29 percent from Great Britain (which includes Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales) and parts of France); 4 percent Scandinavian, 2 percent Eastern European, and the remaining from “trace” regions — less than 1 percent each from the Iberian Peninsula, Caucasus, Italy, Greece, and — there it is, my exotic blood — Western Asia.
I didn’t have a need to know all this. My brother offered (and paid the $99 fee for the test) in his quest to add to our database of nearly 100,000 relatives (finding a venue for a family reunion will be a challenge, to say the least).
If you’re the type who needs have more concrete information about your origins, I say go for it. Although I must say I was a little disappointed that we weren’t just a smidgen American Indian, as my oldest brother had insisted for years. That would have assured me that I was here in the Americas before everyone else, but alas, I am a fourth-generation of immigrants myself. I was looking for my roots, but instead of feeling grounded, I still want to know more.
But we’re all Irish on March 17, aren’t we? So from all of me — not just the lucky 60 percent — I wish you a safe and wonderful St. Patrick’s Day. “May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.”
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