Taking the AncestryDNA test to learn more about my ethnicity was important to me because it establishes a connection. It’s made me feel closer to my ancestors, as I continue my search to learn more than just their names and dates.
Feeling close to my ancestors is important to me because it gives me a better understanding of who I am and how I can choose to deal with situations in my life. Knowing what my ancestors sacrificed and the trials they endured gives me hope and peace of mind for the future. I especially take inspiration from the strong women in my past.
For example, Hannah Ward was born in Belgrave, Leicestershire to Thomas and Truelove Ward in 1825. She was raised by laborers and by the time she was married, she was working as a servant. Servants in 19th century England “had to rise early to do their tasks, stopping when the family arose and restarting late in the evening. Tasks were repetitive and laborious, such as filling a tub with water, which meant heating pails and pails of water and trudging up and down the stairs, or bringing coal to fireplaces and stoves and removing ashes. Much time was spent removing coal ash from fireplaces, and then dusting rooms and sweeping floors clear of the substance.” (The Victorian Domestic Servant, by Trevor May, March 2008)
I can identify with her, as I usually spend a lot of my day as a mother to two young children doing a lot of repetitive and laborious jobs! There are a lot of days where I feel like all I’ve done is walk around cleaning up after everyone.
She was married at age 22, just as I was. She immigrated in 1864 on the ship General McClellan and made her way to Utah, when she was 59 with her 13-year-old daughter, having already lost her husband. She was frugal and never spent money unnecessarily.
That trait of being frugal has been passed down to each of her descendants and I believe that the industrious nature of our family comes from her hard work. My parents are some of the most frugal people I know and they were born more than 130 years later.
On my Instagram, I took a poll to see what others thought my DNA results would be.
I was surprised that so many people guessed Great Britain! Most people even accurately guessed that I was Scandinavian and Great Britain, with Ireland and Scotland and Wales.
From the DNA test I learned that I have 22% Great Britain, which includes England, Scotland, and Wales. I also have 27% Ireland, which also includes Scotland and Wales. I had no idea that I would have 49% DNA from that region. We’ve located many of our English ancestors but I have yet to find an Irish group!
The Irish are known for holding strong to their culture throughout the centuries, and I’m excited to learn more about my Irish heritage. I would encourage anyone interested in learning more about their family to take the AncestryDNA test. Even though I’ve researched my family lines, there were still surprises in my DNA. It’s gratifying to feel a deeper connection with my past, and I know there are amazing accounts of others finding lost siblings, parents, and children.
Learn more about the modern tools I use to search out my family history on my Instagram page, Family History Modernized.