With the advent of being able to test our DNA through different websites, I wondered how accurate it was. I did mine through ancestry.com and seeing the connections being made with cousins and such it made me a believer. Plus the countries they say I’m from was not a shocker – 88% England, Wales and Northwestern Europe (Germany) 9% Ireland and Scotland and the rest is Sweden (I really wasn’t expecting that).
Then I saw a special on TV (I can’t remember what show) and they used a cool tool to explain how we can all be full siblings etc., but have different DNA. I did find a similar explanation on Ancestry’s site.
“Your DNA contains a record of your ancestors, but you aren’t a carbon copy of any one of them. The particular mix of DNA you inherit is unique to you. You receive 50% of your DNA from each of your parents, who received 50% of theirs from each of their parents, and so on. In the chart below you can see how the amount of DNA you receive from a particular ancestor decreases over generations. If you go back far enough, there is a chance that you inherited no DNA from a particular ancestor.” They both featured a chart – stay with me – I’ll try to explain without the actual chart.
Say that your paternal grandparents’ names are Andrew and Sandra and maternal grandparents names are Graham and Elaine. Your father, Edward, gets the E, D, W from ANDREW and A, R, D from SANDRA. Your mother, Angela, gets the A, G, A from GRAHAM and E, L, N from ELAINE. You, Glenda, get E, A, D, from your father and N, G, L from your mother. It goes on to show your siblings names of Gerald and Reagan. More of a visual person? Visit this link for the actual chart: blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2014/03/05/ understanding-patternsof inheirtance-wheredid my-dna-come-fromand why-it-matters/
About 11 years ago, we welcomed a new member into our family as an adult. She is such a delight and when we get together, I marvel at how much she is like us, without ever being around us growing up.
And then … I came across a photo of my older brother when he was 9 years old. It was a black and white one of him holding his first buck he killed in McMullen County. The Ford truck tailgate and plaid shirt tell me this was in 1960, but the face looked just like my son. Even his wife thought it was Daryl and wondered when he ever went hunting. It is uncanny.
I’ve recently been in contact with someone this past year who is trying to find her birth parents. We are related on my mother’s side, just not sure how right now – but we both are showing common cousins through her DNA test.
The way I see it, sometimes these results can enrich your life or potentially complicate it – depending on how we all react. My suggestion is to keep an open mind and welcome with open arms.
SUE BROWN is a columnist of the Pleasanton Express. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.