When I was 55, my husband bought me a DNA kit through Ancestry.com. I received my kit, collected my spit, sent it in, and waited. The results were mostly expected. There were a few surprises, like 17% Scandinavian. There were also a few “less than 2%’s” that were odd…not the least of these being Middle Eastern and European Jew. But, overall, it was fun and exciting and, in a nutshell, this is me ~
- 46% Italy
- 18% Ireland
- 17% Scandinavia
- 12% Eastern Europe
Those were the big 4, the remaining 7% were 1% and less than 2% findings. I was fine with this, though as I said, the chunk of Scandinavian was a bit of a mind-boggler, until I called a dear friend in England who told me, “Almost everyone in Great Britain has Scandinavian blood because of the Vikings. We just roll it into whatever part of Great Britain we are from and don’t give them the satisfaction. You are 35% Irish.” And so, taking a stand with my British ancestors, that’s what I did, no offense to Scandinavia.
We all get 50% of our DNA from our father and 50% from our mother. If your parents aren’t 100% of something, you can take your 50% in different amounts. What does this mean? It means that siblings can have different DNA. It will be the same stuff, but not necessarily in the same amounts.
In looking at the percentages of my DNA, Dad would be 92% Italian and Mom would be 70% Irish and 24% Eastern European. Dad, aka Rocco James Sicurello, was very proud of his numbers. He considers himself 100% Italian, but 92% was close enough. Until…
A few months ago, I came across an email from Ancestry. I opened it and found out that my spit got an upgrade! Seems Ancestry had gotten hundreds of thousands of more “samples” of spit, which enabled them to be much more specific with people’s ethnicity. The obscure 7% of my spit was now specified and the original findings had undergone a few changes. I now look like this ~
- 36% Italy
- 18% Ireland/Scotland
- 11% England/Wales
- 22% Germanic Europe
- 13% France(!?!)
Rocco James Sicurello, aka Dad, was not amused at the idea of being ‘downgraded’ to 72% Italian, nor was he happy with the idea that he most likely is 28% something else. Could he be my French “Connection”? Get it? Not as far as he’s concerned. I told him he should order a DNA test. He responded with an icy stare. “I already know what I am. I’m Italian.” Conversation over.
Mom, who is somewhat less stubborn and much less proud, has agreed to and ordered her DNA kit. This will provide all the information needed to solve the mystery. Whatever Mom is not, Dad is.
But wait! There’s more! My husband has also decided to give his spit a whirl. Though his ancestry is Chinese, and they did box themselves in with that Great Wall, you never know. Clearly there will be more to this blog, but until then…it’s really not that big a deal!
I almost spit my coffee across the table when you said your spit got an upgrade. This is one classy blog post! As for Rocco, those of us who know him consider him 100 percent Italian – if that makes him feel any better. Also, FYI, you should be glad that you are spitting now. I understand that the elderly have trouble getting enough spit going for this test. My sister wanted my mom to do it, but Mom – are you ready for this – was spitless! After further research we have discovered that lack of spittle is a common problem for the elderly. Perhaps when they removed spittoons from the streets the spitting frequency and acceptability decreased enough that there now is a shortage. I don’t know, but, as you would say, it’s not that big a deal.
My Mom recently did the test. It took her 45 minutes to get her spit together. 🤭
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