Who do I think I am? This is so relevant to me partly because I am adopted. Identity is a big issue for me as there are gaps in what I know about my birth parents and my birth father in particular. Obviously having seen DNA tests on the daytime telly box, I have wanted to have one done so I can at least have some non-negotiable facts about just who I am.
I was delighted to be contacted by a company called Living DNA, a DNA testing company that provides a detailed and accurate view of your ancestry. It presents you with your ancestry journey in the following ways:
- Your family ancestry stretching back 10 generations with an in-depth breakdown of the countries and regions (80 regions worldwide including 21 in the UK)
- Your maternal ancestry (also known as the motherline) and paternal ancestry for males (also known as the fatherline) going back around 200,000 years
- Your ancestors’ migration paths going right back to when the first humans migrated out of Africa
I received a kit which was really easy to use with very clear instructions. I had to create an online log in and activate it. I took a DNA sample which I found so exciting. I was keen to get it right but once again, the guidance was clear telling you what to do and not do. A quick mouth swab and off it went in a pre-paid envelope leaving me waiting enthusiastically for the results.
Who did I think I was?
I have held my Irish ancestry dear for many years. I was sure I would be mainly Irish and hoped for something interesting like French and Russian in the mix. France because I am a total Francophile and also because it does appear my birth family were in France many generations ago. Russia because I have always wanted to visit since I was a little girl.
Who do I think I am?
Well I was in for quite a surprise. It turns out I am only a quarter Irish so we will guess that my creativity and feisty spirit is located in that part of my make-up. It turns out that I have Scottish, Welsh and English in my mix too. Is that why I ended up with a Scottish bloke as my first boyfriend and why Wales is one of my favourite places to visit? Weirdly, a lot of the English places mentioned were places I had either studied, worked or volunteered in. As for the big surprise, it turns out I have a good degree of Scandinavian. Strangely, I remember trying to persuade a group of my friends to visit Denmark when we were 16 years of age. I am a Viking! Who knew?
I did not get the desired result or that is what I thought at first. Then I worked out that actually I did because I now have proof of where I come from after so many years struggling with identity issues.
As for Living DNA, it was a very efficient system with clear guidance. You get a really interesting report which really makes you think about how we are all connected and should live more peacefully together.
For £99, this would make a brilliant present for Christmas or birthdays.