Is it necessary to know our roots for a sense of belonging? We're here already, whatever our ancestral origins are, life goes on and we're part of it! Of course, I'm proud to be British born and bred, and despite living in America and loving it here, I feel my roots lie in the mother land of England. If any other heritage exists besides my obvious British genes, then hopefully the addition of some good old "Heinz 57" variety has benefited me in some way.
Personally I have mixed feelings about ancestry, more specifically blood ties. My mother was adopted back in 1942 when adoption wasn't a trendy thing, so, to say she struggled with it (once she found out) is an understatement! I on the other hand, know who both my parents are, and the weird thing is that I find it difficult to comprehend that my mother's adoptive parents were not my maternal grandparents. It doesn't compute. They couldn't have been more real if indeed they were my maternal grandparents, having provided a long term positive influence in my life. I consider myself extremely fortunate that it was they who adopted my mother!
My mother was adopted in England during World War II, at a time when adoption wasn't discussed and kept a secret for the most part, so I know next to nothing about 50% of my ancestry! Have I ever been concerned about this? Absolutely not! But when Ancestry contacted me for a collaboration, curiosity got the better of me! Am I as British as I think I am?
The Ancestry DNA test is super simple and very quick, involving a few spits of saliva into a tube. It comes with complete step by step instructions, return packaging for the DNA to be sent back for processing where it takes between four to six weeks for the results. In the meantime, the occasional text message updates how far along the process they are.
Whilst waiting for the results, you can go online to www.ancestry.com to begin building your family tree and start tracking your family lineage. There is a free two-week trial to utilize all the records and resources available either in the US or internationally to research data and find your true family ancestors.
The possibility of finding relatives matching your DNA with others who have taken the Ancestry DNA test is very likely. Once you get started, it becomes addictive, it really gets the juices flowing when you think you've found someone that you're related to, plus Ancestry gives you hints along the way as to who may be a close match.
The search functions on Ancestry reveal interesting records associated with the names you are looking for. Some are hand written on old and gnarly papers dating back eons, but still available to view with just one click! It's completely fascinating and intriguing. The time flies by once you start searching, so make sure you have a cosy spot and a cup of tea readily available!
So, no real surprises here! What's amazing is how they can pin-point your DNA to a specific area especially in such a small (but mighty) country like England. When you send in your DNA, they know nothing about you, it's like a crystal ball that eerily tells the truth! Yes, I am from the north of England, so are my parents, grandparents and all that I know of.
It doesn't surprise me that there is some German ancestry, I was always mistaken for a German when on holiday in Spain, or was that because I secured my sun lounger by laying out a towel with a book at 6 am! And, as for the French genes, mais oui, I do have a disdain for ill-fitting clothes and frumpy shoes, and probably have half my money invested in wine and brie!
Other fun facts regarding these foreign revelations - my first proper kiss at fifteen years old was with a French lad (on the tennis court, in the rain), and I didn't like it, the kiss that is... ugh! The tennis court and the rain was très bon!
My first car was a British mini cooper, my second a French Peugeot 205, my third a Volkswagen Beetle and most of my subsequent cars up until age 40 were German!
My first long term boyfriend was German, named Klaus. If you're out there Klaus I just want to remind you of the time my Grandpa called you Jaws, only because to him Klaus was Claws, as in Santa Klaus and it rhymed with jaws! LOL... you had to be there!
Shortly after my Ancestry DNA was revealed, I received an email from a gentleman who was tracing his family ancestors, and through our DNA it appears that his wife and I may be related via great grandparents. It was a very close match, and we are likely 2nd cousins!
It appears I'm also closely related to Warren Buffet and Bill Gates... just kidding, ha ha!!!
If you want to find your origins, search for your ancestors and have your DNA tested, you can click here to go to Ancestry or click on any of the links in this article.
This article was in collaboration with Ancestry and includes affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of sales. The opinions stated are my own and formed from my own experience.
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
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Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50