Korean Cousins: Part 2

I am not Korean. Even when considering the greatest margins of error, there is no chance that anything remotely Asian contributed to my genetic make-up. A slither of North African? Perhaps. Italian and Greece? I’ve got 1% of proof to my claim. Korean? No. I have no Korean cousins.  My ethnically estranged cousins come from places I’d never thought, and the results of my Ancestry DNA test were far more complex and diverse than I’d predicted.

Here is who I thought i’d be.

    75% African

    15% French (European)

    9% Native American, Spanish, Caucasian,

    1% Brazilian

This is who they think I am:

                                                                                              Time for Tea

                                                                                              Time for Tea

Let me remind you again what exactly these results mean. The DNA test matches my sample with 700,000 others taken from across the world. These persons were those whose families have lived in a particular region for several generations. Ancestry.com did this so that when comparing DNA samples they would be able to provide “high confidence” ethnicity matches. Basically, when it shows 25% for Nigeria it means that a quarter of my DNA matches the samples from that region.

Nigerian isn't so shocking. Interesting, but not shocking. Neither are any of the results totaling in my 61% from Africa, because it’s pretty obvious that I have African origins. The fact that I have 9 different types of African DNA is completely intriguing, and a testament to the diversity of the ‘Motherland’. Admittedly, I've never even considered the concept of having diverse African DNA. Until now it was completely obscure to me, because nothing, genealogy searches and family information, had ever shown such ethnic precision. The other night I stood in front a food truck and overheard two guys saying they were from Nigeria. Before I knew it, I had blurted out, “Hey! I’m 25% Nigerian! I took a DNA test!” That’s never happened before.

I've always claimed a bit of French, because it’s what I've known most distinctly. Even Spanish blood (Iberian Peninsula) was something I expected. However, Great Britain, Scandinavian, Irish are a bit far gone for even me, someone who takes pride in how far he can go. The test shows 36% percent European, with Great Britain as 11% and a 3 way 7% tie of Scandinavian, Irish, and Iberian. By the time I made it down to 1% Italy/Greece and 1% East Europe, I was ready to close the computer. That’s a lot of DNA.My sister asked me if I thought my DNA diversity explains my passion for culture and adventure. I don't think it does. Culture is lived, and is inherited through experience. A quarter Nigerian DNA doesn't equal a quarter of Nigerian Culture. Even with these results I’m still just a Cajun-Texan. After living in France I became more French than I’ll ever admit, but if you talk wrong of the Alamo I’ll drop my cheese and baguette instantly. I may even cry.

The website matches me with others who've done the test. I've inherited a slew of 2nd and 4th-6th cousins with whom I can share and explore for further ethnic inquiries. The website also offers a lot of historical and scientific data on each region, to learn more about how the DNA became the way it is. Even with all of this I don’t feel like a different person. Perhaps, just one who is a bit more informed and curious for adventure. For sure, I am prone to bring up 7% Scandinavian DNA the next time I’m in Stockholm. I’ll wear my 7% Irish as proud as I do my red chin hair.

Finally,I didn't find anything saying Brazilian, so that 22 year old kiss remains a mystery. Even with these result I’m still holding out for  <1% of samba DNA. After all, these are just estimates.