Kiss me, I’m four-percent Irish!
OK, don’t kiss me — unless you’re my husband, and then you can kiss me all you want — but I am four-percent Irish. That’s according to the “ethnicity estimate” on my AncestryDNA test results, which I received via email a few days before Christmas.
A few weeks before that, I blogged about sending off my DNA sample. At the time, I wondered what surprises might be contained in that small vial of saliva. Well, I’m here to tell you the results weren’t earth-shattering, but were definitely interesting.
According to my DNA test, I am composed of the following:
36 percent Western Europe (Germany, France, Switzerland, etc.)
34 percent Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales)
11 percent Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal, northern Morocco and Tunisia)
8 percent Scandinavia
4 percent Ireland
3 percent Italy/Greece
2 percent Finland/Northwest Russia
1 percent Caucasus (Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, the “Stans,” etc.)
Less than 1 percent Eastern European
The three surprising things — I figure the Scandinavians were Vikings who sailed to Britain or somewhere like that — were the 11-percent Iberian Peninsula, the one-percent Caucasus, and the fact that there was not even the tiniest bit of Native American.
The lack of connection to America’s first people blows apart some of the oral history from my mom’s side of the family, particularly that my great-great grandpa, John Wesley Miles, was half Native American. It’s a story I heard a lot, growing up, but according to my DNA test, there’s nothing to support it.
I blogged about John Miles, who was a colorful character to say the least, several months ago and you can read that article here.
My great-great-grandma, Josephine Lee Miles, always looked Native American to me, but alas, there’s nothing in my DNA to prove that either. You can see a picture of Josephine, taken with her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, here.
As most of the family names I’ve seen in my genealogy are British or German, who these Iberians are is a mystery. It could, however, be related to the “Black Dutch” rumor in my mom’s family. When you Google “Black Dutch,” you do come up with Melungeon, and one of the stories about Melungeons is that they were descendants of Portuguese sailors, or claimed to be.
As for my other family history mysteries — what John Miles was doing in the West for 20 years, for example — maybe I’ll find answers from some of the many cousins I’m now connected to on the AncestryDNA site. It will take a lot of work and luck, but if I unravel anything, I’ll let you know.