But there’s more to my genetic story than the glorious green dot of Ireland. I claim it, of course, but I’ve also been open to other far-flung lands my ancestors may have travelled through in their journeys. I’ve only begun to research my DNA and all the spirals of molecules inside me, but it’s an exciting endeavour. Who wouldn’t want to read their genetic instructions? Learning the names and some of the histories of these characters in my family tree makes me appreciate my loved ones in the here and now all the more.
Here’s what pleasantly surprised me about my results:
1) The fact that I am not 99.9% Irish in origin (only 67%, actually!). I am happy about this mainly in the name of science, and not wanting to be genetically boring, because my greatest fear after stuffing my hope and spit into that tube was that it would actually come back 100% leprechaun.
2) I seem to have more Eastern European blood (i.e. Polish, Russian, Romanian) in me than Western European (German, French, Dutch). So odd! I have never really identified with anything from Eastern Europe, except the lovely Polish people I met while living in Dublin. Maybe my connection is hidden somewhere deep inside my psyche, like inside one of those famous Russian dolls.
3) The fact that I have any Spanish/Portuguese in me at all is amazing with a capital A. Would you seriously think it to look at me? (It's the highest of the "trace" amounts at 7%, so not a huge amount, obviously, but still, it's just under Western European at 8%, which says something.) You could've knocked me over with a feather when I saw this one. Maybe I'm one of those "black Irish" after all! Suddenly all I'm thinking about are tapas...and siestas.
4) My Great Britain bloodline contribution is only 4%! How is this even possible when I have so much English reserve in me? I guess I've been overestimating the Anglophile part of my background my whole life, even though I do really relate to Very British Problems (check it out if you haven't already). Maybe more of my ancestors on my father’s side are actually...ahem...Scottish (which seems to be unceremoniously lumped under the "Ireland" category, which is perhaps more popular from a marketing standpoint).
5) I really thought I had more Viking blood running through my veins, given my coloring, but alas, at only 3%, my ties to Scandinavia are slight.
6) Ironically, despite the Spanish/Portuguese drops of DNA in my body, there doesn't appear to be any Italian genes there at all. Uh-oh. This will NOT go over well with the in-laws. Once they hear I am part-Porto, I so won't be welcome during World Cup time. Does this mean I have to start rooting for Ronaldo? The hubby will be most displeased.