I received a free 23andMe DNA kit in exchange for this review. Opinions are my own.
Knowing your family history is an important part of understanding who you are, why you are the way that you are, and gain some perspective.
Understanding your own personal family history, and personal narrative is said to be a deciding factor in what helps make a person happy in life.
But, some of us don’t really know who we are, where we came from, or our ancestry, for various reasons. I am blessed to know much of mine thanks to my family keeping good records over the years. But, still, there is much to be uncovered.
While knowing your grandparents and great-grandparents stories can help you develop a perspective on your own life and how far you’ve come, knowing their culture and heritage and health issues helps you know an even deeper part of who you are too.
Which is why taking a 23andMe Ancestry DNA test is so insightful.
23andMe Ancestry DNA Kit Review
The interesting thing is always how who your fore-bearers play a part in who you are now, often based upon the genes and genetics they passed down, through the generations, to you. These genes can affect your health, your skin color, eye color, height, chances to develop depression, alcoholism, and diabetes.
There are several reports that come with your results. They are:
- Ancestry Composition
- Maternal (and Paternal if male) Haplogroup
- Your DNA Family
- Neanderthal Ancestry
- DNA Relatives
23andMe Ancestry Composition Report
The Ancestry Composition is about the countries your ancestors likely originated from.
It wasn’t much of a shock to see that I am 99.9% European! Actually, the more shocking part was the 0.1% that was marked as East Asian/Mongolian ancestry!
Someone said this small percentage may mean I am one of (apparently millions) of people who are descended from Genghis Khan! Though I don’t know that for sure, it’s not a crazy assumption.
Of my 99.9% European heritage, I showed 97% of that Europeanness comes from Northwest Europe, namely British & Irish, French & German, and Scandinavian. 1.6% comes from Southern Europe or the Iberian Peninsula. 0.3% is Eastern European, with a remaining 1% marked simply as “European.”
This meshes up well with what I know about my personal family ancestry, with strong English roots on both my father and my mother’s side, as well as known Scandinavian, Irish, and German ancestors.
23andMe Maternal Haplogroup Report
I don’t know much about what the maternal hablogroup is, but it has something to do with our earliest ancestors and the migratory routes my particular family took thousands of years ago. The Iberian Peninsula heritage seems to be found in my hablogroup.
23andMe Neanderthal Ancestry Report
My Neanderthal Ancestry accounts for less than 4% of my DNA. There are some strange traits that are apparently influenced from these neanderthals though, like having straight hair, being less likely to sneeze after eating dark chocolate, having less back hair, and your height.
23andMe DNA Family Report
The DNA Family results are interesting too. It shares how many DNA relatives you have who are also 23andMe customers. I apparently have 7 close family to second cousins on there! They also show a map of where the majority of these people are found in the US and the world (10-15 of mine are in England, with another 10-15 in Austrailia. Go figure).
Actually, one of my “likely 1st cousins” messaged me and we’ve been trying to figure out how we are related exactly. He could actually be either my mom’s half-brother or my mom’s cousin! He doesn’t know who his biological father is and he was so excited to see me pop up as a related relative for that line! And that’s one of the beautiful things about doing these DNA tests! You can find long lost relatives and help them find their families.
At the end of the DNA family results, there is a fun report of what my DNA relatives are more likely to have done or have.
For me it says my DNA relatives (when compared to the average 23andMe customer):
- are 64% less likely to have skydived. (totally haven’t)
- 38% more likely to sneeze in bright sunlight (totally do this).
- 36% more likely to have a gap between their two front teeth (guilty and so are most of my siblings).
- 31% more likely to make New Year’s Resolutions (I almost always do!)
- 30% more like to have lived near a farm when they were young. (not sure how near is near)
- 28% more like to have worked as a lifeguard. (nope)
- 27% less likely to have sweaty palms. (yup)
- 24% more likely to be a vegetarian. (nope)
- 20% more like to do side splits. (nope)
- 19% less likely to have frizzy hair in humid weather. (opposite for me!)
- 19% less likely to own a cat. (dogs are better)
- 19% less likely to drink an espresso. (I don’t drink it at all)
- 17% less likely to learn a foreign language as an adult.
- 17% more likely to run a marathon. (yeah, no)
- 16% more likely to have perfect pitch. (yeah for musical ability!)
- 11% less likely to think cilantro tastes like soap. (it doesn’t, but I don’t love it either)
- 11% more likely to have worn braces on our teeth. (still need braces…)
One of the great things about knowing who you really are and where you come from is developing a kinship for people of those countries.
23andMe thinks that traveling should be more than for just visiting touristy attractions. It should be about knowing and understanding more of your heritage, your culture, your ancestry, and your DNA which is why they are launching a super fun sweepstakes!
23andMe Golden23™ Sweepstakes
To bring excitement about finding out where you come from, 23andMe is giving away 23 trips to 23 winners between July 12 and August 3. Destinations will be based on winner’s 23andMe Ancestry Compositions.
The total value of the trip is up to $20,000 and includes the winner and a guest to have roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations for 5 nights, custom itineraries by Journy to explore the local life, and even daily spending money!
Remember that 23andMe is an excellent genealogy gift idea too!
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