Spit Happens!! Welcome to the world of DNA.

I recently sent in my DNA sample to Ancestry.Com. I decided to keep a diary of sorts so everyone can share in my new adventure. I am not sure what is going to happen as this unfolds. It is a mystery!!

4 May 2015 - Well, this is it. I am finally going to try to collect spit in a tube. I haven't eaten for 30 minutes. I have sugar to put on the tip of my tongue. Not sure this is going to work. Sounds gross. 

Put the sugar on the tip of my tongue, massaged the back of my jaw, simulated chewing and would you believe it worked. Wow, that was not that bad. It worked. Was so excited that I spilled the sample and had to do it again. Wound up scraping saliva off of the kitchen counter. I will probably wind up with the DNA of an egg salad sandwich. 

Second time around. Not that bad. Sample collected. Sealed. And on its way to the lab.

My advice is to relax and if you feel like you are going to start gagging, just stop for a minute and try again. For some strange reason, once you see that you are approaching that black line on the tube, it gets easier. May have something to do with success. 
Entered my activation code that came with the kit. (I already have an account with ancestry. If you don't you will need to create one.) Entered all my information. Need to sit back now and patiently wait for my DNA to be processed. About 6-8 weeks! I am pretty sure this is going to be the hard part.

26 May 2015 - Checked my Ancestry DNA page and nothing has changed. It does not indicate that my test has even arrived. It says "test in progress".  If it doesn't appear to have arrived yet, how could it be in progress. So I went looking for some answers in Google search. Apparently I (aka my DNA) is waiting in line. Slowly moving forward. Sort of like a line of people waiting to get onto a ride at Disney World. Only now it is DNA World. Guess I will just have to wait patiently in line.

4 June 2015 - Great News. My DNA arrived at the lab. I am used to getting email from ancestry.com so I sort of scrolled past the email. Then something in my head clicked and I scrolled back up to ancestry DNA and there it was. I have arrived (at the lab). It was a warm June evening, my windows were open, and I am sure that many of my neighbors were aware that I had something to celebrate. It doesn't get any better than that.

17 June 2015 - Even Better News. On the evening of June 17, I received an email informing me that my DNA results were in - only 2 weeks after the test arrived at the lab. This confirms what I had read in several forums. Once you get to the lab, it only takes a couple of weeks. It is like pieces of a puzzle suddenly and finally going together. This is going to be an exciting new adventure and learning experience.

5 August 2015 - Holy Cousins! Wow I guess I have been busy. Busy finding cousins. I knew that my dad's family has always been "big" on genealogy and family history. So it should have been no surprise when the majority of my newly found cousins are from my dad's family. 

6 August 2015 -  So far the biggest connections have been with Crom and Weaver. I have always known that they are there, but connecting with these trees has expanded the ancestors I can now include in my lineage society applications this year. 

7 August 2015 - I also have information on my ethnicity. 46% Great Britain, 27% Western Europe, 11% Italy and Greece (might have something to do with the 46% Great Britain), 2% Finland, Ireland and 1% Iberian Peninsula.

My mom always told me we are Russian Jews so I am happy to report that I am 2% Russian. Thanks Mom!!!

Now here is the rather humorous part. When I look at the stats on my blog, 53% of my hits are from Russia. Strange! I have always felt a connection to Russia and there were times when that was not good. It is not a political thing. It is more like these are your people. Like if your are Irish or Italian.

19 August 2015 -  My son, Todd, was in town and we spent some time comparing the results we got from our DNA tests. Of course my son's results from 23 and Me would naturally show some different results from mine. But we also had a lot of similarities. It just occurred to me that one of the good things from this is that I am still around to tell Todd "hey, I know that name - it is a cousin. She is my mother's brother's granddaughter." (Did you get that?) 

So I learned something that I didn't expect. Your kids need to have their DNA tested while you are still alive. (Was that blunt enough?) The reason is because your kids will see cousins 5 or 6 times removed and think they are not important. They don't realize how big the families were back in the 1800s and early 1900s. They don't understand what happens to the family order when there are 10 - 15 years between the oldest and youngest child. So, for lack of a better explanation, your mother's brother's granddaughter could be older than you. (You will just have to do the math for that one!)

To summarize, sometimes a 5 or 6 X cousin isn't as far removed as it seems. I really wish that we could do away with the 2nd cousin 3 times removed thing and just say cousin. After all, what difference does it make; we are all family. When I talk about my great grandfather, I say Grandpa Perkins because that's who he is! When I refer to my 4X great grandfather, I say Philip Rice because he is my ancestor. I am beginning to see that if we are going to understand DNA with an open mind we need to see everyone as family.

2 September 2015 - Well, I finally did it. I decided I needed to get a glimpse of what my ancestors might have looked like. Since my DNA appears to have reinforced my mother's claims that we are Russian Jews, I went to Kroger and bought a Barnes & Noble gift card (to get 2X the fuel points; nothing to do with Russia). Then I went to Barnes & Noble. Thank you DNA for giving me a reason to finally buy "Fiddler On The Roof." 

21 March 2016 - Does your ancestor have a DNA circle? I certainly hope so because this is where you will find your living cousins and your ancestors. Unless you know absolutely everyone in your family, and I doubt many of us do, this can be a great genealogy resource. In today’s world family members relocate. Families grow and new branches are formed. Ancestry’s DNA circles bring our families back together.

A circle is created when the DNA results of ancestry members point to the same ancestor. When you get your DNA results back you will get a list of possible cousins. The first thing you see is shared ancestor hints, then shared matches, and in my case, 108 4th cousins or closer. A lot of these results depend on how many of your family members belong to Ancestry. That will give you access to family trees. (A word of caution, information on these trees is not always accurate.)

Scroll down beneath the matches and there will be your circles. Each circle will feature one of your ancestors. It will tell you how many members are in each group. If you click on relationships you will see a chart linking you to others. When you click on List, it will show the names of everyone in the circle. This is where you  will  find your direct match to the other members. You will want to click on the orange colored match.

From this point you will want to click on View Relationship which will allow you to compare published family trees and contact cousins you never knew. That’s the fun part. That’s where your DNA results bring your family back together so you can share research, family stories, and many memories.

25 April 2017 - Wow I didn't realize it has been over a year since I posted to this page. Recently I have found many new matches thru my DNA testing. I highly recommend having your DNA testing. Today is National DNA Day and there are several bargains for you to take advantage of:

Family Tree DNA.
   All DNA test are on sale.
   Sale ends on April 27 at 11:59pm CST 

Ancestry DNA.
   DNA test kit is on sale for $79 (regularly $99)
   Sale ends on April 26 at 11:59 ET.

23 and Me. 
   Basic Ancestry kit is 20% off at $79 with free shipping through Amazon Prime.
   (This kit can be ordered through both sites.)
   The Health and Ancestry kit is now $179.
   Sale ends May 14. (Mother's Day). 

DNA testing is the gift that keeps on giving. As more people are tested, the database grows everyday. I have found so many matches in the last few months. One word of advice - I treat every match as a clue and confirm each one with additional research.

For more information about DNA and genealogy research see the regular blog posts.

1 comment:

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