Last year I was contacted by Ancestry to receive a free test kit for the new autosomal test that would be available this year. Kudos to AncestryDNA for offering tests to long time subscribers! Of course, as a big believer in DNA as another tool for genealogy research I jumped at the chance and quickly sent in my test kit for my DNA. Let me add that I have been a member of Ancestry since the mid 1990s and use it to document my Isbell line frequently (citations included). DNA test results have provided advantages with my Isbell genealogy research in proving and disproving traditions while identifying close colonial Virginia lines through an Isbell surname project.
The autosomal DNA results were available this past March and of course it was the same evening I was giving a presentation about DNA! So afterwards I was finally able to view the results of my own genetic make-up:
Being 49% British Isles was no surprise. My paternal grandmother was born in Lancashire, England. In fact many of my documented paternal and maternal lineages are Scots Irish. What WAS surprising was 49% Scandinavian. I have not identified anyone of Scandinavian descent in my family as of yet. In developing a few theories I knew I needed more in order to determine which side of the family the Scandinavian heritage is from I needed DNA results to compare it to. So I also had an autosomal test for my father done through another lab. In comparing the two seperate autosomal results I am hoping to narrow the different Scandinavian heritage to either my father's or my mother's side of the family. The pre-liminary results are in and there will be more on this research stragey in a future blog post.
Musings about AncestryDNA
In waiting a while to post about my AncestryDNA test results, I was able to maneuver through the page and determine how the site will help in research. Matches are most certainly provided with predictions about the specific relationship. Also, access to family trees of the matches is provided. Searching through most of my matches I was unable to find a connection with anyone. Unfortunately as of this moment, a persons DNA results can only be linked to one tree through Ancestry.com. If you have multiple trees (like me) to get the most out of your results in comparison to others, adding all the extra ancestors to a single tree is required. For me, that was a week worth of effort! As someone who revels in SNPs, there are none. I hope in the future that AncestryDNA will make SNPs available.
Don't get me wrong folks, I am elated to have a free test and results to work with. Certainly another tool to use! And my results seem to confirm my research - well at least 49% of it! This leaves me with some more research to do.