Taking an ethnic DNA test can be an extremely eye-opening experience. Not only does it reveal where a person’s ancestors came from, it reminds people of the fact that as human beings, we are all very mixed. There is not one person on planet earth who only belongs to one ethnic background. While some people may have a more homogenous background, everyone has ancestry stemming from multiple locations.
On our Facebook page, we publish mini blogs bi weekly which address a multitude of topics revolving around specific ethnic groups, and DNA testing. This blog acknowledges that there are usually two main methods for determining one’s ancestry: a family tree, or an ethnic DNA test. As the blog points out, there are sometimes issues with the information a family tree can provide: First of all, what are the odds that a person even has a detailed family tree to begin with? Second, what is the chance that the family tree is 100% accurate? Even if someone has a family tree that dates all the way back to England in the 1600’s, how can anyone verify that all the ancestors of that person came from Britain? Just because someone was born in Britain does not automatically make their origin British. Furthermore, adoptions as well as citizenship changes could easily have taken place. Many nations encountered invasions at some point in time where mixing took place. Also, many neighbouring countries have had contact with each other over time. Ukraine for example, is a country in Eastern Europe which neighbours seven nations, and connects Europe to the Middle East. Throughout history, Ukraine has endured invasions from not only its neighbours, but also from Turkish, Mongol, Swedish, German, Greek, and Iranian tribes. With all this contact, there is almost no chance a Ukrainian would not have some admixture from one or more of the tribes mentioned above.
If one thinks it is plausible that all of one’s ancestors originated in one place, let us look at the number of ancestors you have per generation. One generation back refers to your parents, in which you have two ancestors. Three generations back you already have eight ancestors. How about ten generations back? Ten generations back you have 1024 ancestors. What do you think are the odds that each ancestor of these 1024 all originated from the same place? The answer is that this is extremely unlikely. As mentioned before, even if your ancestors did in fact remain stationary, mixing still took place as a result of invasions, adoptions, and influences from neighbouring societies.