10 Reasons Why You Should Try 23&Me

I’m sure many of you have been curious about at least a little bit curious about your ancestry at some point in your life. I find ancestry and genealogy to be very fascinating. As a history buff, history has been shaped by who sired who.  Countless wars have been fought for the sake of claiming one’s “natural birth rite”. 

And when you you go back through genealogy records, it’s kind of cool to discover that some of your ancestors had major claims in high stakes courts and crowns. 

My family lore was that we were definitely British (go figure), Scottish, and definitely some German. We also knew that we had a touch of Native American ancestry as well.

But I wanted to know more. So, I decided to get one of those 23&Me DNA tests and give it a whirl.

Here are my findings and 10 reasons why you should also try 23&Me.

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1. Learn a little bit more about why you are the way you are


According to my 23&Me genetic report, 93.2% of my DNA is from the UK. As a white American, go figure. This was absolutely no shocker at all. I identify more with British sentiments than I do with my American upbringing. I have less than jokingly stated that I was born on the wrong side of the pond, and I have even asked my “parents”-using sarcastic air quotes-if they were absolutely certainly that a delightful British couple hadn’t also given birth at the same hospital at the time when I was born. But alas, this DNA test proves that that wasn’t the case.

But what I did find a little bit surprising was what made up the other 6.8% of my DNA. I was 3% French/German/Swiss, 1.5% Italian, 0.8% Native American, and trace ancestry of 0.3% North African and 0.1% Broadly Congolese & Southern East African. As of September of 2021, 0.1% of my DNA has been unassigned. 

Is that 0.1% of my DNA part alien-DNA? Probably not. But, however small the odds may be, the chances are never 0.

2. You can connect with your heritage


As previously mentioned, I already knew before this DNA test that I was more British than American, as I had already adopted certain British customs; such as partaking in afternoon tea on the regular, caring more about the British royal family than who sits in our own Oval Office (God save the queen), and have an obsession with British history. 

But what I wasn’t expecting to find was that there was more French than German, and even Swiss and Italian in my DNA profile. That certainly would explain a lot. 

You ever feel extra (fillintheblank) sometimes? Sometimes, I feel extra French or Italian and I have an insatiable desire or anything and everything French or Italian. When that happens, I picture the French and Italian sides of me are butting heads in my brain. Meanwhile, the British side is sitting back, sipping tea and saying, “you bloody twits”.

3. Learn more about your own culture

All jokes aside, as someone who has a fascination with culture(s), I found it quite intriguing to discover who these distant cultures came together to lead to such a hodgepodge that it created a brood that created their own culture. Why hasn’t my family retained much of their British culture? Or French or German?

Our culture is predominantly southern culture; which means we treat everyone as kin, show the same respect we want shown to our mothers, and feed everyone that comes through the door.

I wonder at what point did our heritage loose connection with their culture so much so that a new one was created?

4. Learn about ancestral cultures

When I laid out the basis for our southern culture, I did see some remnants of ancestral cultures taking root in our modern culture. Feeding everyone that comes through the door sounds pretty Italian. And showing everyone with respect seems very British. 

I have always had a fascination with Native American culture, or more specifically with Cherokee culture; as that is the tribe family lore tells we are descended from. Unfortunately, we don’t live near either branch of the Cherokee nation-and thus have limited access to handwritten archives that would only be available in those areas.

But what I do have in my possession are stories that have fueled passion and intrigue, and bit of blood to confirm what I had been drawn to all of my life. 

According to family lore, the Native American side comes from my maternal grandmother, whose grandparents were from Texas-with my great-great grandmother being full blooded Cherokee. If you are aware of American history, you should know how and why the Cherokee came to be settled the Oklahoma/Texas area. 

Knowing that some of my living, breathing ancestors were not only forced from their land, but survived, during what history calls “The Trail of Tears” fills me with pride. I know I don’t have enough Native blood to really count to anything, but even a drop still matters to me.

5. Confirm family suspicions 

As I have previously mentioned already, this DNA test does conclude some family suspicions I have had throughout my life. 

No, I wasn’t switched at birth and my real parents aren’t British.

Yes, I am bougie af sometimes and I blame it on being part French and Italian.

Yes, we are part Native American-most likely Cherokee.

6. Connect with distant family members

23&Me has this neat thing where it shows you other members who share your DNA. So far I haven’t found any long lost relative, suspected murderers, or secret siblings (yet). When your great grandmother has nine kids, and each kids goes to have between two and four kids a piece, you find a lot of people you’ve lost touch with.

7. Take part in further research surveys

23&Me also encourages users to regularly take part in research surveys that can be used to better fine tune their testing. 

Their motto is, “Contribute answers and fuel new discoveries”.

8. See how much Neanderthal you are


One thing I was not expecting to learn from 23&Me is discovering that how much Neanderthal DNA I have. According to 23&Me, I have less than 2% Neanderthal DNA. 

What’s super neat is that it goes onto say how Neanderthal DNA may influence your traits. In my case, I have 1.0 variant associated with having difficulty discarding rarely-used possessions. Check. And I have 3.0 variants associated with being less likely to have a fear of heights. Check. 

Does that explain the 0.1% unassigned DNA in my profile? Where does that leave the aliens? Did the aliens mate with my Neanderthal ancestors? Remember, no matter how small the odds, the chances are never 0. (I promise I’ll stop beating that dead horse now).

9. Learn more about your maternal and paternal haplogroups


What are maternal and paternal haplogroups? A haplogroup is a genetic population group of people that share a common ancestor on the patriline or the matriline. 

The only direct relation relatives that have also done 23&Me are female, so I only have my maternal haplogroup information. According to 23&Me, my maternal haplogroup is H3.

It’s also worth mentioning that Haplogroup H has many ties with European Royalty. I knew I was royalty! (Also about 1 in 50 23&Me customers would also be considered royalty by that logic-let me dream).

10. Get records on traits and genetic health predispositions

If you are someone who has a family history genetic disorders and conditions, 23&Me has a Health + Ancestry kit. This kit does cost more than the standard DNA kit, like $199 compared to $99 off sale. But if you are genuinely concerned that you may have underlying health conditions that may rear their ugly head in the future, but you aren’t sure who or where to turn to, this could be a viable option for you.

I am very pleased with my 23&Me results, and I hope my experience encourages you to visit your ancestry today!

Hi! My name is Kathlyn and I love travel, history, foodies, and all things paranormal.

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