At the "Root" of March, Part 1
Better Together . . . C'mon Along

At the "Root" of March, Part 2

Sometimes, our "words" . . . take us places we didn't expect to go. 

And, really, that's one of the most interesting parts of the whole "word" experience to me. I usually have some things I'm planning to explore about my word each year, but I always leave some room for . . . inspiration, too.

"Roots are not in landscape or a country or a people, they are inside you."
        --- Isabel Allende

I explained the other day that I didn't set out to explore my "roots" in that ancestry/heritage way. I really didn't. My greater family is small, and we are quite geographically dispersed. And beyond my immediate family, the rest of us are not close. I mean . . . we share happy memories of good times and family get-togethers, and we maintain "Christmas-card connections," but we're not in contact much. Besides, my family "roots" are - for the most part - already well-documented (although one branch is quite light on detail).

But then . . . I started messing around with all those photos. And my aunt died. Which got me thinking about my cousins, and all the fun we'd had together when we were young. And my sister had been nudging me for years to join her in doing the Ancestry DNA testing thing. (She did it several years ago, found the results fascinating, and wanted to compare results with me.)

I caved. 
I spit in the vial and sent it in.

Definitely not a "root" adventure I had planned to take this year, but . . . it felt like maybe it was a good thing to do just now.


And . . . when my results arrived, there were a few surprises. Not in a Dani-Shapiro-Inheritance kind of way (thankfully), but . . . a few notable differences between my results and my sister's (which is totally normal for full siblings, so not really a big deal). And there were a couple of actual surprises. Like . . . I had no idea I was Irish at all. And although I knew I was Swedish, finding out I am equally Norwegian is completely new!

Anyway. It's been a fun little "sidetrack" activity in my "root" adventure.
Sometimes it's fun to be a little curious . . . to take a side road . . . and do a little exploring!

Kym diane w heidi

(My sister and I with our scruffy schnauzer, Heidi, in 1979.)


How about you? Have you ever explored your ancestry with a DNA test?


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


What fun! What an amazing list! I have not, but I would love to do this! Isn't it amazing the journey our words take us on?


My sister nagged me for a long time to do the 23 and me genetic test, but I wasn't interested in being tested and possibly obtaining health results that I couldn't do anything about. Fear of public speaking and ice cream flavor preference predictions are kind of quirky bits of information (that I already know without a genetic test)! But late-onset Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are more serious and disturbing if you don't want to know that information. Your Ancestry adventure is kind of fun, and there is that 4% Welsh, too!


Yes! We've all done Ancestry DNA - except Ali because she keeps misplacing it (but I'm dying to know how she compares to her sisters). I also have the 23 and me test for Rusty & I (but keep forgetting to spit). There weren't any real surprises for me, but Rusty's is fascinating -- almost 1/4 Irish and it's able to drill right down to specific places; he's also a little bit Norwegian & Swedish, plus a drop of Welsh & Scot. That DNA Story is always changing/improving, so it's worth signing in every few months.


According to 23 and Me as well as Ancestry, nothing but Northern European (and one lone Roman) on my map. Apparently, these baby blues, dark hair with hints of red, and fair skin that burns at the slightest hint of the sun are the result of Vikings (and that lone Roman) vacationing in Scotland and Ireland. Perhaps someone found love at Hadrian's Wall?


It looks like I’ll be near-last in my family to do it. (And no plans, as of yet.) Audrey’s getting a kit for her 17th birthday next week....something she’s been passionate about for a while. And we got one for all of our parents; I’ve given one to Troy. My (thought to be) half-Russian/half-Swedish mom’s also came back with a Norwegian surprise! Hm...

What a great bonus to your word this year!


I did 23 and Me a couple of years ago, mostly because I was curious if it would line up with what my aunt has researched and learned about our family (she is very into genealogy). I was kind of hoping there would be some big surprised. But my results said something like 96.5% Ashkenazi Jewish, with a little Eastern European "other" and less than 1% Middle Eastern. No surprises there at all!


Fletch and I did 23 and Me a couple of years ago. Colin gave it to us as a Christmas gift one year which was pretty cool. No surprises and my results look very similar to yours Kym! I know my Dad's Mom was from Wales and I knew my Mom's Mom was from England and her Dad from Denmark. so, very similar. And no surprises with Fletcher's info either. It was fun to do, but we have not pursued it further (and in case Bonny comes back to read comments, we received no medical news or warnings, etc.).

kathy b

oh my gosh. I think we had the same sofa. The same schnauzer. the white shirted girl looks like i did! This is wild!!


All this digging turned up some very cool things, Kym! I just love the photos you shared on Friday and the peek into your DNA results today. I haven't done it, but my mom and my dad's sister both have, which makes me think I probably have 99% of my answers.


I did Ancestry a few years ago and there were no surprises: 33% Scotland, 30% England/Northwestern European, 21% Ireland, 6% Norway, 6% Germanic European, & 4% Wales. I know exactly where my Irish great grandparents immigrated from, and a little about ancestors who came from Scotland. I was happy to have a little bit of Viking blood!!!


I've resisted the temptation - I don't want to find out I'm less Swedish than I think I am! hahahaha Your results are very cool and this is a great way to have a tangible representation of your roots.


I did it - 99.8% Irish. I think I was a little surprised it was that limited a bloodline. I find ancestry fascinating!


My sister has done the DNA Ancestry test. I haven't - yet. Her results were pretty much what she expected from what we know about our family background. Root is a very interesting word with many meanings.


My sister and one of my nieces took the test and I'm not sure mine would be any different. We basically encompass Europe northern and southern (my grandfather was Italian), plus British Isles, and even a tough of Jewish blood (probably from the same grandfather). Smith's would read much like Sarah's, methinks.

The comments to this entry are closed.