It’s all in the DNA

DNA for Genealogy has been around for a long time, but in recent times it’s taking a surge in interest. So, I decided to take the plunge and get tested. My Uncle Ray Herbert is the one who really inspired me to do family history research so we both decided to do this together.

So in February 2016 we sent off to Family Tree DNA and had our autosomal DNA tested. Autosomal (click link to read more) is the genealogical connection between two people and is inherited equally from both sets of parents. The more distant the ancestor, the more randomly shuffled up is the percentage of DNA from each ancestor. In other words, it gets diluted with each new generation.

Of 1032 matches, I have 93 who match my maternal line and Uncle Ray is at the top. We share some of the same DNA as he is my mother’s brother.


So far, as you would expect, we have no common ancestors on my paternal (male) line, but we do have 92 out of a possible 123 (to date) common matches on the maternal (female) line. What does all this mean?


It’s going to take some time to get my head around all the jargon, but I’m working on it.

My Ethnicity

My Ethnicity

Another intriguing bit of information to glean from the tests is one’s ethnic makeup. Here it shows I have 99% European, which is made up of 70% British Isles (Understandable! Mum’s family (Herbert’s & Caddy’s) were English and Irish and Dad’s family (Cripps’ & Lymburner’s/Delisser) were mostly English & a possible link to another European country, I’m working on it!), Scandinavia 22%, now that’s a good chunk of DNA, 7% Southern Europe, 2% Middle Eastern and look, 2% North Africa. Very interesting indeed!

Note: As the testing was sent away using my married name, that’s what’s showing up for me. I wish I could change it to Cripps as obviously I have no MacKay DNA!  But there doesn’t appear to be a way.

I will keep you posted as to where we go next. I’ve sent off for my mtDNA (mitochrondrial) which is the direct female line to see where that will take me. Everyone has mtDNA, inherited from their mother, through her mother and so on, however males cannot pass this on to their children, but they can be tested for it. Only males have yDNA, inherited from their father, so they don’t pass this on to their daughters, and only males can be tested for it. Hence, why I can’t follow my father’s direct line, the Cripps’. I need a male Cripps descendant to help me there!

In the meantime, if any of my relatives, maternal or paternal, are interested in having their DNA tested, let me know. The more that do these tests, the better it will be for the future generations to make connections. In saying that, it still doesn’t take away the hard yards of searching the paper trail. And no, these tests are not done for medical reasons, they are pure genealogical!






About Jenny MacKay

Just a person who is looking forward to retirement and enjoying the golden years!
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3 Responses to It’s all in the DNA

  1. Your new blog is now in my RSS feed so I won’t miss a post.

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