Sunday, August 07, 2016

Can a DNA test be wrong?

This is admittedly one of those title I use to get attention and maybe traffic, but it's a legitimate question here on a hot day in August in North Georgia that has me lethargic and sleepy.

I did a DNA test through one of the supposedly reputable companies that does this.  I won't name it, but it wasn't, which I am told is run through the Mormons, who have massive geneaology banks so their members can be baptized for their dead relatives (one of the oddest doctrines I can imagine). 

I have posted the picture I got back of my ethnic origins. 

This was quite a shock to me.  The British Isles, not so much; I figured it would be more.  The third of my DNA coming from Scandinavia is a big surprise, but some Scots people have Scandinavian ancestry, so only the amount surprises me.  But no German.  No native American (that's another story, I understand, and many people's DNA doesn't show the Native American.)  But 1/8 Italian or Greek or Spanish (or possibly Jewish?).  That would be the equivalent of one of my great grandparents being from there, and nothing has ever been said in my family about such a thing.

Either someone in my family three generations back was lying about something, or this test is way off.  One of the four great grandmothers was fooling around with an Italian guy, or someone was an immigrant in disguise.  I don't know anything about my father's mother, so maybe that's it.  But it's really weird.

Either I need to do a lot of research, or get my brother to take one to see if it comes up with the same thing (might try a different company), or let the mystery remain how 13% of my background is from a place I never expected. 

I would be interested in comments here.  The company I used can get me in touch with relatives, but I am reluctant to start talking with people who are supposedly second cousins but I have never heard of them. 

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