Tuesday, June 16, 2015
My son got one of those DNA kits. All he had to do was spit (pardon me) into the tube, seal everything, and mail it in to the company. After a suitable wait the company sends email giving the results of your ancestry.
As you might have guessed from this blog I am so interested with family; where we came from, who we are, and even who we can be in the future. That is why I write this. I want my children and grandchildren to know how we fit into this world.
My family stories tell part of the story. I can tell the funny stories and the sad stories that give a little insight into the personalities of individual members of the family. I can give a little insight into why we are a loud boisterous bunch. I can mention physical and personality quirks that seem to belong to different members of the family beginning with some before me and continuing after me.
The DNA results are not quite as complete as we had hoped. There were many general areas that ancestors could be found. I suppose that could be because of the movements of groups of people in earlier times.
However some results were more specific. My son is 3% Neanderthal. Interesting. They say most people of European heritage have some Neanderthal genetically but 3% is on the high side.
And he is 0.1% Japanese. Where did that come from? As far as I knew we were mostly Northern European but DNA says that while we are Northern European that is not all there is.
The good thing is that since my children have the same heritage this works for all of them. The others do not have to send away for theirs unless they want to. However if I want to know mine I will have to spend the money. I may just do that.
There is also a program that comes along with the DNA test results. It is for a family tree. I have wanted to do one for a long time but I did not know how to start. I know there are programs you can buy but I felt they would be a large expense for what little I know about where we come from.
So I decided to help my son fill it out with what information I have. He started by placing his father's and my names along with his brothers and sister in the chart. Then he asked for help.
I know a lot of birthdays and a few birth places. What really surprised me was that I have a lot more information than I thought I had. I can go back to my great-grandparents and even some great-greats.
It is time consuming and maybe even a little addictive.
I also came across a website called findagrave.com. You can search a cemetery for family names there. It has been helpful and I found it quite by accident.
So I have been busily filling in the chart. I have not even begun to work on my husband's side of the family but I am anxious to get it ready. Then I can surprise my sister-in-law with what I have and ask for some help with the rest. It will be something nice for us to leave our family.
Also this program has an upgrade that you can pay for. It will connect you to family trees that contain any of the members of your own family tree. That way you can extend even further. I have already been notified of a couple of members who are part of other trees. Two of them I knew had done family trees so I am excited.
I am planning a trip to the historical society in a small town I lived in as a child. It holds information for the whole county. Most of my relatives lived in that county at one time or another.
I also will visit the graves of one set of grandparents and a bunch of other relatives who are in a local cemetery. Often spouses and children are buried nearby.
I am looking forward to digging ever deeper and discovering more of who I am.