Monday, March 21, 2011

About this DNA thing

A few weeks ago, I submitted a saliva sample to 23andMe for DNA testing and the possibility of finding potential related individuals.

This week I had my first glimpse at the information about people with whom I share a portion of DNA. My initial reaction was a bit disappointing. The individual I was most closely matched with showed that we share only .42% DNA. That's less than one half of one percent. The percentage of shared DNA goes down from there.

There are several of us "DNA Testing Buddies" who are discussing our experiences on a Facebook group. I'm not the only one who was a bit disappointed in the initial results. However, our DNA guru, Joan Miller of Luxegen Genealogy, is doing her bit to keep us upbeat and pointing out that this is a long term process.

The original results in the Relative Finder on 23andMe  showed I have 386 potential relatives. It is now at 387. 23andMe permits you to contact five of these people per day. So far, I've initiated only the first five inquiries. I've received correspondence from about half a dozen potential relatives, and for most of them, we did not find any familiar surnames.

One of my correspondents pointed out that the connection could definitely be from siblings of our direct ancestor or any of the various descendants. This probably requires posting more than the surnames of only the direct line ancestors.

Another correspondent and I found we both have the Kelly surname in the United States. His family was in the eastern United States around 1790. My family immigrated circa 1850. I brushed off the connection. He pointed out that the possibility exists that it may have taken decades for the members of the family to complete the migration pattern. I was reminded of this again over the weekend during Lisa Alzo's webinar on tracing female ancestors. Patience. Patience.

Where do I think I come from?

It was not surprising that my DNA results show these origins of my ancestors. I've learned that I am in the maternal haplogroup J1c.

This is still a relatively new aspect of genealogy. It's not going to replace research by any stretch of the imagination. And I shall do my best to remain open minded about the entire process. Just sit back and wait and see what happens.

Read all my posts about my DNA testing journey.

1 comment:

  1. I have been reading about mtDNA. I only know back to my 3rd Great grandma, it is my brick wall, and it has been passed down to my mother and Aunts that she was Native American {I know, most people get this story} but would mtDna tell me if she was Native American? My dad did DNA for our Davis name and it was Western European.