I was given a DNA kit from Ancestry Uk for my birthday back in October. I’ve been tracing my family history for over 20 years and I always thought the DNA kit would be the icing on the cake. You know, to open those really hard closed doors that I’ve been trying to break down by running around mid-Wales for nearly a quarter of a century, sniffing out every gravestone in Cardiganshire (Ceredigion), all to no avail for ancestors from the late 18th century.
For those who aren’t familiar with these kits, they send you a little bottle with a plastic funnel that you have to dribble in! Then it’s sealed and sent away to Ireland where it gets ‘mooched’ through and I suppose a computer sorts out the bits that us mere Humans can understand. I don’t recommend it though if you’re wanted for a bank robbery some 20 to 30 years ago. However, with my good character, I have nothing to worry about.
The results were quite quick, about three weeks in all, and they’re fascinating to go through. Although I have to admit, that after a month or so of sifting through a gazillion records on the likes of Ancestry I am now getting a little bit fed up and bonk eyed. The results throw up literally thousands of potential relatives from a cousin once removed to an 8th cousin 4 times removed. Removed from what I don’t know!
Too Many Relatives!
The problem I’m having isn’t the people who are distant relatives, the DNA backs it up. However, it says they have the same 3rd Great Grandmother as me, well they do by name, but they are a completely different lady from my 3rd Great Grandmother. It means that either I’ve got the wrong Ann Griffiths or my newly found 35th cousin 14 times removed has got the wrong Ann Griffiths. I’m 99.9% certain my Ann Griffiths from Llanbadarn Fawr is my 3rd Great Grandmother.
Ancestors, Who Would Have Them?
And this is only one ancestor. On my Mothers side, because a Great Grandmother was re-married, well, I think I could fill Wembley Stadium for 7 nights with the number of DNA relatives who are greater than a 5% match. I find it truly mind-boggling the sheer number of people classed as either distant or close relatives. I am starting to think that we are all related directly back to Adam and Eve.
I am completely overwhelmed with these results, I think I am going back to the old-fashioned way of sitting in the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth for days on end and reeling through every microfiche reel I could lay my hands on to find my Ann Griffiths who married my 3rd Great Grandfather in 1830 in Llanbadarn Fawr Church.
That’s It For Now
I shall leave it there for now as my brain is completely ‘addled and fried’. I do think that DNA will prove very useful for things like researching family history, but for now, for me at least, it seems to be adding a lot of sawdust to the woodpile.
If you are interested in having your own DNA, then here’s the UK website.