I decided to have my DNA tested through AncestryDNA. I ultimately decided to go with AncestryDNA because of the ability to find common ancestors with other people who have had their DNA tested.
One of the first thing you see when the DNA test results come back is your ethnic breakdown. Now, from what I’ve read this is based on DNA testing of people who live in those regions now – so there is some margin of error for using this test to confirm my ethnic mix. And there were a few surprises….
West Europe, Ireland and Great Britain are no surprise at all. Much of my records research supports family roots in those regions. The Scandinavian was a complete surprise. As far as I know, there is not confirmed family ancestry from the Scandinavian region. However, when you click on the link for Scandinavia, there is more information that may explain why I’m seeing it show up in my profile.
Netherlands and seafarers…. On my father’s side of the family, my Noteboom ancestors were all seafarers from the Northeastern part of the Netherlands (on the border of Germany, near the major port town of Bremen). It’s quite possible that farther back in our ancestry than I have traced, our Dutch roots stretch to Scandinavia. The other explanation (and one my brothers would probably enjoy) is that we have Viking roots! (I joke…. sort of.)
The other big surprise is the mix of Iberian, Eastern Europe and Italy/Greece roots. But this could possibly explain the other surprise, which was the absence of Native American ancestry (as in 0%). Now in reading about Native American ancestry in DNA, if the ancestry is far enough back, there may not be enough DNA to register the ethnicity. And the ancestor I believe to be our Native American connection is my 3rd Great-Grandmother, and assuming she was 100% Native American (which is not confirmed), that means I only have 3.125% of her DNA. If she was less than 100% Native American, then my share of her DNA is even smaller.
But how does that explain the Iberian/Eastern Europe/Italy/Greece DNA? Those ethnicities also tend to show up in people whose DNA has Native American ancestry.
So maybe the Native American DNA is too diluted to register, and/or it’s registering as the other European ethnicities that influenced Native American ancestry.
The thing I’m most excited about is the possible matches to others with trees on Ancestry.com. I’m hoping that I will be able to connect to people who have more information about certain branches of my family tree, so that I can break down those brick walls. There are some familiar faces – people I’ve already connected with through my research. It’s nice to have those familial connections confirmed. I’m looking forward to exploring this new option for researching my family history.