With the world a little bit unstable at the moment and such a focus on where we are all originally from; it got me thinking about how much our borders define us. And well, whether they really should!
I’m sure many of you will feel you know exactly where your family origins lie. Maybe you’re aware of many interlocking layers of language, culture and nationality. Maybe you are convinced that you are 100% British/French/Chinese.
I love hearing stories passed down through families where one family member, (Like my Grandma, who thought we were part Spanish) was convinced that there was a connection to one place or another. I always wonder how much of this is true?
Where can you find out more?
So if you want to delve into your past, where do you look?
I recently came across a company called Living DNA, who offer the most advanced DNA testing on your ancestry. They offer twice the detail of other tests on the market. Tests include your motherline and if male also your fatherline.
I’ve just completed the tests and got my results! Which I will share but first…
How does it work?
It’s very simple. You place an order on the Living DNA website and they post a kit to you.
You login and activate your kit and then take a swab from your mouth onto a little test strip.
Pop it into the free post envelope and send it off!
Very simple and easy.
When your results are ready to view you are emailed and can login to look at them.
It takes around 10-12 weeks for your results to be processed.
What arrives in your inbox?
When you login you find a great deal of information.
Your Family Ancestry which studies your ancestors in recent times (approximately the last ten generations) and it allows you to look at different points in history.
Motherline ancestry which traces your direct maternal ancestry from your mother and all the way back to Africa.
Fatherline ancestry which does the same for your paternal ancestry if you are male.
You are given an overview of your geographical ancestry and then you can explore this in full drilling down to regions.
Information is provided in the form of maps, charts and text so you can fully understand your genetic makeup.
It’s a very fascinating read and I keep going over mine as I’m gleaming extra pieces of information each time!
I feel like I’ve come away knowing so much about my family that will benefit not just me but my children and other relatives.
Some snippets from my results are:
I found out my motherline can be traced back to the first humans to populate Europe after the Ice Age, some 35,000 years ago!
The root of this line can be found all the way back to the Tuareg people of North Africa. In fact even today I share more DNA similarities with these people than populations in any other geographical location.
I am 90% British, with a great deal of my family coming from North West England, Cornwall, Wales and Ireland. From my own family history investigations I know these are all true.
What I didn’t know for sure but I’ve been told many times by my late Grandfather is that a great deal of my ancestry is from France. Populations in Cornwall and France often migrated between each other many years ago. So maybe this is why.
And a very small percentage of me is Northern Italian! Which my Husband will find amusing - being from Northern Italy. But my Father-in-law obviously already knew this as he once told me I looked Italian but a bit white! :-)
So who do I think I am?
I’ve always been very open to being a blend of different cultures or nationalities. I have family members who have always traveled or lived abroad. I’m married to someone who has a different nationality to myself. I am raising children with two countries, cultures and languages.
While it may seem isolating or scary, actually the more you experience other places and their people you realise we are all the same.
We all want to give things in our lives meaning, whether through our religious beliefs, nostalgia from our upbringing, dates that we give special significance or simply the food we cook for our loved ones.
We all want to protect our families, better our lives, give everything to our children and live with purpose.
And for centuries we have all, on our own paths, migrated to survive, endure and thrive.
We all have a DNA story.
*Living DNA gifted me their test in return for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.*