INHERITANCE WITHOUT MUCH VALUE

It was my anniversary present — from me to we. I am not searching for my ancestors  because I more or less know who they were. Interesting, not fascinating. Not the kind of things you write very long saga tales about. More, I was curious about the very ancient ancestors — the Neanderthals and other early humans and what, if anything, do they have to do with me and mine?

Turns out, I still don’t know. Because MyHeritage DNA doesn’t tell you any of that. Nothing. If you want that information, you have to go somewhere else and search, or pay a lot of money to MyHeritage for the opportunity to connect with people who are at most, very mildly interested in your existence. To be fair, I didn’t feel all that excited about it either. But I was curious, so I paid the money and got nothing much.

We sent them our DNA and discovered what we already knew. Garry is widely mixed with European and African ancestors and I am Jewish. Very Jewish. As far as MyHeritage is concerned, back to the dawn of time which is illogical because no one was anything to the dawn of time. Otherwise, there wasn’t a surprise in the package.

I am almost entirely Ashkenazi with a wee bit of Sephardi and a hint of Baltic — probably the guy no one talks about. I had been hoping for something more entertaining and certainly more information. Some minimal analysis would have been a nice touch. What we got were numbers and a map. No analysis. Not even a summary paragraph. Nor reference material or links or anything to work with.

Garry was more entertaining than me, but not exactly shocking. We knew about his Irish grandparents. We expected — and found — lots more Europeans and many more Africans, almost equally mixed. And we expected that. Garry’s DNA is a broad brush across Europe and Africa.

Garry even has a 1.7% Ashkenazi Jewish in there (maybe we’re related?) … and a 2.1% Middle Eastern component. I, on the other hand, am Jewish. Except for that tiny bit of Baltic. So where does my weird B+ blood type come from?

I was disappointed. The results are skimpy. Within the limits of what they did, I suppose they are accurate — but it doesn’t feel like they did anything much. No depth to this material and the lack of any kind of analysis? Really? If you want real information, they want a lot more money. But if this is all the information they can retrieve from the DNA, more money isn’t going to get us deeper analysis. To get deeper analysis, you’d need deeper information gathering and that’s missing. What they really want to do is run your family tree information against other family trees to look for matches. If that’s what you want, join Ancestry.com. You’ll get more information there.

They offer links to “relatives” here, but if you want to get in touch with them, that costs more. Of course.  There were more links for me than for Garry, but that’s because Ashkenazi Jews are closely related and have been studied more than most groups. Otherwise, the information MyHeritageDNA gets seems more dependent on how much data you give them than anything they retrieve from your DNA.

MyHeritageDNA doesn’t dig for information. If what you are looking for is something that will agree with what you know, this might be just what you need. If you are looking for a deeper or broader understanding of your ancestral history … well … this ain’t it. 23andMe gets better reviews for about the same price. Ancestry.com gets reviews just like this one, but provides nominally more analysis of results — but at a price.

Of course, any analysis would be more than I got. Also, there a very new one called Insitome DNA Test Kit: Neanderthal Genetic Traits Profile (Ancestry) powered by Helix which sounds potentially interesting. But I’m not paying up front again. Once was enough.

Inheritance. Now I know that I already knew it. Whoo hoo!

26 thoughts on “INHERITANCE WITHOUT MUCH VALUE

  1. Covert Novelist December 13, 2017 / 3:36 pm

    We have one in Canada Ancestry.ca but I haven’t bothered. For detailed info I believe it’s a lot of money too although I haven’t checked but there are numerous ads out there for the site lol. Not sure I’m that interested as I know my ancestry. Cree. My grandmother was 100% Cree and they refuse to acknowledge her as she was adopted. Adopted???? she was taken from her home by force and given to a white couple as their housekeeper or whatever the term was in those days. Stolen as a child no less. A talented artist who 100 years ago sold her painting for 5000.00 apiece and up (much of which was stolen) who lived a rough life. What more do I need to know? Still in some dark recess of my mind, I wouldn’t mind knowing more. Not sure that’s possible as the history of Native Indians was washed away and many killed or wiped out by diseases.

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    • Marilyn Armstrong December 13, 2017 / 3:44 pm

      That was a very common story among Native Americans here and in Canada and they haven’t done much to repair the damage either. They ALSO did something very similar in Australia. That’s what white people do to natives and then we wonder why they don’t LIKE us.

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      • Covert Novelist December 13, 2017 / 4:18 pm

        Yes, exactly! Doubt fear question, disbelieve what is said because inevitably it will be turned around on a dime and whim as to what is good for the $$ people.

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      • omniclassic December 13, 2017 / 4:37 pm

        It’s this self-righteous Caucasian sense of ultimate entitlement that will eventually bring the like-minded to an eventual rude awakening. That is if they don’t wipe out all indigenous peoples in the process?

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        • Marilyn Armstrong December 13, 2017 / 7:21 pm

          I’m not sure how that applies to Garry and I, who are already pretty damn multi-cultural. My complaint is that they didn’t provide us with any information we didn’t have before their services. I don’t think we are the people who wiped out the indigenous peoples, by the way. Garry’s people sure weren’t and mine were in Europe, trying to not be noticed by the Czar.

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          • omniclassic December 13, 2017 / 9:40 pm

            I’m talking about them Marilyn.., THEM!.., those to whom you, Garry and myself are potential prey, and possibly because of our multiculturism, you know, we, the “Mud Races,” who are felt not to be entitled to land, property or wealth in the eyes of many of the powerful, rich, and lets not forget “white”? Fortunately, our real friends don’t think that way and are just as grossed out as we are.

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            • Marilyn Armstrong December 13, 2017 / 9:55 pm

              We were just watching an Australian show that normally lets us feel “away” from all this — except it was ENTIRELY about racism. Antisemitism. Antiblack. Anti gay. Anti anyone who isn’t just like the rich ruling class. I said “this is a real tooth gnasher,” and Garry said “not a real fun not on Aussie TV.” Reminding us that we are by no means alone.

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      • Taswegian1957 December 18, 2017 / 12:44 am

        Yes, very true. The stories of the stolen generation are really tragic.

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        • Marilyn Armstrong December 18, 2017 / 1:27 am

          It really is a nearly identical story with Native children in this country. I’m often embarrassed to be white.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. swo8 December 13, 2017 / 3:41 pm

    We have a family Bible which has my family tree and goes back to 1700’s. Peter family history goes back to Paris and the 1600’s. That’s far enough for me.
    Leslie

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  3. omniclassic December 13, 2017 / 3:56 pm

    A couple of years ago I was asked to join the Board of Directors of our local Chamber Music Society. During that time there was a movement to diversify the organization, a normally stuffy outfit, that I pointed out, will die unless younger more diverse members were drawn into the society and the general membership. Someone got the bright idea to pass around a questionnaire. When I looked at it I couldn’t find one single category that I could claim so I checked them all. I told the board that, for the time being, I could legitimately act as diversity representative until such time as we could accomplish our goal.

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    • Marilyn Armstrong December 13, 2017 / 4:09 pm

      I joined the Boston Diversity group on Facebook. It’s hard to separate diversity from economics, but I should think it would be easier in music. Anton’s done a pretty good job in Minnesota, bringing in different music that no one imagined these incredibly white young ones would sing … and somehow, managed to bring in some NON white kids too, so while it’s not wildly diverse, it isn’t the pure white it was before. But in the end, the people who talk about it have to really WANT it to happen. Often, they don’t really care that much. They like the way it is.

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  4. omniclassic December 13, 2017 / 4:27 pm

    True. Many have contributed large amounts of cash to the society and figure they are entitled to hear what they want until they themselves die. This is indicative of the state we are in now as a country. Get what we want now and to hell with the rest of the people which, not surprisingly, include the youth and the future of our country. The trick, all around, is to make those younger individuals feel less invulnerable and more concerned about the country and their own future. Youth is great in its ability to insulate the bearer from their surroundings. The cry “That’s for other people, not me.” is a disease. “Why do I need health insurance, I’m never getting sick?” is the side effect.

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    • Marilyn Armstrong December 13, 2017 / 4:41 pm

      If we all lived longer, it would help. A lot. That in a hundred years, we’ll all be gone and whatever happens, it will happen to others tends to make us much more careless. We need to take a longer, deeper look at inheritance. How we affect our world not just today, but in the future and if not personally, than through our kids, the people we mentored, etc. If we see ourselves as a “one off” and that’s it, progress seem irrelevant.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. angloswiss December 13, 2017 / 5:34 pm

    I belonged in ancestry.com for a couple of years and discovered quite a lot of ancestry, msinly in connection with my Huguenots, i even had conversations online with my 6th cousin in Canada from my Huguenot relatives. They never registered my great grandfather Relf at birth and that blocked a complete branch of the family. After finding almost 1000 relations I gave up and lost interest.

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    • Marilyn Armstrong December 13, 2017 / 7:30 pm

      I found one second (third?) cousin and we couldn’t find any relationship, but everything I checked showed us second or third cousins. If so, we sure lost that thread. There were others. Garry wasn’t interested in pursuing them and I was not interested, either. So we didn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Embeecee December 13, 2017 / 6:15 pm

    I used 23 And Me, and wasn’t really thrilled. Not disappointed, there was a lot of information included that, given my Mormon heritage and background (we’re the folks who have done genealogy for eons and eons), I already knew. But some I didn’t. The thing that is the most disappointing (IMHO) about 23 & Me is the onslaught of unwanted spam ads urging a person to buy packages for their friends and family. Uh, what? My family is up to their ears in genealogy already and I’d feel weird giving my few friends the gift of a family tree. Even for a ‘discount’ price. And what’s with the genetics? 23 & Me keeps sending spam mail to join groups doing genetic testing on themselves. I KNOW (from their own report) that there’s nothing hinky in my genetic background, save a fairly benign glitch to do with an enzyme, which is minor and apparently doesn’t cause any fuss for any one. Now if I were, like you, Ashkenazi Jewish, I’d be all over that if I planned to have children. If I were past the age of child bearing or didn’t want to have kids, again..to me? It’s merely more spam and sales. Sounds to me like all these plans are pretty much the same.

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    • Marilyn Armstrong December 13, 2017 / 7:24 pm

      I didn’t GET any of that information. Nothing. That’s MY point. There was NO analysis, and I think maybe they went back to my great great grandfather? So it was a real waste of money. Of course I knew I was Jewish. Kind of obvious. But for all of us, go back far enough and we were other things in other times and places. This makes it look like my people sprouted in central Europe and never left until the migration to the U.S. in the early 20th century.

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  7. Ruth December 14, 2017 / 12:52 pm

    Wow, you have B+ blood type? Me too! I always thought God (or whoever) was having a laugh giving a chronic depressive like me ‘Be Positive’ blood, and I’ve never personally know anyone else who has it 🙂

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    • Marilyn Armstrong January 23, 2018 / 7:53 pm

      It is the least common major blood type and why I would have it — or you? NO idea. All my roots are Jewish and B is not a common blood type for us — but I’ve got it anyway. Sometimes, you have a lot of questions but not necessarily any answers.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Taswegian1957 December 18, 2017 / 12:53 am

    What a let down that must have been. I know you and Garry were looking forward to learning a bit more. It sounds rather as if it is more about making money than actually trying to do real research that would show more than what you can research on Ancestry.com. I know where my family is from but I like he idea of going way back to pre-historic times and learning they originated.

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