Where Do I Come from: Shawn
Real People’s DNA Stories
Ethnicity Beyond European Migration
My journey into DNA testing began with my desire to expand on my known heritage, while clarifying debated Jewish ancestry. What I have found in return is that my ancestral paper trail only uncovers a small portion of the blood that runs through my veins. My DNA Consultants results, for the most part were quite surprising. My European matches were fairly consistent with my country origins on paper and surrounding areas. The major surprise, however, was that my number one European match was Romani/Gypsy and my number 10 match was Czech Republic….
Things became much more interesting with my World Population Matches. My scores (in order) were Romani/Gypsy, Middle Eastern, African, Iberian, Central European, African-American, Jewish, Mediterranean European, European American and Eastern European. I also came up with Native American admixture to top it off. These results are causing me to believe that there may be a line or more of family lineages that I have yet to tap into.
Looking back on things now, I have received comments from others concerning my phenotype such as “I’m not sure what you are,” “You don’t look Irish” and “You must have some Black ancestry.” Some have even just assumed I was Hispanic or Caucasian. Interestingly enough, almost all acknowledge that they see my Italian/Spanish phenotype, while a few also see slight Native American.
While my results provided insight into how diverse my blood really is, they also put an end to an age-old family debate as to our Jewish ethnicity. One of my relatives from a few generations past would passionately defend her position that our family line was indeed Jewish, while another family member would vigorously put forth his position that we were not Jewish. He would try to prove our non-Jewishness any time he could. I also had another family member along that same family line say that he almost did not get hired for a job because the hirer thought he was Jewish. I always believed these accounts, especially since as young as I can remember I have found this side of my family (Italian and German) to phenotypically look Italian and/or Jewish.
So where does all this leave me now? My results show my blood is much more than simply Italian, French, Irish and German. They confirm family testimony of Spanish/Portuguese/Iberian and Jewish ancestry. Perhaps more interestingly, my results leave me re-assessing my ethnicity or multi-ethnic heritage, end years of family verbal passages or debates and leave me with intriguing new ancestries that are waiting to be discovered.