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Finding out who we really are

Personal Stories

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Finding out who we really are

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West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19382


Email: dnadiscussion@wcupa.edu
Phone: 610-436-2283

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Personal Stories

Ashley

54% European

Having expected it to show that her ancestors were predominantly African, instead Ashley found that she was 54% European, with about 16% of her ancestors having been Hispanic, and 28% having been from Africa. “I learned that a person is made up of more than just their appearance, and that many people are multi-ethnic,” says Ashley. "It made me appreciate that what we have in common is our diverse backgrounds."

Jena

72% Middle Eastern

Jena assumed most of her ancestors had lived in Europe. An aunt had traced Scottish and English descendants on her father’s side to the Mayflower, and Jena’s maternal grandfather was originally from Italy. One member of her family, however, was not European. Her great grandfather on her mother’s side was Lebanese.

"My DNA results showed that close to 72% of my genetic code matched that of people who had come from the Middle East,” says Jena. “So what seemed like a distant connection showed up in my DNA profile as pretty significant."

Paige

88.5% African

Paige believed her DNA would simply confirm that she is bi-racial. "My mother is Caucasian with blond hair and blue eyes, and my father is African American," says Paige. "I expected the DNA results to show that I was 50% African American and 50% European, but instead, I learned that I was over 88% African."

Heather

51.1% Native American

Based on what she’d been told over the years by her family, Heather believed her parents’ ancestors were from Germany and Ireland. Nothing, however, was known about her paternal grandmother nor her maternal grandfather, who at age 60, learned he was adopted.

"My maternal grandfather had no knowledge of his side of the family," says Heather, "but interestingly, my paternal grandmother, who never knew her father, always felt a connection to things Native American."

"When my DNA test showed over a 50% resemblance to that of Native Americans, I was somewhat surprised, and very excited. Now, my parents and grandparents are very interested in finding out more about their genealogy."