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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

DNA...

Last December, I decided to order a DNA test through Ancestry.com.au. So when the kit arrived I read all the instructions and duly filled the vial with saliva up to the mark. Then the top was screwed on to the vial thus releasing a reagent. 

Then the sample was packaged up and posted. The wait for results is about 6 weeks...
so why was I bothering to do this test? Well probably just because I could! Lol. Maybe just a bit of curiosity of where my 'roots' are?? I'd been brought up to believe that my mother's side through my grandmother, 'were Irish to their bootstraps!' So I expected to see that in my Ethnicity. 
Now my dad was from Sicily, which has a long history of being influenced by those who invaded the island...from Carthage and also the Etruscans played a large role in the history. And then there were the Arab traders...so I was interested to see if what I'd learned in history at school would be reflected in my DNA...and it was; that tiny bit of North African! 

I was surprised to find that I have a relatively small percentage of Irish...much more Great Britain than I expected. 
As well as giving me details of my Ethnicity, Ancestry also gave me a list of those who shared my DNA...( the list is now up to 28)


I'd already traced back a number of generations on my mother's side but had a pitiful amount of detail about my father, so I looked through the list of DNA matches and checked out names that looked Italian. I sent a few messages via Ancestry...and amazingly I found some cousins in Sydney, whom I'd had no knowledge of...the family ( 7 cousins plus their late mother) in the main photo of this collage. 
They are the family of my late cousin, my dad's nephew; he and his wife are in the small photo on the top right. My new found cousins and I started sharing old family photos which has been absolutely wonderful. Ann, the wife of my cousin Frank ( both pictured in the small photo, lower right), is absolutely brilliant at trawling though the Trove resources ( old newspapers) and has found articles about my dad. 
So all this sharing of information, spurred me then to reconnect with other branches of my father's family...cousins I 'd had little contact with for many, many years. One cousin from North Queensland, was going to Sydney and organised to meet one of our 'new' cousins and his wife while she was there...small photo at top left. This cousin has given us a lot of help translating what is written ( in Italian) on the back of old photos.
The other cousin I contacted is in the small photo on the lower left hand side of the collage. She has given us lots of details about our family...and photos too. Carmela was able to tell me about 2 brothers of my father's whom I didn't know even existed! So 4 branches of my dad's family are back in contact again...all hoping to fill in as many gaps in our Family Trees as we can. 
And today DH and I flew to Sydney...
We will be doing lots of 'touristy stuff' but the main reason for the trip is to meet up with some of my cousins. And next Saturday we are meeting up and I'm really looking forward to it.
( I took advantage of a 'special' offered by Ancestry and paid $120 plus $29 P&H. Specials are offered on a regular basis. If you check out DNA testing articles etc online, you would find a number of articles saying that the tests available to the general public are meaningless and useless, but in my case, the results have been wonderful. 
Of course the effectiveness of the results depends on how many people have done the test. I was lucky that a fairly close relative ( 2nd cousin) had taken the test. My other matches are nowhere near that close; those being suggested are 4-8th cousins, so our common ancestors are a fair way back) 

9 comments:

Nanna Chel said...

Maria, how amazing is that! I am glad you said how much it cost as I was interested to know. How great it will be to meet up with your rellies. Do have a wonderful time getting to know each other.

Vireya said...

Fascinating! Have a great time in Sydney, meeting the rellies.

Dorothy said...

I found this post very interesting Maria. I see you have the family history 'bug' too. How wonderful that you've been able to locate more family members via the DNA testing. Have a great time in Sydney. Madam Tussaud's at Darling Harbour is fun. xox

Cynthia said...

That's so exciting, Maria! I think family history is so interesting. I have a few mysteries in my family I'd like to fill in but I don't think it's going to happen. I hope your have a wonderful the in Sydney with your newfound family members.

Lin said...

Brilliant Maria - lovely to find all those long lost relatives and I hope you have a wonderful time when you all meet up. xx

allotmentadventureswithjean said...

Maria this is amazing. And quite wonderful.
What an interesting read, and I hope you have a great time catching up with your relatives.

Cath said...

that is really interesting Maria. My dad, although born and bred in Yorkshire, from English Parentage, was like my grandmother, very continental looking....I would love to see if there was something else lurking in our genes!

Susan said...

Isn't it amazing what you can do these days...very intersting results for you.

margaret said...

how fascinating and now you are going to meet the relations have a lovely time