, 2022-08-13 00:00:00,
Usually getting test results back can be pretty scary – whether it’s A Level results to determine your future, blood tests about your health, or to hear if you’ll have to pay another £60 to attempt to pass your driving test.
But, possibly for the first time ever, I was excited to find out my latest results – for my family DNA test.
All I really know about my ancestry is that generations of my family are mostly from Kent and the very edges of east London (then Essex, probably) – and that’s about as far as it goes – so I was keen to discover more.
The test was simple: all I had to do was a couple of cheek swabs and pop it in the post, then wait a few weeks for my samples to be processed and matched.
After accepting a disclaimer that I may get a couple of surprises, of course. Bring them on.
Then I got an email notification telling me my results were ready – and it felt a bit like it was Christmas.
Although there were no close family members detected or horrible surprises (phew) what I discovered was, according to my DNA, I’m not really English at all.
I’m 60.9% Irish, Scottish and Welsh, 36.3% north and west European, and 2.8% Finnish. It notes I am 0% English.
I had no idea how to feel about it, or what it meant – so I asked someone about my DNA results so I could find out more.
Gal Zrihen, product manager at the MyHeritage genealogy platform, helped break it down for me.
She told Metro.co.uk: ‘MyHeritage calculates ethnicity estimates by comparing your DNA to that of a reference panel of individuals from across the world whose family trees show consistent ancestry from the same region or ethnicity going back many generations.
‘DNA goes back hundreds of years. And DNA results can be surprising – and not as straightforward as one imagines.
‘Some ethnicities can even be traced back roughly 2,000 years, depending on how isolated that population was. Even though most people stayed put most of their lives, there was a certain level of mobility, and genetic similarity did spread to neighbouring areas.’
Gal said this could explain why my DNA was detected as heavily being from the Celtic nations.
‘We often see this ethnicity showing up in significantly high percentages among English people,’ she…
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