Say What? Is this MY DNA?

say what cat picIt has been a very exciting week in my genealogy life. I finally got the results of my Family Finder autosomal DNA test! YEAH!

When I wrote my first DNA post in December,  I said

“ I don’t really expect to find any relatives, although that could be fun. But I am interested to see if the background results match the family stories.”

Well, my family tree is all Hungarian, and Székely (ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania, Romania). Except great-grandmother Anna from Moravia who was Czech or Austrian or maybe Polish. So I expected the MyOrigins maps to show mostly Eastern European and a maybe little Western Europe for Grandma Anna.

What I got was not at all what I expected.

My Ethnic Makeup_no name

Turkish I could understand. I thought that traced back to the Ottoman occupation in the 16th-18th centuries. But my new FTDNA buddy tells me no. That goes way back to the original migration from Asia in the 900s, or perhaps earlier.

The southern Europe piece might be from the Romans. Or who-knows-who was migrating back and forth around Europe centuries ago.

But the British Isles piece blew me away. I pondered that for a couple of days. Then just as I was about to fall asleep one night it hit me like a ton of bricks! Is it the Celts? So of course I got up and googled ‘Celts in Hungary’ until 2am. Apparently they occupied the area from The British Isles to Northern Hungary in the 3rd century.

Here’s a map. What do you think?


This is a lot of conjecture on my part, so if you know more about ethnic distribution of DNA in Europe, please let me know what you think.

Back to the finding relatives thing.  I have  56 matches!  54 of them are considered distant or ‘speculative’ matches. But there are 2 ranked as ‘3rd to 5th cousins’.

shared origin


Székely Guy, my closest match, lives in a village 15km from where great-grandmother Barbara was born.  We didn’t find our common ancestor, but he has a great-grandmother with the same surname so we have a good idea where our connection comes from.

I haven’t connected with British Woman yet, but I browsed her extensive family tree. Looks like her many generations of documented ancestors never came anywhere near Hungary. But she’s got lots of Irish, and I am guessing that some of her unnamed ancestors wandered pretty far south some 18 centuries ago.

DNA is mind-boggling. Think about every little cell in your body containing not only the complex blueprints and the instruction manual for building you.  It is also carrying around your family history from hundreds and thousands of years ago. Our ancestors are with us.

My brain is very busy planning which cousins I need to cajole into taking the Family Finder test so that I can sort out the family lines into Turks and Celts and Romans. Like every new discovery in genealogy research, it adds a dozen more questions to the to-do list!


2 thoughts on “Say What? Is this MY DNA?

  1. You wrote: “It is also carrying around your family history from hundreds and thousands of years ago. Our ancestors are with us.”

    Yes, I agree. It’s a romantic notion and I am also fascinated by the medical implications such as inherited physical traits. Something as simple as why am I double-jointed to something more complex like heart disease.

    I recently was taking a class on Nature vs. Nurture with a psychology focus and it also made me think a lot about genetics.

    Growing up it was not uncommon to be compared to each others’ siblings. I am quite sure that happens in many families with two or more children. All of us love art, culture and language to varying degrees, was that solely our parents’ influence? Or do we, genetically, have a sensitivity that yearns for the arts which are an emotional expression?

    So many questions come from reading your blog. I look forward to soon getting the results of my DNA test and comparing it to my daughter’s (who is half Filipina and surprisingly had Madagascar and China among the represented groups in her DNA results) and comparing my results to that of my siblings.

    Perhaps finally we will learn a genetic why I am compelled to tell corny jokes. 🙂


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