Mr. DNA Brings New Surprises; or My Mother’s DNA Results!

A little over a year ago I shared the results of my Ancestry DNA test and how it laid to rest one of the family legends my mother had grown up with. As time has marched on and Ancestry gathered more and more participants (recently surpassing the 2 million mark), the amount of matches I was able to access grew and grew. The vast majority of these were in America – but without a full view of the American ancestry of each of my parents it wasn’t always possible to gain a sense of which side the matches were. Consequently, when an offer reducing the price of the costs to only £60 each (instead of the standard £80) came online a week or so before my parents were due to spend time back in the UK, I decided to take advantage of the coincidence and hopefully find some clarity on these results.

Despite being posted at the same time, my mother’s saliva sample arrived at the lab and was processed about a week ahead of my father’s … and today I received her results …

The family legend referred to earlier was that my mother had Native American ancestry on her (American) father’s side. My result came back as 100% European which told me that this wasn’t likely. My mother’s result came back as … 98% European.

That made me sit up and take notice. What was the remaining 2%? Well, as the pictorial map view below shows, it wasn’t Native American. Case closed there. The remaining 2% is West Asia, specifically “Trace Region – Caucasus”. This region is described as:

Primarily located in: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey

Also found in: Bulgaria, Jordan, Greece, Italy, Kuwait, Palestine, Romania, Turkmenistan

The Greater Caucasus Range, running northwest to southeast between the Black and Caspian Seas, is the traditional line of demarcation between the continents of Europe and Asia.


So back to that 98% European part … What was the breakdown of that exactly? As you may assume from the map above the 3 largest regions were Great Britain (40%), Western Europe (30%) and Ireland (17%). The full ethnicity estimate is shown below:


Surprises? A couple … the first being the relatively small percentage of Team GB (only about 2/5ths). My maternal grandmother’s family (so far) is exclusively English, and I’d assume that a large percentage of the American side was from English stock. But given the 17% Ireland result and the diverse results over the remainder of Europe, perhaps this American side was more diverse than I’ve so far found.

I have to say that the European Jewish result (admittedly only 1%) was a bit of an eyebrow-raiser. (I’m happy to add that this is a positive thing!) Whether this is mixed up in the Europe East or the Iberian Peninsula trace regions I can’t tell yet.

Part of the issue lies with the families of my mother’s father. I’ve written about the struggles with Jacob Calvin Adams and how that family ends in a question mark. The ancestry of Jacob’s wife, Dolly Faulkner, is also incomplete … Perhaps this will spur me on to hunt out more information!

In the mean time I’m burying myself under 2 lines of Holborows in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire (damn those Williams!) and awaiting my father’s DNA results!

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