Well, it has been several months since my last post on here. Life and work have been busy and I’ve been trying to focus on doing more exercise and not sitting at a desk all day long and all night long!
However, several weeks ago there was an offer on for £20 off the cost of an Ancestry DNA kit, so basically this covered the cost of postage. For some time now I have been thinking more and more about DNA, and I was interested in finding out what my ethnicity split was, not to mention potentially finding matches with other people in the world.
Over the course of the past year or so I have been helping some people who have been researching the surname Swan(n). They have been doing various DNA tests to identify shared markers with people who are researching the same surname in the US, with the belief that they share a common ancestor who originated from Derbyshire in the UK, which is where I came in. Some of you may have read a previous post of mine Joseph Swann – A Farmer’s Life, where I talked about my 3x great grandfather. My Swann line flips back and forth over the Cheshire / Derbyshire border and I have traced it back to a Thomas Swan who started having children around 1693 in Chapel en le Frith, Derbyshire and I believe that he is related to a few other men having children in the area around the same time which is where the link is with the families in the US.
So being involved with that, piecing the various lines together and looking at other families in the area, looking at wills and seeing where connections might be, has got me thinking more about using DNA for research. I don’t pretend to understand all the technical ins and outs of different types of genetic markers and haplogroups, but I understand the basic principles.
I got my kit and I did my saliva sample and sent it off the same day I got it. I wasn’t expecting to get my results for another few weeks, but at the weekend I had an email telling me the results were in! I hurriedly went online to check it out. I wasn’t overly surprised at my ethnicity split, it didn’t have any particularly exotic areas – showing that I am 100% European – split into the following percentages:
So 48% Great Britain (so England, Wales and Scotland), 23% Ireland, 18% Scandinavia (presumably perhaps my Yorkshire ancestry has links to Scandinavia?) and that yellow bit on the pie chart? 6% Western Europe and the grey bit relates to the trace percentages, of which I have 3% Iberian Peninsula and 1% each of Eastern Europe and Finland / Russia.
I have pages and pages of distant cousin DNA matches, and several closer 4th – 6th cousin matches already. One of which is someone I’ve already been in contact with over my Griffiths line, which helps to confirm that both our research is correct and that we are indeed related, which is good news, especially with a name like Griffiths in rural Wales!
Have you had a DNA test to find out more about your ancestry? Tell me about it!