For Christmas this year, I got a DNA kit from Ancestry.com. I have been working on my family tree for years. Not many people in my family are interested in knowing their backgrounds because "it doesn't matter," but I would really like to know what kind of people I was related to. If possible, I would like to learn their stories.
When I opened the package, I didn't know how involved it would be. I thought there would be some intense directions about how not to contaminate your sample. When I took everything out, there was a collection tube, a cap, a bag and a box to mail it in. The basic directions are "spit in the tube, put on the cap, shake, put in the bag, mail it back to us." Really easy (thought you did
have to actually tighten the cap.) I thought about doing a little "how to video" before I read the directions. I'm sorry I decided against the glamour pictures of my depositing my spit into the small tube for you. I just know that you're all intelligent people.
I sent it in a few weeks ago and should get the results in 6-8 weeks. Ancestry.com is cool enough to actually confirm that they received your sample, as well as having a tracking number on the box so you can track it yourself too. I anticipate that I will have lots of Irish in me. There is rumor that I have some native American blood on my mom's side, but only a little. (Anyone know how to look up genealogy for the Passamaquoddy tribe in Maine?) I haven't found any proof of that yet. I would be pretty shocked to find background outside of Europe. Oh, remember that book I wrote about- The Greatest Knight (both of them..lol). Well, I have one ancestor that did do a ton of research and William Marshall, the knight the book is about, it in her research. She went WAY back and on multiple sides so I'll have to take a month and just follow her info from me back.
Here are some other mysteries. If anyone has any genealogical tips on how to get past these hurdles, please share. I'm getting close to hiring someone to help me.
1) My maternal great grandmother- died shortly after giving birth to my grandmother. When she died, my great grandfather left his kids with other people and didn't contact my grandmother for about 50 years. The short version is, my great grandmother doesn't seem to exist other than her tombstone, marriage record, my grandmother, death record and 1 census. None of the relatives alive right now even remember her. None of the children of her siblings remember her or have any pictures. She was 1 of 13 kids, so I was wondering if she might have been an illegitimate child of one of the oldest children. (I just found out that the 13th child was actually her daughter... which was unknown by my grandmother.) Child 13s married name kept coming up associated with my grandmother's brother's name. I finally located some documents and was shocked when I figured it out. Also, child 13s dad is reported as one name, but her kids think it was my grandmother's dad. Hmmm. Ideally, I would like to show my grandmother a picture of her mom. Some days she really wants to know about her family. Other days she is sad that she was basically given away to be raised by friends. (Who were very good to her, but she discovered in high school that she had relatives that knew about her but never told her she was related to them.)
2) My other mystery is my paternal great grandfather. I have heard 2 stories- a) he was given up for adoption as an infant. His parents came from Canada. He was dropped at an orphanage in Superior, Wi. He grew up there and really disliked it. He later joined the military and lied about his age so he could be enlisted early. He changed his surname. b) His parents died when he was a teenager. He changed his surname.
I don't know what the original surname was. I can confirm that he seemed to lie on military records because I have him coming from Superior, Wi and Ohio. I traced him back to a 1920 census, which seems to be the first time he was in Ma. I am trying to see if there is a connection to the people he was living with at the time.
The good note is that my dad's cousin wants to know this too so maybe I will find some answers.
I'm excited to see the results I get from Ancestry. I was a little disappointed to see that they have "26 ethnic regions" that seemed really broad to me, but it's scientific evidence that will help point me in the right direction. Here are the regions that the test covers. I'll let you know what I hear.
- Europe East
- Europe West
- European Jewish
- Finland/Northwest Russia
- Great Britain
- Iberian Peninsula
- Africa North
- Africa South-Central
- Africa Southeastern Bantu
- Ivory Coast/Ghana
- Asia Central
- Asia East
- Asia South
Have you researched your genealogy? Any challenges you are running into?