There are several services available to get a DNA test done to find your ancestry, the biggest being AncestryDNA and 23 and Me. There’s a lot of hoo-haa surrounding these companies, particularly AncestryDNA, with talk about them having more rights over your DNA than you do. I used AncestryDNA, and all the claims surrounding them selling your genetic info etc is bullshit. They can forward your DNA sample for genetic research etc – but they can only do so with your consent. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Their most recent terms and conditions as at the date of this blog can be found here.
Anyhow, this is about my journey. Let’s begin with a song:
If that’s a bit too heavy for your liking, here’s an alternative:
Anyway, what do I know about my background? Not much. What I do know, is that my mother migrated to Australia from New Zealand – and one of her ancestors from her father’s side, arrived in Australia on the First Fleet. My father was born in Australia to a Latvian father and an Australian-born mother. I was always close to my mother’s side, and to my dad’s siblings and my cousins on Dad’s side, but I never met my paternal grandparents. That’s a story for another day.
With my red hair and blue eyes, I often get asked if I’m Irish or Scottish – and all I can do is shrug my shoulders with a sheepish “I dunno” in response.
Based on what I know, I would expect my results to be in this vicinity:
Anywhere outside the yellow highlight is going to be a big surprise. In any event, I look forward to receiving my results.
The test itself was relatively simple. You activated your kit via the website, and enter the serial number on the tube, so they can link you to the sample. Follow the prompts, and it eventually takes you to this page:
All voluntary. You do not have to participate if you don’t want to. It won’t compromise access to your results.
Once you activate, spit in the tube:
Seal the tube with the cap containing the stabilising solution, shake it, seal it in the bag and pop it in the post.
You have to wait at least 30 minutes after your last morsel of food, sip of a drink, a ciggie (if you’re a smoker) or after disposing of that last wad of chewing gum before you can spit in the tube. I waited more than 30 minutes before I spat in that tube, and now it’s all over and done with, I have earned this cuppa goddammit…
It’s a 6-8 week wait for the results, so I probably won’t be publishing a follow-up post until at least August. So until then, I’ll leave you with another song: