Growing up I was always asked what my heritage was, and I would reply with an uncertain answer of not being sure. So recently I purchased Ancestry DNA test to discover more about my heritage. With my last name being White, a name that was popular in England, Scotland and Ireland, and my mother’s last name being French I’m expecting to see those countries being shown in my results, but who knows what I’ll discover.
Getting your DNA results is simple. After you receive your Ancestry DNA kit you will be given a link to activate it by entering the 15 digit code on the collection tube. To gather the DNA do not eat or drink 30 minutes prior, and then give a saliva sample up to the black line on the tube. Next, you add the stabilizing fluid provided and shake. The completed sample is then placed into a collection bag and finally into the prepaid box.
Timewise Ancestry says it will take between 6 and 8 weeks for the results to arrive, and for me, it was much faster only taking 26 days!
- September 10 – DNA mailed
- September 21 – DNA test received
- September 26 – DNA went into the lab for processing
- October 5 – Results were posted
Great Britain – 35%
Primarily located in: England, Scotland, Wales
Also found in: Ireland, France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Italy
Family comparison: Mother’s results 8% (clearly I’m getting my British heritage from my dad)
Travel Wish List: Visiting England and the castles around Scotland have been the top of my travel list for some time now.
Europe West – 27%
Primarily located in: Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein
Also found in: England, Denmark, Italy, Slovenia, Czech Republic
Family comparison: Mother’s results 18% (this one was a bit of a surprise as my mother’s maiden name is French, but I scored 9% higher heritage in Europe West than her).
Ancestry further matched my DNA to link my heritage to the French Settlers of Montreal & Metro Detroit (95% confidence). These French settlers of the St. Lawrence Valley came to Quebec to work in the fur trade, and eventually, some left for New England to cities like Chicago, Minneapolis, and Detroit.
Travel Wish List: I’d love to further explore more of France including the Loire Valley and French Riveria, along with Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. Over time I’d love to visit every country listed in this region.
Ireland – 15%
Primarily located in: Ireland, Wales, Scotland
Also found in: France, England
Family comparison: Mother’s results 15% (same score)
I was then further listed to being possibly (20% certainty) linked to the Irish in Limerick & Kerry.
Travel Wish List: I’ve had the pleasure of exploring around Ireland which I’d happily revisit, but I’d love to see Wales and Scotland too.
Scandinavia – 11%
Primarily located in: Sweden, Norway, Denmark
Also found in: Great Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, the Baltic States, Finland
Family comparison: Mother’s results 17%
Travel Wish List: To explore Stockholm in Sweeden, the fjords in Norway, and some of the castles in Denmark.
Iberian Peninsula – 11%
Primarily located in: Spain, Portugal
Also found in: France, Morocco, Algeria, Italy
Family comparison: Mother’s results 28%
Travel Wish List: There is so much I want to see in Spain and Portugal, from the architecture, landscapes, and food I’d love to spend an entire month traveling around to see as much as possible.
Curiosity Leading To Travel & Final Thoughts
It was fascinating to discover more about my heritage and find out I’m 100% European. The results certainly brought some surprises, for example, I wasn’t expecting any Scandinavia heritage, or that I have stronger French heritage than my mother.
The speed of the results, taking less than a month was impressive! I was also amazed to find out Ancestry will continue to update the results for free to make them more accurate.
Another interesting function is Ancestry then lists possible family members. Right away it listed my immediate family who had taken the test, but it was interesting to discover potential 2nd or 3rd cousins based upon our DNA match. One even is my age, lives 2 hours away in Montreal and also works in the travel industry!
In the end, these results certainly helped to fuel my curiosity to explore more of Europe. Over the next few years I’d love to visit everywhere on the list, that I haven’t been to: So Britain, Scandinavian countries, Spain and Portugal here I come! Without a doubt, England, and around Britain, Scottland, and Wales has been the top of my travel list for a while but now I feel even more drive to explore where my ancestors came from.