Once, a long time ago, a very snobbish member of my family referred to a half-Jewish member of our family as “not a thoroughbred.” Beyond being horrified by said family-member and giving them a piece of my mind, I pondered aloud how much of my orthodox Jewish-raised self was also “not a thoroughbred.” After all, how was it possible that of all my ancestors not a single chick drew out of the line.. I mean, they were related to me after all. Well, I got my answer.
My bestie Marisa bought me a DNA kit from Ancestry.com. One of the best gifts I’ve gotten, the results of this DNA test has taught me exactly what I already knew, that we are all connected. Okay, Okay, I’m 88% Ashkenazi Jewess.. but 12% NOT Jewish. 12%! Not a single person in my family could remember an intermarriage down the lines – not even my 96 year old Grandfather.. so what’s that 12% all about? It’s the thing that novels are written about, clandestine love affairs under shtetls, stolen kisses on horseback, or maybe just one somehow-accepted conversion. Who were these Eastern European relatives of mine who wore crosses and prayed to Jesus! I need to know more more more! But back to Marisa – a genius at everything she does – she’s already found me relatives I didn’t know existed via my DNA and tree. This entire process is completely fascinating and I really recommend everyone try it. As for me, my 12% will be buying a Christmas tree this year, guiltlessly.
Your family tree may go back hundreds of years, but there could be more to your family’s story that’s just out of reach of paper documents and conventional research. AncestryDNA can reach back hundreds, maybe even a thousand years, to tell you things that aren’t in historical records—things you might have never known otherwise.
UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE!
Two years after doing my DNA test, and being quite sure I was 88% Jewish, and the rest mystery flavors.. I received an email from Ancestry that said due to new scientific sampling, my estimate had changed. It turns out, I’m 99% Ashkenazi Jewish after all. With a little spicy Italian 1% thrown in for some extra flavor. So much for this story! But now I can dream of Great-Great-Great Nona X who fell in love with a Jewish boy..
Here’s how it works:
You sign up and pay, they send you a box with the instructions shortly after. You spit in a tiny container, add an enclosed solution, ship it back in a self-addressed, pre-paid box, and within 8 weeks you get your history emailed to you. Tech-fucking-nology!!! We love science.
We live for this as a holiday gift idea, we think it would be a particularly eye-opening gift for hmm.. maybe certain Trump voting relatives who like a “Build A Wall” chant and don’t expect to find they are 4% Mexican. This gift reminds us that we truly are all connected, intertwined, woven from cloth of flesh and bone. This is the gift of humanity. What did your results say? Tell us in the comments section below!
GET $10 off, learn your ethnic mix, and maybe even find new relatives when you use this link!