What I learned from 23andMe

Over a year ago, I submitted my saliva spit to 23andMe.com to be informed of my health risks. It was a long wait for the results since I took advantage of the price drop to $99. When I got my results, I was not surprised really. I have a chance for Parkinson’s Disease which is understandable since my mother has Parkinson’s and so did a great grandfather. I also have a risk for heart disease. Really? Well, I guess that means my extra weight needs to go and now. I feel good about knowing my genetics in regards to my health. The FDA thinks we are too stupid to deal with knowing our genetics so the health portion of 23andMe has been suspended. Sorry FDA, I’m not stupid. I am using my information to improve my life.

Now the big surprise from my spit came from the ancestry report. I am 0% Italian but my father’s family is 100% Italian. I have looked at the genealogy back several generations and they are all Italian. So I think it is safe to conclude that my father is not my biological father, he’s a step-father. It has been a hard thing for me to get a handle on. I was abused by this man so I have no love for him. But my grandparents were the world to me when I was young. I loved my Aunt Jean, who was also my godmother. I grew up as an Italian-American. That is what a identified with. Now who am I?

My mother’s family is German pretty much 100%. I blogged about discovering my mother’s side of my family here. So I should be able to deduce what my biological father is. Here is the breakdown of my ancestory composition from 23andMe.com.

European 92.3%

Northern European
British/Irish 12.8%
French/German 4.0%
Scandinavian 0.5%
Finnish 0.0%
Nonspecific Northern European 52.3%

Southern European
Iberian 0.5%
Balkan 0.0%
Sardinian 0.0%
Italian 0.0%
Nonspecific Southern European 0.6%

East European
Ashkenazi 0.0%
Nonspecific European 21.6%

East Asian & Native American 3.3%
Native American 2.4%
Nonspecific East Asian & Native American 0.9%

Sub-Saharan African 0.4%
West African 0.3%
Nonspecific Sub-Saharan African 0.1%

South Asian 0.1%
Middle Eastern & North African 0.1%
Nonspecific Middle Eastern & North African 0.1%

Unassigned 3.9%

The connections through sharing on 23andMe.com make me believe that my father is part Northern European and part Puerto Rican (I have lots of cousins there!). My father would have been in Kingsville, Texas possibly stationed at NAS Kingsville in early 1958.

Last week I submitted some more spit to Ancestory.com and hopefully (fingers crossed) I’ll get a little surprise with some information on my paternal side. That would be great. I’ll let you know when I get the results.

This is my first blog of the month for BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo for March 2014. I appreciate anyone that reads this.



1 thought on “What I learned from 23andMe”

  • If you always identified yourself as Italian-American, then maybe you still are. It’s not in your blood, but it IS in your heart and habits of mind. Your grandparents and Aunt Jean are still a part of you, and that’s what matters. It sounds like 23andMe is taking you on a fascinating journey! I’m looking forward to reading more. 🙂

Let me know what you think.