They just updated my Ancestry.com profile and added a new feature that shows the contribution of ethnicity by each parent. Exciting stuff! I couldn’t wait to check it out to discover more insights.
I must say I was a little surprised at the results. Not over the fact that I’m pretty damn white, which I am, but at the specific breakdown. Now, they constantly tweak your results over time as more people take DNA tests and other relatives join the data pool. Anyway, here’s my current overall ethnicity breakdown (everything is an estimated range). Sadly, the cool exotic outliers like the Caucasus and South Asia, have been dropped from my original profile:
Irish 52% — specifically Connacht and the Aran Islands, a remote western area
England/NW Europe 11%
Now the interesting thing is my DNA contributed by each parent. Here’s the broad backstory — my mom was born in the UK, but both of her parents were from the Connacht area in Ireland, though I assumed some of my Welsh and English DNA came from her. After all, my maternal grandmother’s maiden name was Walsh, a derivation of Welsh (a lot of Welshmen served the English as soldiers and some settled in Ireland). My dad was born in Virginia — I was told by an aunt who had researched the family that her grandfather was born in England under the surname Leighton and came to the states in the late 19th and early 20th century, but I think this is incorrect. From what I’ve found out from other Ancestry members I’m related to, the Laytons were probably here since the 17th century living in New Jersey until my great grandfather moved to Virginia. I also have ancestors who may have pushed into the Ohio Valley area and ancestors in Virginia from my paternal grandmother.
Anyway, here’s my ethnic breakdown by parent. Parent 1 is my dad and Parent 2 my mom.
What boggles my mind is how Irish my mother was. Now, this isn’t her DNA profile — it’s what she contributed to me. I got zero English DNA from her — a little surprising with England’s long history in Ireland — though her family was in the remote west country. No Scandinavian either despite the Norse having settled in the east of Ireland. And despite her mother’s last name Walsh signifying a Welsh ancestor, she only gave me 3% Welsh DNA. In fact, I get most of my remaining Welsh DNA (13%) from my dad. That’s the whole range of DNA from my mom — nothing but Paddy genes and a smattering of Welsh. I shouldn’t be surprised — my mom’s sister, my Aunt Bernadette, got her DNA tested and she was an astounding 98% Irish, so my mom was probably somewhere in that ballpark. All the rest of the ‘diversity’ comes from my dad — and nothing super exotic there. The initial excitement of my original DNA profile where it showed I had a smidge of Spanish and even better, northern India or Iran, disappeared when that got winnowed out over time. The surprising thing is how little English DNA I got from Dad — only 15% — and his last name is English, for God’s sake. But his mother’s Irish surname was Donovan and I only got 5% of my Irish DNA from that side.
So, at the end of the day, I’m pretty much North West European stock. It’s not terribly exotic, though the Scandinavian ancestors intrigue me though I have no leads on who they were so far. Basically, I’m so white, the Neo Nazis would give me automatic membership if I ever decide to become a racist moron. (Except they probably don’t check that stuff too closely these days, or they might not have as many recruits in the U.S. because you never know what’s hiding in the family woodpile.)
Have you guys done a DNA test and found anything interesting? Comment below.
Copy of a family photo of the headstone of my maternal great grandfather, John Walsh, who lived in Currawatier*, Ireland.
*Wondering how to pronounce Currawatier? My UK-dwelling relatives pronounce it Cur-ah-Watch-ah.