Friday, 7 September 2018

Finding out who I am thanks to Living DNA

I recently sent off a swab of my DNA to LivingDNA for them to analyse it and tell me about my ancestry. Having a DNA test is something I've wanted to do for a long time, so I'm really excited to share the results! 

LivingDNA is so easy to use. The kit is very user friendly, you're given a unique kit number which is attached to your sample, so that when you send it off (in the prepaid envelope they provide), they can keep track of you. 

First of all, this only traces my maternal side, because the male line can only be traced with Y-DNA, which women don't have.  My global and regional results were pretty unsurprising, I am 100% European; 94.7% of which is from Great Britain and Ireland, and 5.3% Southern Europe. The subregions were where it got interesting.  
The biggest chunk (19.7%) was Southern Central England. I am from Kent, so that makes sense. Surprisingly though, the second biggest chunk - 18.8% - was from Lincolnshire. As far as I'm aware, I have no relatives there and I didn't know I had any links there at all. I knew my great uncle Dennis has traced our family tree, so I got in touch with him to find out more. He told me that my great great Grandmother, Elizabeth Musson, was from Lincolnshire. Her and her husband (named Stephen Finch) didn't have any children according to the 1911 census. However they had an adopted daughter, Florence Finch, who is my biological Great grandmother. It is possible that Florence's birth parents were from Lincolnshire, which is obviously supported by such a big chunk of my DNA apparently being from Lincolnshire. However there is a 'family legend', as Uncle Den put it, that when Stephen was serving overseas in the Royal Horse Artillery in 1875, he met a young orphan (Florence) and adopted her, and brought her home to England.  

Which brings me onto the overseas elements of my DNA. 5.3% Southern Europe breaks down to 3.7% Tuscany and 1.6% Iberian Peninsula. I didn't know I had any Italian ancestry - so possibly something to do with Florence? - but I know I have some relations from Malta, so perhaps that ties into the Iberian Peninsula part, although that doesn't really include Malta it is in that general region. There's still a little question mark there!

LivingDNA also tells you about your genes. Their research identified my haplogroup (which is a group that shares a common ancestor) as T2b, and my subgroup of that (known as a subclade) is T2b5. T2b is over 10,000 years old - that's mental! This gene is estimated to have reached Europe via Anatolia (modern Turkey). 

It's so interesting to find out this kind of information about 'my' past. It's so weirdly exciting to find this stuff out, when I got the email from LivingDNA that my results were in (about 4 weeks after I sent off my sample) my heart was pounding so hard! It was a really fun experience, I'd recommend having a DNA test to anybody! 

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Disclaimer: I was able to use LivingDNA's service for free in exchange for this review, but all thoughts are my own 



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3 comments

  1. Oh this is so interesting! I always find DNA tests to be quite expensive but I plan on saving up and doing one one day! <3

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  2. This is such a fascinating idea to me, and I keep wanting to do it so I can see where all my DNA has come from! :) Tania Michele xx

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  3. I'am from the U.S. I did this test back a few months ago and wasn't surprised. I have had my dna sent to most all companies, 23andMe, Family Tree Dna, AncestryDna as well as My Heritage Dna and Living Dna. Most all have my ancestors originating from the UK with Ancestry dna showing only >0.1? the rest show at least 50%. Living Dna shows 95.4% UK, England being 78.8%, Scotland, Ireland and Wales combined, 16.6%. My ancestors have been in the States since at least the 1700's!! I have to go with LivingDna and 23andMe for the best ethnicity due to my findings. Also both show Italian, 23andMe shows 0.3 and LivingDna shows 3.1%, they ring closest to what I found out about where my ancestors came from.

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