Peace and blessings to you all!
If you have some time, patience and will power, please stay here for a while and read with me. It might seem long and tedious at first, but I promise, you will get through it… relatively pain free!
So what’s this post about?
Well… I have been obsessed with genealogy research for a few years now and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. Here’s why:
- I want to find my maternal grandfather (Roy Bearde… if you’re reading, holla at your grandchild)
- Find out more about my ancestors
- Go as far back as I can on my family tree
- I’m still yearning for a sense of belonging. #searchingforhome #findingmytribevibe
- I am a very curious and nosey person
Which leads us to now! Short background information about me – I was born 1983 in Jamaica, I migrated to the UK when I was 7 and I have lived here ever since. I am yet to visit Africa but I am hoping to soon.
My mum and I took a MyHeritage test in 2017 (it was the cheapest at the time). We did it for the reasons I stated above and to help us pin point where our ancestors originated from.
when I got my results, I took everything myHeritage said as gospel. Upon further research and recieving my Ancestry test results, I realised that the information given by MyHeritage was limited.
Side note: The information you receive from any company will be dependant on their samples and database size at the time.
You will see from the information presented below, different companies unveils different results – the two things they that all did agree on, was that, I am 96% African with traces of Native America / Asian.
Let’s have a look at our MyHeritage results.
As you can see our results are diverse.
- My mum has East African in her DNA – I did not inherit this in my genes.
- My mum has no South Asia or Native American in her DNA but I do. So either these genes skipped my mum and was passed down to me or I inherited it solely from my dad. Feel free to correct me here.
Next, I exported our DNA data from MyHeritage to FTDNA, the results were as follows.
- My mum’s African DNA drop from 98.3% to 93% on FTDNA. Bearing in mind, they have included South Central Africa separately to her African ethnicity, which would bring her African DNA up to 95%. I am guessing the missing 3.3% is somewhere in trace regions.
- My mum’s trace regions are a lot more on FTDNA than on MyHeritage, they have now expanded to include Ashkenazi Jews and other ethnicities around the world. Funnily, I did not have Ashkenazi but I did get Sephardic.
- FTDNA included a lot more trace regions for my mum than they did for me. Either, I did not inherit these genetics from my mum at all or they were so minute that the DNA tests could not pick them up. Feel free to correct me here.
- I was curious about the difference between North and Central America vs South America in terms of Ethnicity. I have screenshot what FTDNA had to say below. Please, read for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
GEDMatch is for when I am really nerding out on my genealogy research. It has been deemed complicated and not very user-friendly by many. However, the wealth of information it has to offer is undeniable.
I am going to keep it simple (kind of) and tell you that I used the MDLP Project African Caribbean population to find out our admixtures.
There were pie chart diagrams available, but I won’t be using them, as I find the text will convey the same message without the added fussiness.
- With GEDMatch, I see a great similiarity between me and mum.
- Barring the under two percenters, our results – ethnicity and percentage wise – are almost identical.
Staying on GEDMatch, we will now look at what I like to term the Tribal Regions.
I am not sure if this list is self explanatory or not but I will try my best to explain it. The lower the number, the closer the distance and relation we are to that tribe – DONE!
- I would not class African Caribbean as a tribe/ethnicity – I have no idea what this means and why it is in this table.
- According to the this list, we belong to the South African Ovambo People. Again, according to this list. I have no way of disputing or concurring. My family tree only traces back to the 1800s, at which point all my ancestors, as far as I know, were in Jamaica.
Right let’s keep going…
Next, thanks to my favourite cousin in America ❤ I did an Ancestry DNA test. My mum is yet to take one.
Observations and Comparing Ancestry results with MyHeritage
- Both agreed I am 96% African
- They do not agree on which African Countries I am from. Almost every person I know that has taken a MyHeritage test has had a high hit on Nigeria. I’m very skeptical of MyHeritage and I believe that the African samples in their database are quite small and perhaps consists largely of Nigerians.
- Both agreed on that I have traces of Native American in my blood – but I behave like I am 25% and ish – and the percentages are very similar.
So there you have it. A basic analysis of my Ancestry results.
If you find any of the information I provided to be factual incorrect, please let me know and I will rectify it.
Please comment but play nice!
Words of advice:
If anyone is looking to take a genealogy test, based on my experience, I would suggest you go with Ancestry first. Their database seems larger and more extensive.
Build a family tree and use familysearch.org to trace your family back as far as you can.
Jamaicans, I need you – please join in the conversation, contact me and look out for my family tree in a future blog post. LET’S BUILD.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading.