Several years ago I joined Ancestry.com, and for months clicked on leaves like they were going out of style. My mistake was accepting as gospel every tidbit of information I found. The resulting family tree dates back a thousand years, but is too riddled with errors, duplicates, and other problems to be believed.
I learned a lot about my family, but my research raised more questions than it answered. Two branches came to an abrupt end — I never found my mother’s maternal grandfather or my father’s paternal grandfather. Missing two of eight great-grandparents leaves huge bare spots in the tree.
In January I sent some spit to Ancestry DNA for analysis. Found out weeks later the sample didn’t work and had to send another. The results finally came in last month.
The ethnicity estimates were frankly disappointing. You can’t get much whiter than me. I’m 57% British, 31% Scottish or Irish, 6% Western European (most likely German), 2% Spanish or Portuguese, 1% European Jew, and less than 1 percent (each) Finnish, Scandinavian, and South Asian.
The migration patterns were more interesting. By 1700, about 100 of my ancestors had settled in the United States. Most lived in Virginia, including 7 who apparently made it through the Cumberland Gap before Daniel Boone’s 1775 trip. Must have been trappers or missionaries.
Last week, I finally got around to linking my DNA results with my old family tree. Whether due to linking or site improvements I can’t say, but anyone not actually related to me has been removed. The mystery of the missing great-grandfathers has been solved as well.
Discovering two new lines has renewed my interest in genealogy. Gotta run. I’ve got leaves to click. Thanks for stopping by!