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Several years ago, I tried one of those DNA kits from National Geographic. The results were on the vague side, unfortunately. I was hoping for more detail. According to NatGeo, my ancestors from 500-10,000 years ago were primarily from … Northern Europe. Not exactly breaking news. And then they went into deeper numbers from 1,000-100,000 years ago, detailing my maternal and paternal haplogroups. Interesting, but not really helpful in supporting my family tree.

Looking a little deeper, they said that my genes were shared in the highest numbers by folks currently from Greece. Apparently today’s Greeks are generally 54% Mediterranean, 28% Northern European, and 17% Southwest Asian.

I’m 42%, 39%, and 18%, respectfully.

The next possibility were Germans, with 46%, 36%, and 17% being the average. This actually sounds more like me, I’m not really sure why they went with Greek first. And as I know I have a number of German ancestors, it’s easier to understand.

But again, when you look over their explanation …

“Your Second Reference Population: German. This reference population is based on samples collected from people native to Germany. The dominant 46% Northern European component likely reflects the earliest settlers in Europe, hunter-gatherers who arrived there more than 35,000 years ago. The 36% Mediterranean and 17% Southwest Asian percentages probably arrived later, with the spread of agriculture from the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East over the past 10,000 years. As these early farmers moved into Europe, they spread their genetic patterns as well. Today, northern and central European populations retain links to both the earliest Europeans and these later migrants from the Middle East.”

… they are going back a large number of years. Trying to place me in terms of between 10 and 35 thousand years prior. I’m not going to be able to find actual ancestors that far back, so as much as I find it interesting, it’s not helpful in the least as far as genealogy.

I had originally tried to use the kit from Ancestry.com, but they were unable to extract DNA from my spit sample after several attempts. (NatGeo used a cheek swab). But I have recently seen what Ancestry results look like, so I tried them again. My first sample was also unreadable. So a second one went in, this time from first thing in the morning with no chance of contamination. And so we wait … until they again couldn’t determine that I’m human. Maybe 23 and me ….

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