May 15th, 2013 at 6:50 pm (Articles)
Not long ago I blogged that my husband, mother and I were about to set off and a DNA journey. Several years ago I contacted Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who is a renowned genealogist and asked which of the DNA testing sites he would recommend. Mr. Gates is well known for the PBS series’ African American Lives and Faces of America.
Because of Mr. Gate’s expertise we used his recommendation of 23 and Me. I must say I was very happy to find recently that the cost has dropped substantially. When I first checked into using this DNA test it was in fact $500 for the genealogy and medical testing. They have dropped the price to $99 per test. I was thrilled to say the least and the tests were ordered.
The boxed test comes very quickly by mail. Everything you need is included in the box. The instructions explain that you will need to spit in a small tube. By doing this and following the remaining instructions your sample is then preserved and can be mailed back to the lab. It takes about six to eight weeks for the sample processing to take place. I must warn you waiting is the worst. Of course you will impatient to know the results, but it does take time. You will register your sample kit when it is received and can follow the process on line. Once the email was received that the results were in we were able to access the website and view the results. Here is where all bets are off.
Most of us have a family oral history of what we have been told our blood lines/roots are. My family had an oral history that stated my mother’s line was believed to be Native American. The oral history story went thus: My great-great grandmother Nancy was on a wagon train and it was attached by “Indians”. She gave birth to a daughter Malissa nine months later. The photos of Malissa do seem to show that she was indeed Native American. My mom would tell us that her father would relay stories of when he was a young boy. He and his brothers would play cowboys and Indians. His grandmother would sit on the front porch and cry whenever they did this. The boys were always asked to play something else.
The test result arrived. Image my surprise, my DNA shows no Native American. I could hardly account for the results. I showed 100% European, which was generally no surprise, but we did believe there to be some Native American. By the information shared by the family I should be 1/16th Native American.
The results, broke down into regions, showed Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and a very small portion Jewish from the Austrian area. The big surprise was another small amount showing Portugal, Spain, or Italy. REALLY! Holy Cow. The science should not lie.
After a couple days of rolling this over and over it dawned on me that the story of the attack probably is true. I can’t image reporting something like that to your family and it not being true, especially considering the era it took place in. I do think it possible that the person that was thought to be a Native American might have been another race or was dressed in Native American clothes and just seemed to be of the same nationality.
The very difficult part of this is we may never know for sure. All my family had waited to see what “tribe” we were. Image the shock. My grandfather looked very Native American so this is just mindboggling. We have decided to do a second test with Ancestry.com as well. They also offer a great deal of $99 for DNA testing. I will order the test soon and let you know when those results are received.
Let me know if you have done your own testing. Do you have advice or ideas to share? I would love to hear from you.