Are your DNA results correct?

Before beginning a series of posts about San Diego, I wanted to share a recent revelation about my original DNA test results from Ancestry.  Many of us are surprised at how diverse our ancestors were but I already knew, from census records, how varied my ethnicity was.  My results just didn’t make sense although I am aware the DNA is still a mystery with varying estimates even from siblings.

These are my original results which I featured in a previous post Our Ancestors.

A shameless excuse to show off my new winter boots courtesy of DSW and my torn jeans…

Africa (north) 2%
Middle East 2%
Europe east 1%
Europe west 3%
British Isles 19%
Iberian Peninsula 5%
Italy/Greece 2%
Asia east 1%
Native American 4%
Ireland 60%
Scandinavian 1%

Since then, I have excitedly tried to find out more about my ancestors but could never understand why I had so little Spanish given my maiden name was de Ortega and I can trace my ancestors from California via Mexico back to Spain.  They were conquistadors.  Spaniards rarely have 100 % Iberian DNA which includes Portugal.  So many invaders and immigrants from Italy, Greece and North Africa left their mark.

My British cousins have created family trees on a European website, MyHeritage  and I read that I could download my original DNA results from Ancestry and upload them to MyHeritage.  There is no cost but you do have to subscribe to MyHeritage.  A few days later, I had yet another exciting reveal and the results are below –

Irish/Scottish/Welsh 53.9 %
Scandinavian 9.1%
Iberian 26.8 %
Greek 1.2%
Italian 0.9%
Balkan 1.1 %
Baltic 1 %
Central American 4.4%
North American 0.8 %
Chinese/Vietnamese 0.8%

Now we are talking – 25 % Iberian – yay! Even more exciting, they can now differentiate between North and Central Native American. I am mostly Mestizo native described below courtesy of MyHeritage. The largest population of Central America, spanning from Mexico to Colombia and Venezuela, is of Mestizo descent – a mixture of Spanish, Native American, and African ancestry. Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, interestingly, have a greater Caucasian population, representing European migration. In contrast, indigenous Central Americans are Mayans, the descendants of the advanced Mayan civilization of pre-Colombian times. Ancient Central American civilizations produced many important innovations, including pyramid construction, complex mathematical and astronomical observations, early forms of medical surgery, accurate calendar systems, and complex agricultural methods. In contemporary society, many people with Central American ethnicity have settled among the nations in South America, reaching as far south as Uruguay and Argentina.

This now makes more sense because although I can trace my North American native ancestor, Mourning Dawn, it is many generations back. When I was tracing back my family in Mexico, I found an ancestor with the name of Xoptoval Ortega born in 1626 in Celaya, Mexico – a Maya name I suspect? Mestizo is sometimes used as an insult in Latino Spanish, meaning mongrel, but I could not be more proud of my 57 varieties. Now I know I am genuinely of Mexican descent. On a funny side-note I recently got a call from one of my first cousins on my father’s side. We have only spoken once but he fascinates me because he looks most like my Dad and even sounds like him. As we were chatting, he mentioned that he had asked one of our great aunts from the Ortega side if we were Mexican. She had a fit and insisted we were 100% Spanish… I mentioned my recent DNA results to my cousin and he hung up on me!!! He really did and I doubt he will ever speak to me again. Mexicans are feisty…

So what other mysteries were revealed.  I am Viking!  Teddy would love me to look exactly like Lagertha in the Vikings series.  Sadly for him, I just look like the Viking Irish – fair, blue eyes and a distinctive short nose.  Did you know that Scandinavians still call outlanders, “long noses”?  Much of Ireland was invaded by Vikings who settled for generations, trading Irish slaves to the Scandinavian countries.  Yeah, there were plenty of nasty human traffickers before America.  I have only inherited Celtic DNA (Irish/Scottish/Wales) but I know I have English ancestors.  God is good –  I am just kidding, English friends! The little bit of Baltic makes sense being so close to Scandinavia but the Balkan DNA is curious – the Balkans stretch from Turkey to Greece incorporating the former Yugoslavia.

My vintage Calvin Klein coat is back in fashion but no matter what I do, I still look as Irish as a potato!


So, why are my DNA results so different?  Time has passed and DNA analysis has evolved with more information on the databases.  I believe that my previous Western European DNA should really have been Iberian and that some of my Irish DNA should have been Scandinavian because my family came from a Viking area in Ireland.  That said, I might be wrong and who knows which results are correct?  The only way to test it would be to use a third company to take a DNA test and I might yet do that.  If you are curious it is very easy to do what I did.  Just subscribe to Ancestry and MyHeritage, download your raw DNA from settings onto your computer and then upload it to whichever company is the opposite.  You might get a nice surprise like me.  Maya maiden, Celtic warrior, Conquistadora and Viking – Kerry is kicking ass!

PS In case you wonder about the location, my hairdresser took the photos this morning.

53 thoughts on “Are your DNA results correct?

      • I also have a lot of Asian which would be the Native American in me. We just might be primas! My boyfriend got happy when I told him I have some Jewish in me. Lol. He’s all mixed up too. He’s Jewish and I’m Catholic. My grandmother was supposedly born from an affair. Her father was Jewish and her mother was from Chihuahua. My other great grandparents were from Durango and Michoacan. Weren’t you going to write a book about this??

        Liked by 2 people

      • I am going to write a book about it eventually…😁 Ooh, I like all the exciting stuff about your great-grandparents! We are all more mixed than we think. I never dated anyone Jewish, perhaps it’s not too late??? Just don’t tell Teddy! Have a good weekend Prima!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Eventually?? Lol. Let’s just say I think the family got around. 😁 It’s the same as dating whomever. Idk but when we have a baby, he says he doesn’t want him/her to be Catholic. Whatever! I said the baby would have to be Catholic and Jewish. Lol. I won’t tell Teddy anything about your future Jewish boyfriend. 😃 Have a great weekend, prima!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I got back my Ancestry DNA results a couple of weeks ago and found out that I’m 66% Irish, 15% U.K., 12% West Europe. That 93% pretty much jibes with my genealogy research. But I’m also 1% Caucasus and 1% West Asia — don’t know where that’s from, maybe thousands of years ago, Then I’m also 5% Iberian Peninsula just like you and I don’t know of any Spanish or Portuguese connection, either. I just got back from Galicia in northern Spain which is also Celt DNA. Maybe one of my ancestors got in a boat and sailed north to Wales or Ireland! Oh, I have a possible explanation for your 1% Balkan: we noticed a lot of Gypsies in Spain. They call themselves Roma and they probably originally came from Romania.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is remarkable Kerry – both your results and the fact that the science is now in place to do such analysis. I don’t know of any influences other than English/Irish though no doubt there must be something back in the mists of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. DNA testing is so exciting! I did one through At first, I was surprised that my Scandinavian percentage was so high… but then I had an aha moment — Vikings went EVERYWHERE! lol. I want to take at least one different DNA test and I’m trying to get my siblings and parents to do the same, though it’s like pulling teeth at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 1. I did upload my Ancestry results onto MyHeritage and did get different results.
    2. I also did 23 and Me DNA results, with some small surprises
    3. How did I miss your reference to Mourning Dawn?! I wonder if this is the same ancestor as our “Mourning (nee Newman/Neumann) Smith (1st husband)” who married William Dillingham in 1809. When I was a kid, the story was she was “just” an Indian. As I’ve delved more into the (extensive!!) Dillingham tree, it appears she may have been part Native American and her father was a medical missionary to “the Indians” from Alsace-Lorraine. I have been able to find records of her in several places, but none so far that identify a specific tribe.

    Liked by 1 person

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