I’ve always wondered what my overall ethnicity was. I usually tell people that I’m American, but when pressed for details, I don’t know what to say. I’ll tell people that I’m mixed; I’m half white and half Filipino. Other than that, I have no clue. It’s a question I’ve always wondered about, and I’ve recently come to the point where I needed to find out.
My father, myself, and my mother in Manila, Philippines
When determining my Mom’s side, its easy. She’s from the Philippines. Her parents are from the Philippines, and so are their parents. There was an old story that she has a Spanish ancestor, but nothing we could confirm. There hasn’t been any recent mass migrations or large movement of peoples in the Philippines, so if you’re from there, you’re pretty much full Filipino or part Chinese. Maybe even a little Aeta. The Aeta people are thought to be the original inhabitants of the Philippines, and were called “Negritos” by the the Spaniards because of their short stature and darker skin tone.
For my Dad’s side, that’s where I run into the case of the missing ancestry. His Mom is from Kentucky and his Dad is from Pennsylvania. Those two States are where the trail ended, although I did have a few clues from the past. As a youth, I looked up my surname and found that the Parker name comes from England, so I had to be at least part English. I also overheard Great Aunt’s mention Germany once. When I’ve asked directly, I’m usually told “We’re from the Old Country” and I’d leave it at that. So, is England the old country? Do we have German ancestry?
That’s where AncestryDNA came into play. I saw that the company offered a holiday discount, so I took advantage of it. I received the kit, spit into the tube, and mailed it back. A few weeks later, I received my notification alert. My results are in! And the answer is yes, I have English ancestry. But wait, there’s more! Even a surprise or two.
First and foremost, I saw that the numbers don’t match up for what I expected for my Filipino heritage. My Mom is from the Philippines, so she has to be 100% Filipino and I’m 50% Filipino. Right? I saw that my DNA from the Philippines only accounts for 46%. When adding up the rest, I get 54% European… What does that mean? My mother has European ancestry! Doesn’t she? I don’t know. Spain colonized the Philippines for 333 years, and if I’m at 46% Filipino, then I have to have some European ancestry on her side. Looking at the listed European countries is a head scratcher though. I don’t see Spanish or even Portuguese. Nothing from Iberia.
Maybe my Mom has an ancestor that came to Spain from another country. Ancestry compares your DNA from people alive today in the locations that they live in now. So, maybe my Mom’s ancestor was a Scandinavian living in Spain. It wouldn’t have been unheard of. In the 1700’s – 1800’s, people moved around in Europe. Merchants, students, soldiers, religious practitioners… Famous explorers that flew under the Spanish flag included Italians, Portuguese, and French. A few conquistadors hailed from countries outside of Spain. Spain occupied northern European countries at this time, and was occupied itself by Napoleon.
England, Wales, & Northwestern Europe 32%
This was expected, although I thought it’d be higher. I figured that since our name was Parker, that we were mostly British. According to this, not only are we English, but we have Northwestern European ancestry. This could be attributed to past German tribes invading England all the way to having recent German ancestry. After all, family members have mentioned that we have German ancestry in the past. As a matter of fact, while I waited for my results to hit, I’ve worked on my family tree. I found a great great great grandparent who married someone with a German name from Pennsylvania. This test only confirms what I found in Census records.
Ireland & Scotland 13%
This wasn’t a total surprise. Northern Ireland and Scotland are part of the UK, and America has been populated by large numbers of these people as well as people from the Republic of Ireland since the pilgrims established their first colony on the Eastern seaboard. The percentage surprised me though. That’s more than I expected. I may have a closer ancestor from this area than I expected.
This is a surprise. I had no idea that we had Scandinavian ancestry until very recently. As I waited for my ancestry results to come in, I’ve been working on my family tree. I’ve checked census records and found that I have a great great grandmother who wrote Denmark as her place of birth and her parents place of birth. I knew about the Danish side but Norwegian? Maybe they attributed my Danish ancestry to Norway. They are from the same population, genetically.
This seems a bit redundant. I haven’t seen anything about Sweden or Norway in my Census records search. So, finding that I’m part Norwegian and now part Swedish as well? This has me scratching my head. Do I have a distinct enough ancestor that can only be attributed to Norway and another one distinct enough to be only be attributed to Sweden? I do have a Danish ancestor… Are the results confusing my Danish ancestor with these two regions? Is there a mix up with my Mom’s Spanish ancestry? I won’t know until I take other DNA tests to rule out any irregularities.
European Jewish 1%
I couldn’t believe this. I haven’t heard any talk or seen any hint of Jewish ancestry in my family in the past. No one has ever brought it up. Since finding this out, I’ve actually been able to search my family tree and found my ancestor who was Jewish from Germany. Their siblings and extended family members have traditional Hebrew names, so there’s little doubt that the ancestor is in fact Jewish. I am amazed by this and plan on researching this population more in depth.
A fun feature that they throw in is a migration path. They focused on my UK side of my ancestry and according to my family tree, my Grandmother’s side. It was nice to see this feature and to read about the path my Grandmother’s family took to get to Kentucky. You could also see the migration details in the time frame below the picture and how the migrants changed over time.
Overall, I’m satisfied with the findings. I was able to confirm some guesses and learned some surprising details as well. I found out more about myself in a few minutes of reading than I knew in 36 years. I can now proudly say that I’m American of English, Irish, Scandinavian, Jewish, German, and Filipino ancestry. With possible Spanish ancestry.
Now that these test results are in, I plan on taking another test from a different company to confirm the findings or to clear up any irregularities. I will also compare and contrast these findings from the findings I already received from 23andme.
Copyright December 9, 2018. PRP3 The Author Media