Not sure whether any of you are the sort who’s interested in other peoples’ DNA test results, but I am. I find personal genetic make-up discovery stories to be interesting, and now that I’ve learned my own, I thought I’ve give back. I’ve been super stoked about my report since I received it last week!
I submitted my DNA to 23andMe for analysis. It’d been done in Palo Alto by researchers a year and a half ago, actually, but now I have the report. (Long story not worth telling, trust me.)
I’m excited to be demystified, especially as an adoptee. I’ve known that my bio-mother is Japanese-American, but all I ever knew of my bio-father’s genetics was “English.” Now I know the whole story: I’m English, German, Scandinavian, and Japanese.
For half-breeds, I guess, it’s rarely as simple as “my mother was this and my father was that, so I’m half this and half that.” I have to re-write that part of my bio now. Haha.
The report says that I’m 50.0% European and 49.9% East Asian, with a smidge more DNA from my European bio-father. So my bio-mother was right when we met and she observed that I take after my father’s family more than hers.
My European side is 39.2% British (from England: Greater Manchester, Greater London, and Merseyside), 5.8% German (from Hamburg), 4.2% Scandinavian (from they couldn’t say where), and 0.8% Broadly Northwestern European.
My East Asian side is Japanese (from Hiroshima Prefecture).
I wasn’t expecting to encounter such precision in my DNA report. I mean, I spit into a tube and someone in a lab is able to trace my recent ancestry to Manchester, London, Merseyside (they nailed it with that last one… my family is from Liverpool, which is in Merseyside), Hamburg, and Hiroshima.
Not a single strand of Welsh, Irish, or Scottish DNA was found, which was also a surprise. The internet says that my bio-surname is Welsh, but the lab coats with my saliva say that I have no Celtic DNA whatsoever. If there is Celtic DNA somewhere in my ancestry, I didn’t inherit it.
As for my 5.8% German heritage, I like to think that this explains why the German language came to me so easily and naturally when I lived in Germany. (Nothing like the struggle of conversing in French.)
One bit that came out of this DNA analysis experience was no surprise at all, because I’d been told as much by my bio-mother: if I want to meet my paternal family, I’ll have to leave the country. This was confirmed by one of my first cousins (23andMe connection)!
Almost all of my bio-father’s huge family lives in England, including him, which I already knew. A fraction of the family lives in Canada, mostly in Greater Toronto… whereas I have no extended family members living in Japan. My maternal family is here in the States, and they’ve been here for generations.
My Asian side is American. My European side is not. HA!
(Is it still accurate to say that my British family is European now that Brexit happened?)
My bio-father has many siblings, so I have many aunts and uncles, and loads of cousins. 14 first cousins! I’ve been getting to know a couple of them, and I’m beyond touched to know that they’re as thrilled by our newfound connection as I am… and to know that they’d been wondering if they’d ever find me! I had no idea that anyone in the family even knew that I existed.
I can’t get over it. I’m so pleased and grateful, and the fact that my amazing parents are 100% supportive – and also curious – makes it even better.
23andMe’s analysis also revealed such trivia as: I inherited my preference for salty over sweet; my ring fingers being longer than my index fingers; my ability to match a musical pitch; my flat feet; my fear of heights; and the fact that I’m a mosquito magnet.
Spitting into a tube, man. Amazing!