Posted by on March 5, 2014 in AncestryDNA

Your DNA contains a record of your ancestors, but you aren’t a carbon copy of any one of them. The particular mix of DNA you inherit is unique to you. You receive 50% of your DNA from each of your parents, who received 50% of theirs from each of their parents, and so on. In the chart below you can see how the amount of DNA you receive from a particular ancestor decreases over generations. If you go back far enough, there is a chance that you inherited no DNA from a particular ancestor.

The chart below helps illustrate how different segments of DNA might have been passed down from your grandparents to make your unique DNA. Assume each letter represents a segment of DNA. Things to notice are:

  • Which letters get passed down to each generation is random (the fact that the letters spell names in this example is simply to help with the illustration).
  • Not all of the letters get passed down.
  • Just because a child doesn’t have a letter doesn’t mean that an earlier ancestor didn’t have that letter.
  • Siblings can have different combinations of letters

ethnicity blocks

In the example on the chart, your paternal grandfather has the unique DNA of ANDREW. He can pass down only 50% of his DNA to each child. In your father’s case, the “pieces of DNA” randomly selected to be passed on to him are represented by the letters DEW. At the same time, grandmother SANDRA provides the randomly selected segments ADR, which combine with her husband’s DEW to create your father’s unique genetic signature: EDWARD. Notice that not all of the letters from ANDREW and SANDRA get passed down to EDWARD.

Your father, EDWARD, has three children with your mother, whose genetic signature is ANGELA. EDWARD and ANGELA each pass 50% of their DNA, randomly selected, to each of their children, who end up with the genetic signatures GLENDA, GERALD, and REAGAN.

Again, the parents don’t get to choose which segments (letters) go to each child. And while having more children increases the chances of passing on more of your DNA, if you look closely, you’ll see that even with three children, not all of EDWARD and ANGELA’s DNA segments made it to the next generation.

This is a simplified example of how genetic inheritance works in all of us.  By understanding how DNA is inherited, you can see how and why you have some DNA segments that match your relatives, and others that do not, why you may or may not have inherited DNA segments associated with a certain ethnicity, and why getting multiple people in your family tested can help discover more of your family’s genetic tree.

I have had fun learning about my own DNA inheritance, especially after I had a few of my family members tested. Next week check back and see how Irish I am compared to my family. You might be surprised-I was.

To learn even more about DNA inheritance and how AncestryDNA determines genetic ethnicity click here.

 

About Anna Swayne

Anna Swayne has 8 years of experience in the DNA genealogy world. At Ancestry, she leads efforts in developing education to help our community maximize their experience with AncestryDNA. She believes there is real power behind DNA and the story it can unlock for each of us.When she is not talking DNA you can find her hiking or cycling in the mountains or cooking at home.

64 Comments

JudyShipherd 

I was always told that I was just French, German, and Scotch. Then, I discovered that my Paternal Great Grandmother (my Grandmother’s mother) was full Irish. Since then, through Genealogy, I have discovered that I have roots in Scandinavia, the Alsace, Switzerland, Holland, England, as well as, France, Germany, and Scotland. So where did 38% Irish come from??!! That is the result of my last DNA test. Further research has uncovered a surname that is found in both Ireland and Scotland, and that surname is the maiden name of my Paternal Grandfather’s mother. Could that be where the “extra” Irish came from? Interesting ……

March 5, 2014 at 3:03 pm
DNA Testing | Loftis Family Exchange 

[...] The DNA sample from Aunt Gayle is on the way to Ancestry.com. They have a post on their blog that might help you understand more about DNA testing. Check it out here. [...]

March 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm
Euclidpierce 

This is a great article. Something that would have made it easier to keep track of what letters each grandchild received from each grandparent would have been having each grandparents’ letters the same color … so Andrew could have had all green letters and Sandra all red letters … so at a glance you could tell where the letters ended up in generation two and three. Something to keep in mind for future illustrations?

March 5, 2014 at 6:49 pm
Ugo Perego 

Great article Anna! I love the example using names and letter. Very easy to understand. Keep up the good work!

March 6, 2014 at 2:04 pm
Kieran Morrissey 

I understood that Y-DNA gets handed down from father to son only with occasional mutations in markers, therefore this inherited DNA is not random.

How does the chart explain that?

March 7, 2014 at 4:51 am
Ann Turner 

Very clever, Anna!

@Euclidpierce — I believe the illustration is more about ethnicity than tracing a block back to a specific grandparent. The general ethnicity for the “A” block could have come from any grandparent, although the exact SNP results would be specific to one grandparent.

@Kieran — the chart is about autosomal DNA, not the Y.

March 7, 2014 at 8:37 am
Anna 

Kieran, you are correct-Y-DNA gets passed down from father to son. However, this chart explains the inheritance of autosomal DNA. Autosomal DNA has the power to trace any one of your lines depending on the DNA you inherited from your 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 gg-parents etc…

March 7, 2014 at 8:43 am
Christine 

I recently received my DNA results from Ancestry.com. What I am not clear on, (in seeing my results) — Am I only seeing my female ancestors or are my results also based on male ancestors? From the chart above, it would appear that females sending in their DNA tests would be seeing both sides of the family in their results (as far as ethnicity & countries of our ancestors). When reading the descriptions for the DNA results, it’s confusing that we “females” are not getting results from the “male” side of our family. At one point, I read that males getting their results ARE seeing both sides of their family, but that females are only receiving the female side in their results. — I guess my question, based on the chart above, is: Since I am female, my “Ancestry.com” DNA results are showing my entire ancestral family, both female and male?

March 7, 2014 at 9:25 am
Marci Bowman 

Very nice Anna, I like the block example. I think the percentages and why my sibling and I do or don’t match is one of the hardest concepts for folks to get their heads around.

Christine – autosomal DNA potentially shows DNA cousin matches to ALL ancestors for 6-8 generations, and sometimes further back. Both male and female. You are confusing the mtDNA test that ONLY shows your maternal line – your mother, her mother, her mother and so forth – with the autosomal DNA test that you most likely took.

Now if Ancestry would just let us see the actual chromosome matches….

March 7, 2014 at 10:54 am
Pamela Marie Galvan Tamez 

OK, so if I have 27% Native American of which I know is from my father’s side. How much percent would my father be and then his parents?

Thank you
Pamela

March 10, 2014 at 8:42 pm
Luck of The Irish: How Irish Are You? 

[...] Now that AncestryDNA can give you an estimate of how much of your DNA is Irish, and with St. Patrick’s Day happening next week, I decided to see who is more Irish in my family: my mom, my dad, or my sister. This could vary depending on which part of your DNA you inherited from which parent. [...]

March 12, 2014 at 4:43 pm
Dawn 

I understand how autosomal dna gives information on grandparents, great grandparents etc. but my question is about mt-Dna. I know that when I do this mt-DNA test it will show my maternal lineage but does this include the women in my paternal line as well? If not, is there a DNA test that does?

March 14, 2014 at 7:15 am
April 1, 2014 at 2:47 pm
Ask Ancestry Anne: Who Are James Myers Parents? Does AncestryDNA Help? 

[...] DNA and might make more matches as new cousins get tested.  Anna Swayne’s article Understanding Patterns of Inheritance: Where Did My DNA Come From? (And Why It Matters) will give you more [...]

April 1, 2014 at 5:50 pm
Rita Allen 

If your grandmother was an only child and your father also how does that work. My siblings have passed away. My grandmothers father was married again after her mother passed away but that would not help me in finding my great grandmothers info.

April 5, 2014 at 6:24 am
Leila Young 

I hope this situation is unique… I found a half sister and we tested (Autosomal) here and discovered that we are each other’s closest relative. EUREKA! Then our siblings got tested (Autosomal)…

The unique problem is finding our siblings’ paternal line. (Our maternal line is different. We match our own siblings in that way.) We can find no (or minimal) matches with our siblings — She matches her sib’s but I do not. I match my sib’s but she does not. That probably just means that we are not related to the others brothers and sisters.

Now the really hard part — By looking at closest matches for each sib., and determining they are not maternal matches, we believe to have hit upon paternal matches (maybe). Where do we go from here?

April 5, 2014 at 7:29 am
Dirk 

Hello,

Some recent articles have discussed female infidelity in the context of evolutionary psychology. Many species, including birds pair bond, but the female will mate with other males while her pair-bonded male is away from the nest. In humans reportedly a surprising percentage of offspring the husband believes are his genetic children are not. Isn’t Ancestry.com opening a Pandora’s box by marketing DNA testing? Do you have a policy of informing customers that your form of paternity testing may yield distressing, if not destructive results? There is no stopping technology, but you should be responsible in the extreme in how you handle this amazing capability.

April 5, 2014 at 7:32 am
Cheryl 

I got my DNA results and was really disappointed.
all my life I believe my family was Irish.
all of their surnames were Irish and we trace the families back to Ireland.
my maternal great great grandmother was full blooded Cherokee Indian.
my results showed 61 percent English when only 60% of natives of England are English, I am
only 10 percent Irish and no Native American DNA at all! I’m not going to tell anybody in my family about this because they are all proud to be Irish. please respond to me by email.
Thanks.

April 5, 2014 at 8:14 am
Spencer 

@Pamela Marie Galvan Tamez:
Your father would be at least 27% but no more than 77% One of your grandparents would also be at least 27% but could be up to 100%. There is no way to know exact percentages without getting them tested.

April 5, 2014 at 9:21 am
Miles 

Very well done clever illustration! Many of my relatives and friends tend to glaze over when I try explain this. It really is not a 50-50 split from both parents is it? Though that would be the simple explanation, isn’t is possible if not probable that the randomness of recombination yields percents that are not exactly 50%….or does recombination occur as does a zipper, one random piece at a time, so that the outcome is indistinguishable from 50-50. This question has bothered me for a while, but this is the first time I have asked an expert. Surely someone has studied the statistics of this random recombination and I would be grateful for a link or two.

April 5, 2014 at 9:32 am
Spencer 

@Cheryl:
Lets say your father is ½ Native American and ½ Irish. Let’s say your mother is ½ British and ½ African. Extreme example, but you may be 100% white and your sibling may be ½ Native American and 1/2 African depending on what 50% you inherit from each parent. If you read Pamela Marie Galvan Tamez question above she states she is 27% Native American. She could have a grandparent thats 100% Native and a child that is 0%. since she is 73% non-native American there’s a reasonable chance that the 50% of her DNA she passes on will come from the 73% non-native American that makes her who she is.

April 5, 2014 at 9:35 am
David Pierce 

I did some online research and found an article that explains more about how much DNA is shared with siblings. According to the article, shared sibling DNA will range from 46 to 54 percent. It’s VERY unlikely that you’ll inherit completely (100%) different DNA from the DNA your siblings inherit. (http://genetics.thetech.org/ask-a-geneticist/siblings-are-around-fifty-percent-related). So if the test results indicate a vast difference in DNA inheritance, I would question the validity of the test results.

April 5, 2014 at 9:54 am
Spencer 

You have two copies of each gene — one copy from your mom and one copy from your dad. Because each parent also has 2 copies, the copy that you get from your mom may or may not be the same copy that your sibling gets from your mom. That probability doesn’t seem impressive until you consider that you have around 25,000 genes. http://genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask166

April 5, 2014 at 9:55 am
Linda Thomason 

The whole DNA thing is fascinating. I took the test because I wanted to know if family oral history and where I was going with my tree was correct. I got a few surprises, but now I have learned enough to understand it better. My tree was very consistent with my ethnicity. I just did not know that I was going to test 98% European and 2% South Asia (???). Once I found all the marriages of cousins and repeated intermarriages between neighboring families, it made more sense that I don’t have a lot of diversity in my DNA. My mother’s family came from Germany on both sides (we think), but no Germany DNA showed up. This article helps to explain that. Germany was probably not their place of origin anyway. Isn’t 82% Great Britain somewhat high? I also tested 5% Irish, and the rest was trace regions all over Europe. The 2% South Asia was explained to me by other members as being Viking or Carolingian, and I have both in my tree.

April 5, 2014 at 9:59 am
Mary Shepherd 

I have a friend who was born in South Korea in 1952. She was left at an orphanage as a newborn with no information. She looks like she is likely of mixed Asian heritage. We sent for her DNA profile via Ancestry.com. We were quite disappointed to discover the result was “Asian” with no ethnic or geographic detail offered. Really? What a disappointment for her. There should be a disclaimer about the likelihood that Ancestry’s DNA testing kit is useless for those of Asian heritage.

April 5, 2014 at 10:36 am
Marian Thompson 

Hi Anna,

My father is Jewish; my mother is Dutch; my fathers grandparents came to the USA in 1905 from Lithuania. My brother’s DNA through Ancestry does not show our Jewish heritage?? Instead it shows Eastern European, Caucasus, and Iran. Please explain.

April 5, 2014 at 11:41 am
Ray Schultz 

With all due respect, this is scientifically inaccurate. Sibling DNA should be VERY close to identical when it comes to heritage and, if it is not, I would question the authenticity of a company promising to give you your genetic ethnicity. We live in a world of earning a profit and, sometimes, by less than reputable means.

I do not expect to see this comment on this blog, I am sure it will be “moderated” since I don’t whole heartedly agree with the opinion of the author and am pointing out a possible fatal flaw of the “testing”

April 5, 2014 at 12:14 pm
Thomas Simmons 

Ray,
Genetics is a very interesting thing. My brother and I don’t really look that much alike, although we share the same parents. My oldest son doesn’t look like me at all, but my youngest does. Just because you (apparently) didn’t get the results you wanted, doesn’t mean Ancestry made an error, or “cooked the books.” I have had DNA testing completed by Ancestry and National Geographic (The Genographic Project). The results are the same, although they were NOT what I expected.

April 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm
Merry Barley 

I was adopted and met my biological mother and four more siblings and a couple 2nd cousins. All say my grandmother was 100% Cherokee, mother 50%
Father, possibly from another tribe, Choctaw and white.
If I took a DNA test could it show for sure what if any percentage I am?
No one has been able to prove Cherokee blood because no one in previous years ever signed up on Daws Roll.
Can DNA prove Cherokee linage?

April 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm
Rick.mcnelly 

I have a kit from 23 and me have not sent yet. How do you get a kit on DNA ? Thanks

April 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm
Douglas Wayne White 

After reading this article and the many responses and answers I would ask this. Like most of us, we have done some research prior to the AncestryDNA Autosomal test. Some of us have cousins that we have been communicating with and we have quite a bit of information. This is not to be confused with ‘family lore’. We actually have documentation that we are related,,,but,,,the DNA autosomal test did not find us related. So now I am learning from this article and responses that I can be DNA ‘positive’ to a brother and not the sister of the family I know are relatives. Interesting though that I, as a male, have a male DNA cousin but his sister does not show as a DNA cousin. I now have a problem in that a female cousin has done the DNA test and does not show as my DNA cousin, do I have to get her brother to do the test also in that rare hope that he would show as a cousin? And at this time he refuses to do the test because he does not want to know his ancestors. Doesn’t care about them.
I must admit though that the DNA test has revealed cousins that I never knew I had and I have been able to communicate with them. There is a drawback to the DNA test though. Many people have paid for the test and somehow they are thinking that Ancestry is going to tell them who their ‘cousins’ are. So many of my possible cousins have “no tree” or they have their tree “locked” that I am sure I am missing some interesting information. Yes I have tried to contact many of these folks but some will not return an answer to my questions. I cannot spend 12 hours each day trying to sort all of this information that is presented by the DNA test.

April 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm
Eva Lou Cox 

If you can go back far enough, you find we are all related! :-)

April 5, 2014 at 4:27 pm
Miles Drake 

@David ( response #22 to my question #20 ). Excellent explanation!
@all… Humanity has been on the move for a very long time. Only within the last say 2000 yrs has technology allowed a huge increase in mobility, where one generation can move from say the Middle East to Rome via the Crusades and trading, then perhaps back or on to France, Spain or England, then or within a generation. This surpasses much of our previous ability to keep and preserve records. If I can trace my roots *only* back to Biron in the south of France, but my Y-DNA is J1c3 a haplotype ‘born’ in the Middle East , does that make me less French? Well, yes and it does not really matter. Good news for the British Isles though. There is a concerted effort to discover the more modern SNP mutations and we are on the verge of reducing the mystery to surname level amongst the R-L21 haplotypes. For the record, I didn’t find my Ancestry.com autosomal test a great match to my FTDNA autosomal test….nor my GEN 2.0 from National Geographic. I would suggest that this is very much a work in progress, and not be too overly upset with any results. The test tubes could have been switched in the lab. It happens.

April 5, 2014 at 6:36 pm
Laren Tolbert 

The thing to remember about mtDNA is that it is not passed on in the nucleus but in the cytoplasm (non-nuclear) of the egg. Since only females produce eggs, there is no way to get mtDNA from your father. That’s why mtDNA traces your matrilineal line. And since no females carry Y-DNA, you can only get that from your father, and Y-DNA doesn’t get scrambled. It’s the litmus test for paternity. And yes, there is the danger that you’ll find some hanky-panky. I have some autosomal matches with common small towns but not matching genealogy. So who was playing the field?

April 5, 2014 at 6:50 pm
Chuck 

My advice is do not participate in the DNA programs unless you are ready and willing to be surprised,disappointed or otherwise have your world turned upside down!

I swear, if I run into many more people who’s grandparent was supposed to be 100% Cherokee-I’m gonna scream!

April 5, 2014 at 8:03 pm
Melinda Bedrossian 

Very interesting. How does one do the testing?

April 6, 2014 at 5:07 am
Steve 

I participated in the DNA program hoping to find some clues to a couple of “dead ends” in my family history research. I was not prepared for the results I received! Having researched my family for over 30 years, there was simply NO WAY that I was 37% Italian and 12% Native American. I even contacted customer service and told them that they had switched my sample with someone else’s. A year later, my 86 year old mother decided to reveal the nearly 60 year family secret that two of my brothers and I were the biological offspring of a long time ITALIAN family friend. I’ve since had the DNA test done on my sister and a newly revealed half-sister. Sure enough, I am a close relative match to both of them, but they are unrelated. This proves that my sister is really a half-sister and my half-sister and I share the same father. The DNA doesn’t lie.

April 6, 2014 at 8:41 am
Ray Schultz 

Thomas:

Actually, I sent 2 samples at separate times to Ancestory. One using my first name and one using my middle name, but both undoubtedly MY DNA. I got 2 completely different results. There was no “want” invloved other than not wanting to get ripped off. I understand church members sticking together and supporting each other, but when people are being deceived, the line has to be drawn

April 6, 2014 at 10:53 am
Ray Schultz 

I guess Ancestry got caught by siblings sending in samples and getting totally different results, so they used pseudo-science and graphics to ‘explain” the differences. Someone need to come up with a blog, cool graphics and pseudo-science to explain how a person’s DNA can be totally different on two different days. You should be ashamed of yourselves for ripping people off. I am not sure it is illegal, but it is definitely immoral

April 6, 2014 at 10:58 am
Jim 

“you can see how and why you have some DNA segments that match your relatives, and others that do not”

No I cant see that in this example!! There is not one segment in the children that was not also in one of the ancestors. What are you talking about?

The lead up to this was that you could have segments that WERE NOT IN YOUR ANCESTORS. This is NOT shown in this example.

April 6, 2014 at 11:00 am
Kathy 

Not sure I understand all of this however, I will say that knowing so much about my family, I found the DNA test to be very accurate. I had my oldest brother’s son tested, my younger brother and myself. My younger brother had a different father. This proved that very definitely. Now he wants to find his father? We only have a photo and a first name. What next??

April 6, 2014 at 4:04 pm
M Josie Bellamy 

It should be stated that the above article ia about AUTOSOMAL DNA, not to YDNA or MtDNA, Remember that there a great difference in the the type of information given by each test. The latter (YDNA is passed down basically without change from the male line, Grandfather to father to son or MtDNA which is passed down the female line from Grandmother to Mother to daughter, etc.)

It is my understanding that YDNA will NOT be found in ANY female relatives & MtDNA while can be found in a son for one generation only, not the following generation, and will NOT be found in ANY other Male relative.

April 6, 2014 at 4:29 pm
M Josie Bellamy 

They need to better explain the difference between Autosomal DNA , and
YDNA & MtDNA testing and results.

April 6, 2014 at 4:51 pm
Amy Rodriguez 

I am waiting for my results, however I’m not looking for the results to be the definitive answer to all questions. Will “skeletons” come out the closet as some people have mentioned? It’s quite possible, I know for a fact 2 of my great-grandfathers abandoned their families and started others, but next to nothing is known about their ancestry. I doubt this only happened in my family and sometimes “lore” was told to cover up things like that and for things like out-of-wedlock children or for being mixed race, things that could “embarrassing” to the families. Some people that came here, reinvented themselves and their heritage, for whatever their reasoning, so of course, family lore will not always tell the true tale. This test is just another piece of my family puzzle and will be used as such. My known lineage is Scots-Irish, English and Cherokee but also a possible and hotly disputed portion of German. During certain periods of time in our history, it wasn’t always “cool” to be from certain countries or to be part “Indian” so these things were also fibbed about.

April 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm
robert 

I would like to know more about the last name marchese as it is my grandfathers last name

April 6, 2014 at 8:06 pm
David Martinson 

Thanks for explaining this is simple terms. It helped me understand why there are differences.

Swayne is unusual spelling. My middle name.

April 6, 2014 at 8:08 pm
Suzanne Porter O'Sullivan 

The ancestor links I received from the 123 organization were only from the Webb family. My mother was a Webb on her father’s side. My father was a Porter on his father’s side. All of my families are direct on father’s sides, except a Williams grandmother and 2 1st cousins on the Porter side from 1800′s.
How can I get the Porter links?

April 6, 2014 at 8:25 pm
darlene hatmaker 

I had my DNA done, but my sister has not. My blood type is different from hers. Can you explain this. Thanks

April 6, 2014 at 8:56 pm
Thomas Brown 

Very timely article because I have a mystery that requires a solution. I know that I know that Mydaddy is my father; and I know that Mydaddy and MyUncle are blood brothers. In other words I’m 100% certain that Mydaddy, MyUncle and I are blood relatives. However I don’t dna match with MyUncle. How can this be. There must be an error in MyUncle’s dna file. Can Ancestry.com rebuild the file?

April 6, 2014 at 11:33 pm
Tom 

I’m contemplating having MyDaddy’s sister tested. Is it possible that MyUncle and MyAunt will match and that me and MyAunt will match, even though MyUncle and I don’t match?

April 6, 2014 at 11:48 pm
Tim Duvick 

My father’s ancestors are almost exclusively German and Norwegian, yet the second and third highest DNA results he got were Great Britain and Ireland. How does that happen?

April 7, 2014 at 9:16 am
Brandi Shefferd 

I just recently got my DNA results done. There were a couple of surprises, but for the most part, it was consistent with my tree. I even found a second cousin, which is rare with this test, who knew my dead grandmother. I found a majority of French, German, and Scandinavian. I didn’t have any Scandinavian in my tree, but if you read trace regions history, the Vikings invaded France and Germany hundreds if years ago and many western Europeans are actually of Scandinavian descent, so because of migration, etc. scandinavian lineage could be consistent with France and Germany. My great grandmother was 100 percent Indian but I show none. My grandmother was very dark as well. However, my mother is very fair skinned like her father and my aunt and uncle had darker skin, so because its likely she didn’t pick up much Indian DNA from her mother, I’m not surprised I’m not showing any. Plus, I just believe my grandfathers genes are more prominent, since most of us look like him(my Dna showed this as well). I’m fair skinned with red hair… My cousins are all my blood relation and half of them are dark, half are not. The whole dna thing doesn’t work and you wont understand it unless you read and study your genetic profile and learn all about the different trace regions and migration patterns, which ancestry provides you with. I was both pleased and disappointed. Disappointed only because I didn’t get a ton of close dna matches, but my father was adopted

April 7, 2014 at 1:02 pm
Jim Adcock 

When I got my original DNA results it included 20% Scandinavian, and trace Central European. I was surprised by the Scandinavian but could see the traits in my family. Later I logged on to show a family member the DNA page and it had changed and no longer reflected either of these backgrounds. I was very puzzled by this.

April 7, 2014 at 2:03 pm
J_C_McCormick 

Can I be *more* than my Mother’s percentage of Danish if I know (with absolute certainty) that my father has zero of that group?

April 7, 2014 at 4:52 pm
Frances Tornese 

That was very informative, but a grave of a blond woman warrior who lived 1000 ago was found. Her DNA was obtained and her direct living relative today was found, a little BLOND Mongolian girl.
I have a condition that doctors have told me I might have inherited from an ancestor who lived a 1,000 years ago. How does that happen? If I inherited half of my dad’s DNA and half of my mom’s DNA and we inherit less and less each generation, how can I have inherited a trait or condition from an ancestor who lived a thousand years ago? Neither my Mom or Dad, nor any of my Grandparents have this trait. It exists ONLY in SOME Native American families. I started my tree to try to find the names of those ancestors and where they may have lived. I know now that it’s impossible to do, but My DNA test failed to find ANY DNA common with Native Americans. That’s IMOSSIBLE, too! It’s very confusing.

April 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm
Nancy McIntosh 

I had the DNA test several years ago and the result was 96% UK, 4% unknown. Recently I checked my result on Ancestry and the analysis had changed, or rather enhanced. Now I have 1% west Asian, some Scandinavian, and the rest western European. Same sample. Do they retest or reevaluate samples periodically?

April 8, 2014 at 9:46 am
michael carota 

I sent in a dna sample and can hardly wait on the results . I want to know who my biological family is and get to know my brothers and sisters and a also about my biological parents . it has been 68 yrs .

April 9, 2014 at 7:03 am
Mia 

I was excited when I received my DNA ethnicity test back! It confirmed most of my ethnic background. It confirmed that from my Italian side there was substantial Spanish blood, something my mother’s father’s family had always assumed; especially with the last name of Castellana from Sicily. And then the fun surprise was the 7%, though only considered a trace, was Middle Eastern! It was also surprising that there was no Scot blood; although my father had always stated he was Scottish and English. But since my DNA showed 13% Irish, I am wondering if this is a combination of Scot, Welsh and Irish? I also came in with 5% Britain.

April 9, 2014 at 10:41 am
John 

I think the most important point from this is that DNA testing in the current state is not very useful for geneology. My testing showed the bulk of my genes similar to the British, but with high uncertainty. My familiy tree is dominated by Germans. As I also have Welsh, Irish, and English ancestors. this is entirely possible in my personal genome, but if I didn’t already have a pretty good family tree developed through many branches from both parents, this info might have sent me in the wrong direction. I found the test results interesting, but not very useful.

April 9, 2014 at 6:34 pm
Anna Meadows 

This is awesome is the DNA actually true

April 14, 2014 at 9:45 am
Bob 

Comment 43 above was a question on the difference between Autosomal DNA , YDNA and MtDNA testing and results. From a layman’s point of view here is a brief answer.

The cell consists of many parts. Among these the nucleus, and the mitochondria each have their own DNA. MtDNA tests the mitochondrial DNA that is inherited from the mother, copied and passed in the mother’s egg. It is used to trace maternal lines. A mother’s sons and daughters have the mothers MtDNA. The son’s children all have the son’s wife’s MtDNA, not the grandmothers MtDNA. Granddaughters have their maternal grandmother’s MtDNA.

Autosomal and YDNA test the DNA in the nucleus. YDNA is a test of the DNA on the Y chromosome. It is used to trace paternal lines. Sons inherit a Y chromosome from their father and an X chromosome from their mother. Daughters get 2 X chromosomes one from their mother, one from their father.

Autosomal DNA testing tests the DNA in the other chromosomes in the nucleus. Autosomal DNA are inherited from both parents and change between generations, as a result of transcription errors (mutations). Autosomal DNA can be used to trace the movements of populations over time, among other things.

April 14, 2014 at 3:51 pm
Wanda Lou Wesley-Gaines 

I am A Mother of 8 children with my adopted son Jesse. I love all my Children and I pray that each of them will have live long and all be very HAPPY. They are Willie R Beechun, Yolanda D Gaines-Clark, Dorshall D Gaines-King, Tyrone Gaines, Victor S Gaines, Herbert Darren Gaines, Jamal L Gaines & Jesse A M Gaines.

April 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm
Marilyn Hook 

I had the DNA testing done and the only matches that showed up for me were on my dad’s side. I had DNA done for my grandson and matches for my mother’s side showed up for him. I found this really odd as it would seem that her DNA would be more likely in my matches.

April 23, 2014 at 5:19 pm
leslie o. lugo-coll 

I was satisfied with my DNA.BUT, my grandmother on my mothers side always thought she was French,corsican,her mothers maiden name was Aurelia feliu.in my DNA. NO FRENCH,all Italian,can this be???? leslie

April 24, 2014 at 4:51 pm