Family photos in 5 days- day 3

Today is freezing. It’s officially spring but here, in Ontario, it has decided to give us another dose of winter. Oh how I hate the cold! I’m only first generation Canadian and I swear my DNA is not cut out for this weather…at all!

I’ve decided to talk about my DNA results from Family Tree DNA. I had already done a test through Ancestry but decided that I should dig deeper because I knew that I had ancestors who probably came from other countries in Europe based on the surnames in my tree. My Ancestry DNA test said I was 50% Italy/Greece. When it breaks it down it says I’m 28% Eastern European, 11% Western European and 9% Scandinavian (surprise there). Then I’m 1% or less trace Irish (REALLY?) hmmmmm.

Now I know that this is a combination of my father and mother so I decided to get my mother’s mtDNA from Family Tree DNA. Very easy to take and after about 8 weeks I received the results. My reaction? WOW.

It turns out that on her maternal side she is mostly Eastern European (Bulgaria) with some Shepardic Jewish.

I then took my mother’s brother’s son to complete my mother’s YDNA side of her tree. It came back that his YDNA was mostly Bulgarian and Slovenian (where my mother was born) and we had some Ashkenazi Jewish.

Imagine my surprise!! I’m a genealogist and I’ve traced my family back, with documented proof, to 1585 in Italy and all Roman Catholic. So the Bulgarian and other Eastern European DNA must have come before that, on my mom’s side. We had no idea we had Jewish DNA, but how cool is that? There was even a tiny percent of what called Karaite Jewish which I hear is very rare.

Unfortunately I can’t do my father’s YDNA. His father only had 1 brother who emigrated to Argentina and never married. My father had no brothers, only sisters…and I’m one of 3 girls. No brothers. No paternal male cousins who descend from a direct male ancestor unless I go back to a great great grandparent and work my way down. Imagine a stranger calling you up and asking for a DNA sample? Don’t think that would work….lol. My father died in 2002 and this kind of DNA testing wasn’t available before then anyway.

I’m fascinated and look forward to even more revelations that will surely arise when more people add  their DNA to the databanks and/or more detailed testing can be done.

For now, I look at my mother’s family. I look at their faces and I try to see all the nationalities that have blended into them. I also see how we are all connected.


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My 2 aunts and my mother who’s the baby. She was the fairest in the family. All of the family had fairly dark skin and dark hair. My mother has green eyes and was reddish/brown haired.


About tiesthatbindsite

I'm a genealogist with a passion for Scottish and English ancestry. I'm trilingual so I can also do research in French Canadian records and Italian records. My love for family history began 35 years ago and continues to grow every day. My family is very important to me and I hope to instill in them a love for "where they came from" so that they can better understand who they are. I also want to share my love of family history with anyone who understands how important it is to not lose site of their ancestors. They all have a story to tell.
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