Sunday, February 19, 2017

GPS Origins revealed where my heritage is from

I was born in the UP of Michigan, but was raised in Wisconsin. While I was still a baby, I was placed into the foster care system. I was told that I was in 7 different foster homes before I was 2, But I only remember the last two. The last one I was placed into when I was about 4.5 years old and was meant to be adopted by them, which I was. My parents were told very little about my history, pretty much that I was half Cuban and allergic to penicillin (odd combo of information, I know).  So, over the years, that’s all I had to go based on and nothing else, until recently.

I had seen the commercials talking about finding out your heritage, and always found it interesting. I always thought, I wonder what mine would really say. Would it be a shock and I’m not really half Cuban? So, when I was asked by GPS Origins to work with them I figured, it was a great opportunity to see. I mean, I really had nothing to lose, right?

So, I got the kit in the mail, follow the super easy instructions (use the Q-tips, and swab the inside of my cheek) and mailed it back. The 6 week wait was the worse. Then, I got the email I had been waiting for, the results were in. I didn’t realize until I saw the email, that I was a little nervous. Most people know their heritage, or have a good guess, but with me I really didn’t. Being adopted in my family is the norm. One of my brothers is the only biological child of my parents, but the other 4 have more of an idea of their background.
With a little excitement and a little hesitation, I opened the email, logged into the account and downloaded the results. To say I was surprised, would be an understatement. My whole life (I’m 32 years old), I have identified as half Hispanic. My results showed otherwise. So, now what? My question was then, who am I? Before I dig into that, here are my very interesting results:

Complete Results

#1 Orkney
Islands 14.6%

Origin: Peaks in the Orkney
islands and declines in England, France, Germany, Belarus, and Poland

Fennoscandia 13.7%

Origin: Peaks in the Iceland and
Norway and declines in Finland, England, and France

Southern France 13%

Origin: Peaks in south France and
declines in north France, England, Orkney islands, and Scandinavia

Western Siberia 10.5%

Origin: Peaks in Krasnoyarsk Krai
and declines towards east Russia

#5 Basque
Country 6.7%

Origin: Peaks in France and Spain
Basque regions and declines in Spain, France, and Germany

Sardinia 6.7%

Origin: Peaks in Sardinia and
declines in weaker in Italy, Greece, Albania, and The Balkans

#7 Tuva

Origin: Peaks in south Siberia
(Russians: Tuvinian) and declines in North Mongolia

Central America 5.4%

Origin: Peaks in Mexico and
Central America with residues in Peru

Southeastern India 5.4%

Origin: Endemic to south eastern
india with residues in Pakistan

#10 West
Africa 5.2%

Origin: Peaks in Senegal and Gambia
and declines in Algeria and Mororrco

Madagascar 3.9%

Origin: Peaks in Madagascar with
residues in South Africa

#12 Bantu
Africa and the Niger-Congo Areas 2.5%

Origin: Peaks in Nigeria and
declines in Senegal, Gambia, and Kenya

Northwestern Africa 2%

Origin: Peaks in Algeria and
declines in Morocco and Tunisia

Northern India 1.6%

Origin: Peaks in North India
(Dharkars, Kanjars) and declines in Pakistan

#15 The
Southern Levant 1.3%

Origin: This gene pool is
localized to Israel with residues in Syria

African Pygmies 0.5%

Origin: Associated with the Pygmy
people (Pygmy means short and is assoicated with people) not places.

Western South America 0.5%

Origin: Peaks in Peru, Mexico, and
North America and declines in Eastern Russia

Southern Ethiopia 0.3%

Origin: Localized to South Ethiopia
Reading through the results, I’m sure you can see why I was so confused. I’m glad GPS Origins doesn’t just say, here’s the list and good luck. They do help you understand the results. For me (and I’m guessing everyone) they broke it down into 3 different categories:
GPS origins and genetic testing- talks about the 4 different types of DNA and what they mean along with what passes from generation to generation.

Understanding your ancestral origins (gene pool)- talks about how they identified 36 gene polls from around the world from my sample. They compared it with “over 10,000 signatures from 500 populations with known geographic locations to identify the places and times when portions of your DNA formed”.

Migration patterns and your DNA history- talks about two migrations routs that correspond with the maternal and paternal lines of my family.  “Natural and man-made factors have caused large groups to migrate, mainly changing climates, wars, invasions, natural disasters, famine, drought, trading opportunities, imperial expansion, the slave trade, the need to escape political, racial or religious persecution, and better economic prospects.

I’ll be honest, it was a lot to digest. On one hand I was upset with being told I was half Cuban my whole life, when it turns out I don’t have any Cuban in me at all. On the other hand, my heritage only shapes my features and such, it doesn’t really depict who I really am. Being 5.2% West African doesn’t explain why I will do just about anything to help a child or animal in need. Being 10.5% Western Siberian doesn’t explain that I love the colors purple and green. Being 0.5% African Pygmies does mean that I can make jokes about my people being pygmies (I have a weird sense of humor).

All in all, I think it’s super cool to find out where my ancestors came from, but it doesn’t tell me who I am. Who I am, comes from who raised me, what my life experiences have been. I am a writer, mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and the crazy lady down the street. All those things make up who I am and more.

I do want to thank GPS Origins for offering this really cool kit as I really did wonder where my “family” was from. I do think everyone should do this at some point, as it really shows us how we are more alike than we are different. So, now I know. Maybe someday, I will do another one and see how it compares to these results, but for now, I’m going to just keep being me. After all, that’s all I really do know.

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Disclosure: The above item was received in order to facilitate review. I have not been compensated for this post. Top Notch Material blog will always provide honest opinions, beliefs or experiences on products reviewed. We will only recommend products or services that we feel are of benefit to our readers. If you have any questions, please contact me at katrina dot gehman {at} gmail com. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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