23andMe, Mostly Me

I jumped on the bandwagon, one of my lovable traits, and signed up for 23andMe. I wasn’t sure which DNA testing kit to use, because now there are a few dozen out there. From the few that I had name recognized I decided that 23andMe had the best reviews and made the most sense. The next highest runner up was Ancestry.com, but I can’t justify giving money to an organization like Ancestry.com for access to documents and photos that were uploaded free and don’t belong to Ancestry.com. 23andMe had two choices, either their regular ancestry test or their “better” test that gives a detailed health check. I already know I’m a type 1 diabetic and that my mother had breast cancer. If mother nature has more health surprises for me, I prefer to keep them a surprise.

I received the small box in the mail about a week later. In the box was a small tube with a funnel on top of it. I was not allowed to brush my teeth, eat or drink anything for an hour before I had to deposit my DNA. I was hoping for a mouth swab but was surprised to discover I had to spit in the tube. When you think of spitting in a tube it doesn’t seem to be too difficult, but holy cow, they were trying to dehydrate me. It took me about 10 minutes to keep salivating my mouth to fill up that damn tube. Once I had finally met that fill line on the tube, I took off the funnel, snap closed the tube and shook it as directed. I then went outside to drop the package in the mail and realized that I had no idea where a mail collection box was. So I wandered around for a while and finally found one outside of a post office.

Being me, I immediately logged in to the app when I got back to the apartment to check the status of my submission. Since I literally dropped it in the mail box three minutes earlier, there was no update. I was sad by this but knew it would take longer than I wanted, so I just had to wait. The next three days I regularly checked the app for updates, and was happy to see that my submission was finally accepted. The results were expected to be ready my February 17th but could take as long as March 2nd. The fact that my results were ready by February 6th made me elated.

I wasn’t really sure how to read the results and 23andMe had some wonderful guides on how to decipher them, but again, me being me wanted to do the hard work by myself and tried to understand what I was presented. Here is what I understand, so far:

European 99.8%
      Northwestern European 95.8%
                 British & Irish 48.4%
                 French & German 26.2%
                 Scandinavian 2.6%
                 Broadly Northwestern European 18.6%
      Eastern European 2.1%
      Ashkenazi Jewish 0.3%
      Broadly European 1.6%
Unassigned 0.2%

Well, there you have it. I am White AF. Two surprises from this 1. I had no idea there was any Jewish ancestry it my line. That sparked many Golden Girl quotes from the Witness episode where Blanche learns she is part Jewish from Buffalo. 2. My dad’s mother, my grandmother, is half Native American. I believe her mother was 100% Choctaw. But none of that showed in my DNA test results.

One cool element from the test was the Neanderthal Ancestry results. I had no idea they did this, but it turns out that I have 287 Neanderthal Ancestry variants, that is more than 69% of 23andMe customers. The four variants that the test focus on are:
1. Straight Hair
2. Sneezing after eating dark chocolate
3. Less back hair
4. Height

I already have straight hair, I adore dark chocolate, luckily have no back hair so it is quite obvious that the height factor is the only variant I could have. So there we have it, scientific evidence that my height is attributed to my neanderthal ancestry, so stop hating!  I’m still working on my family tree, so far I have traced the Gavit name back to 1440 when it was Gavey, you can see here. I hope that this app can help me explore more lines.

Overall, it can be fun to see what exactly I am made out of. The app has a lot more detail then what is listed here, it will just take more time to discover the exciting facts. So if you’ve got the time, the money and the saliva(can’t stress that enough) give it a try. Below are the four main reports detailing my ancestry, I doubt anyone is interested in these, aside from my siblings, so here they are. 

Kevin Gavit Paternal Haplogroup Report – 23andMe
Kevin Gavit Maternal Haplogroup Report – 23andMe
Kevin Gavit Neanderthal Ancestry Report – 23andMe
Ancestry Composition – 23andMe

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