This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my disclosure page for more information.
Around St. Patrick’s Day, everyone starts wondering if they are a little bit Irish. You want to be able to wear those “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” t-shirts with full confidence. 🙂
While in the past we had to rely on family lore (which was often just family myths) to know about our origins, with the advancements made in DNA testing we can know where we come from with a lot more certainty.
There’s never a better time to do this than around St. Patrick’s Day because many of the DNA testing sites run really good specials. Right now through March 18th, Ancestry.com is running a promotion that allows you to purchase a DNA kit for only $59.
The price is normally $99 so that is a really good deal. Plus, if you use Ebates, you can get 7.5% cash back on your kit purchase. Ancestry DNA claims to have data on more regions of Ireland than any other DNA test available, with information available for 92 regions of Ireland.
23andMe does not appear to be running a special on the price of their DNA kits, but they are offering free shipping through March 17th. 23andMe is a bit different from Ancestry.com because they offer both ancestry and ancestry/health tests that can give you information on genetic health risks and carrier status. Their ancestry kit is $99 and the ancestry/health kit is $199.
These DNA sites are constantly updating their data bases and your profile may change frequently. We had our DNA tested a couple of years ago and we are always getting updates. If you decide to test with more than one site, your results will most likely be a little bit different.
Back to the question, are you Irish? My answer is yes! According to 23andMe, 69% of my DNA is of British and Irish ancestry. The thing I like about my results from this site is that they break down regions within a given country, showing you where your DNA results are the strongest.
For instance, my French ancestry shows my DNA is concentrated in only one region of France: Brittany. My latest results also show my DNA is present in ten regions in Ireland. Here is the breakdown of information:
I also have Scottish DNA. I kinda wish I had all Scottish DNA because I LOVE this shirt: 🙂
I can’t wear that shirt in good conscience since I’m both Irish and Scottish. 🙂
My AncestryDNA results show that 72% of my DNA comes from England, Wales, and Northwestern Europe. 28% of my DNA comes from Ireland and Scotland. It also shows that my ancestors migrated from their homeland to Virginia and the lower Midwest, which I know to be true.
Most of my relatives still live in the Midwest and I know I have roots in Virginia from tracing my genealogy for the Daughters of the American Revolution. My 8th-great grandfather served as a Captain from Virginia in the Revolutionary War.
Testing with several different DNA companies can give you a variety of information, and a peek into your past. And it couldn’t be easier to do. You order a kit, and when it arrives, you spit into the provided vial, seal it up, mail it back, register your kit number online, and then wait for your results.
Results can take several weeks, especially during busy times of the year like the holidays. If you’d like more in-depth information about the kind of data you get from these types of sites, I wrote a blog post last year comparing the different results I received from Ancestry DNA and 23andMe.
Testing with 23andMe can tell you if you have Neanderthal DNA, which still boggles my mind. I have a LOT of Neanderthal DNA variants, which explains so many things about me. 🙂
Even if you aren’t interested in finding out if you are Irish for St. Patrick’s Day, I would still encourage you to participate in DNA testing. It is so fascinating to find out where we come from. Our DNA holds our story and I can’t think of a better read. 🙂
I’d love to hear anything interesting you’ve learned about your family through research or DNA results.
And I’d love for you to follow me on Pinterest!