Friday, January 4, 2019

Heritage for Christmas

I mentioned once that Matt was adopted. Because it was a closed adoption, he doesn't have any information about his birth parents. He doesn't know what he is or what he's predisposed to. For as long as we've been together, it's been a bit of a running joke him not knowing what his heritage is. He would tell me that not knowing was a good thing, it meant he could choose which one he wanted on any given day and would never be wrong. Maybe he'd be Italian, or Hungarian, or German. He has no idea and has always had a very good sense of humor about it.

For Christmas this year, I decided we should settle it once and for all. As one of his gifts, I got him an Ancestry DNA kit. I gave it to him early so he could send it in, mostly because I'm impatient. I want to know what he is. Almost 20 years of suspense is killing me! He did the swab and sent it in. This thing is supposed to take almost 2 months to come back. It only took less than one month and shortly after Christmas, he got his results.

Turns out he is almost 100% from the UK. England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Just a tiny, tiny, tiny less than 1% German. I won't lie, I'm a little bit shocked. I've always thought it was likely that he was at least a little bit Italian. Nope. Not at all. But what's amazing about this thing is that it shows him the migration of his ancestors from Europe, all the way across to the East coast, then south, and finally to the middle of Texas.

This is pretty impressive because he was born in Fort Worth, TX (at Edna Gladney). This DNA test shows his family's migration to the very place he was born. What's also neat about this thing is that it can connect you to people who share your DNA. This means for him that he may be able to connect with his birth family. He may already have started doing just that. Best $50 I ever spent.


  1. So cool! Clint's family took this test several years ago (at that time I wasn't interested in my heritage so opted out). It was hilarious because Clint and his dad were always so proud of their Viking roots, but when they took the test, they didn't have a lick of Viking in them. Instead, his dad was 80% British. We were dying. With his mom's DNA added in, Clint came to 53% British. They finally bullied me into taking the test a year later, and it turns out I'M the one who's Viking (40%). And I'm 20% Irish. I admit, it was fun. I assumed I'd be your typical Heinz 57 American with a little of everything; I never expected my percents to be so high on any two regions. Now when I go off on people I get to blame it on my "Irish temper". :P I think this whole thing is even cooler for Matt, because he's answering the questions to mysteries he's held onto for his whole life.

    1. I haven't done it yet, I'm pretty intrigued to find out what I am, so I will probably do it at some point in the near future. I know I'm a good chunk of German because my father's mother was 100% German. The rest is a mystery. :D

      I think this was such a good thing for Matt. He's gotten a message on Ancestry from a woman who was linked with him as a first or second cousin by DNA match. I'm so interesting to see what comes of it. But, more than anything, having some sort of connection with his heritage is something he's never had before. Ironically, his adoptive family is Scottish, so originally from the same region as his birth family. I thought that was pretty interesting.

  2. How neat! I hope he finds some interesting long-lost relatives!

    My father was an only child, his father was an only child, and his mother had one brother who was painfully shy and reclusive and never had children. In other words, his family tree was pretty bare and we had no cousins on that side of the family tree!

    So I took the test hoping to find some relatives on my father's side and solve some genealogical mysteries. I found a couple who never answered my messages, and they had no family trees uploaded to the website, so I got almost no information. Eh, well. (Before she died, my mother had done her DNA test, so I could tell which relative matches were matriarchal and which were patriarchal.)

    The good news is that I didn't find any long-lost half-siblings like other people I've heard from. Dad never sowed any wild oats it seems!

    As for my DNA break down, it was pretty much exactly what my parents told me it would be. 75% of one thing, 25% of the other -- very boring. I think that part is hilarious because we always hear stories that people are surprised by their results and there were zero surprises in mine!

  3. I have a paid account. If he ever wants to do some searches or root through some family trees of his DNA matches, send me a message. I'd have to link his account to my paid account -- and I'd understand if he didn't want to do that. But if you're ever interested, I'd help you out. Or if you want me to do some searches for you because you wouldn't know where to begin, just email me at my @gmail account.

    1. Thank you! Have you done the Ancestry DNA thing? It's pretty neat. I'm thinking I may do it at some point, too. He's made contact with someone I think is a member of his birth family. She asked him a whole bunch of questions, wanted some pics, then hasn't said a word to him in a week. So, I don't know what's going on there. I think we're going to reach back out to her to find out if she knows anything about his birth parents. We'll see how that goes!