I have always been interested in my ancestry. This is because I have always wanted to know what parts of the world my ancestors came from. Where did my family history begin? And who were these people?
There seems to be this idea floating around that we’re all separate. That the color of our skin classifies us in a box. But we are wrong. You can be the lightest skinned person on Earth and be just as closely linked to African heritage just as if you can be the darkest skinned person on Earth and have just as much European heritage as the white guy you see walking down the street. That’s because we’re all related. Our DNA is made up of more than just one place. We are all a combination of the world around us.
So last year I decided to take the Ancestry DNA kit. I always see the commercials on TV and I had been wanting to do it for awhile. When I finally got the money to do it, I was able to purchase the $99 kit (and yes it’s kind of expensive but it’s worth it). I was super excited when it came in the mail. I remember thinking about the results and wondering what the test was going to tell me. The Ancestry DNA kit is a saliva test, so after filling a tube with my spit, I sent the kit back in the mail and waited another six weeks for the email that was going to tell me that my results were in.
So where did my DNA come from? Before going into this I had already predicted that I was going to be mostly African but not all African. This is because some of my characteristics are questionable. When I was able to see my results, I was more surprised than I thought I was going to be. In honor of my one year anniversary of finding out about my DNA, I want to share with you my results in hopes of encouraging you to find out about your own ancestry.
Out of 100% of my DNA, 86% of it is from Africa. Most of my African DNA comes from the Ivory Coast/Ghana region (30%) which isn’t a surprise since majority of the slaves that were taken from Africa were from the West Coast. Another big part of my DNA is from the Benin/Togo region. I hadn’t heard of this region before me finding out that it makes up 20% of my DNA. After this region is the Cameroon/Congo region (18%) and Nigeria (9%) which were regions that were recognizable to me. The last part of my African DNA is from Mali (5%), Senegal (3%), and North Africa (1%).
As far as what I want to do with this information, I think it would be cool to visit these places especially North Africa or Ghana. Although going to Africa has never been something that I thought about doing, I think it would be an amazing experience to see African culture firsthand, and I think it would be nice to be able to be around the people who are a part of my ancestry.
Out of 100% of my DNA, 12% of it is from Europe. My European DNA is divided among Italy/Greece (2%), Finland/Northwest Russia (2%), Great Britain (2%), Scandinavia (2%), Iberian Peninsula (2%), Europe West (1%), and Europe East (1%).
It was interesting to find out that I had so many different European countries in my DNA. I would like to know how all these countries became a part of my ancestry, and even if the history of how they came to be a part of my DNA isn’t as great as what I would expect, European DNA is still a part of me and I would like to visit these places as well.
Out of 100% of my DNA, 2% of it is from Asia. My Asian DNA came from Central Asia which according to Ancestry DNA is the area known as the Stan region. This part of my DNA was perhaps the most shocking because I would have never thought I would see Asian in my results. It made me wonder who in my family tree could have been from this region and how did they encounter my African or European ancestors.
Buying the Ancestry DNA kit was a great decision. It was an amazing experience to see where my DNA came from. Most people think that they are just made of one place, but in reality, we are made of many places. We are all connected in some way whether we would like to admit it or not. Your ancestry is about the people who came together to create your history so I encourage you to take the test so that you can have a clearer view of where this history came from.
Photo Image by Joao Silas