Saturday, August 24, 2019

{ Ancestry DNA - The Beginning }

Oh my friends, I am so beyond excited to start this journey.  Before I do though, let me just tell you that I am in NO way affiliated to or sponsored by  I wouldn't turn down some kind of partnership, of course, but this post is my own and in no way an advert.

I've been into genealogy for a very long time, years and years and years.  That curiosity peaked when I first watched an episode of Who do You think You are?  around the time it first came out.  I love watching it and find it absolutely fascinating following the different individual journeys through different countries and eras, right back to their ancestors.  I wish I could do the same, it would be the best thing ever if I was able to not only retrace my ancestor's steps, but actually go to the physical places they once lived, worked, and eventually passed.

But I can't, cause you know, I'm not famous, and I don't have money to travel all over the world LOL

The next closest thing is to just do what is available to me, online and try to go back as far as I can.

I started the other day and got some interesting information about my mother's side of the family, so her parents, and grandparents on her mom's side.

One thing I found out is that my great grandfather's parents, so my great great grandparents, were both "jornaleiros".  Basically they sold newspapers on the street.  I wasn't able to find a picture of them, obviously, but I did find a picture of what the newsboys would have looked like in the late 1800's which is when they would have been doing that.


I would never have even thought of them doing that, but it was quite a surprise.

Now as I have gone on and started working on my family tree, trying to find ancestors and so on, I've become even more curious about the Ancestry DNA test.

My daughter Jasmine, did hers a couple of months ago and we were quite surprised at her results.  I did mention them in a previous blog, but in case you didn't see it, here they are again:

  • 51%  England, Wales and Northwestern Europe (quite shocked at this one)
  • 17%  Portugal (no surprise there since I'm Portuguese)
  • 15%  France (no surprise either, it's from my side because my maiden name Bettencourt, is French)
  • 8%   Ireland and Scotland (again, wasn't expecting this)
  • 5%  Germanic Europe (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden)
  • 3%  Norway
  • 1%  Cameroon, Congo and Southern Bantu Peoples (WHAT?!?!?!)

The Portugal and France, I was already expecting, but the others were so shocking to me.  I have since then wanted to do my own DNA test just to see what it would show, but I just couldn't justify paying for the test.

If you're wanting to do yours, now is the time since Ancestry is having a summer sale on the DNA tests.  They are $59.99 until the 26th of August and for $10 extra you can even do your Ancestry Traits which includes a study of your traits and attributes according to your DNA.  I didn't get this with the DNA kit my daughter bought me for my birthday, but I may add it once my results are in because you do have the option to do that once they have your results.

You can explore the science behind physical and sensory traits including hair color, earlobe shape, skin pigmentation, eye color, iris patterns – as well as sweet, bitter and cilantro aversion. Discover how these traits run in your family and how they might be connected to your ethnic origins. Get answers to why you’re the only one of your siblings with red hair – or why you have light-colored eyes – or why you and your mom both cringe at the bitter taste of brussel sprouts.

My kit arrived yesterday, late afternoon, and to say I was excited is a total understatement, to be fair, I'm a little nervous too, because who knows what is going to come out of there and what I'm going to discover. 

I saw my daughter do hers so I have an idea on what to do, but I know that there are a lot of you out there who are curious about how it all works, and so I thought I would actually share my journey, from start to finish, in case you are wanting to do it yourself but not quite sure what it all entails.

Step 1

Activating the kit.  Once you receive your DNA Kit, inside you will find a small test tube, and on that test tube will be an activation code with numbers and letters.  That is the code you will use to active on

Enter the code, answer a few questions and when the lab receives your kit, they will be able to quickly process your test.  It does take 8 weeks to process, so it's a bit of a long wait but well worth it, at least I think so.

Step 2

This is the gross part, I mean, it's just spit but it's kinda gross to be spitting into a tube.  Anyway, here are the steps to take, and please note that all of this information is enclosed with your test, but since a lot of you may not have done one you wouldn't know it, so I'm giving it to you.

  1. Do not eat, smoke, drink, chew gum, use mouthwash or brush your teeth for half an hour before you provide a sample. This ensures your sample will be reliable enough for testing.
  2. Open the kit and place all the items on the table. Take the tube and note the mark indicating how much saliva you should provide. Add saliva to the tube until it reaches that point.
  3. Unscrew the funnel and replace it with the extra cap provided. This cap contains a buffer fluid that mixes with your saliva to keep it in a good condition for months and in a wide range of temperatures by inhibiting the growth of bacteria.
  4. Tighten the cap until it snaps or the buffer fluid begins to drain out. Do not wait too long to put on the second cap and release the buffer fluid. It could degrade the quality of your DNA sample.
  5. Shake the tube to properly mix your saliva with the buffer.
  6. Seal the tube in the provided plastic bag and put it in the prepaid box. Make sure both bags are securely sealed. Mail the box to the lab and wait for your results.

And now we wait, impatiently I might add, for the results to come back.  I do think I will add the traits to the test once it is available, as I'm quite curious as to what they will say.

I promise to take you along with me through this whole process, share the results, explain them, share the traits and what they mean, and even share some of the people who will share my DNA results and their predicted relationship to me.

I was quite surprised by my daughter's list, and quite funny to see that one of my family members, a second cousin which I know about, is shown as a third cousin to her.  How fun is that?

Anyway, I hope I've given you a little insight into how this who DNA thing works.  If any of you have already done the test, I would love to hear what your results were and if they were what you expected or had some surprises thrown in.


  1. My kids got me this for Mothers Day last year and I was thrilled. My results came back with no surprised - Dutch, a little English, a little German, a little Scottish. But still very interesting. Looking forward to your results!

  2. Thanks for sharing Sandra! I find it all so fascinating. We share English/Welsh, French and German alike Lady πŸ˜‰ I also have quite a bit of Irish and I'm the most percentage of Polish (with some Czech and Russian thrown in)
    Your 1% is quite a cool surprise I bet! Love that!!


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