Thank goodness I didn’t try eating haggis

Nor did I make myself watch “Braveheart,” on the off chance I would like it better this time.

In fact, I made no effort to acclimate myself to being Scottish, in spite of Ancestry’s bold claim that I was 52 percent thataway. Oh, when my wife and I were discussing where in the world we should travel to next, I mentioned that maybe I had a sort of ancestral obligation to try out Scotland — but I didn’t push it. Frankly, I’d rather go back to England or Ireland — or maybe Wales.

Bottom line, though, I never really believed it. And in spite of Ancestry’s long disinformation campaign of declaring me more and more Scottish — boosting me from a negligible amount to 40 percent, then 48 percent, and then, earlier this year, to 53 percent! — I retained my doubts. And I hoped Ancestry would realize its mistake, and start dialing it back.

Which they have now done, to a rather dramatic degree:

So now, I’m allegedly somewhat more Scots than anything else, but not mostly Scottish. I now await the next adjustment, which should get us back down to something based more in fact. Which means more English, and a good bit more Irish.

Nothing against being Scottish, mind you. It’s just that I don’t think its accurate, based on my family tree. Near as I can tell, I’m mostly English, followed by Welsh, Irish and Scottish all vying for a distant second.

Of course, as I’ve acknowledged before, this may just be because the English managed to keep better records — while busy lording it over those other three groups (and likely destroying a lot of those records). It’s particularly difficult tracing ancestors once they get back to Ireland. I can get them back there, but once in Ireland, they seem to have had no parents or any other antecedents.

But this latest assessment seems closer to reality…

6 thoughts on “Thank goodness I didn’t try eating haggis

  1. DougT

    Traced my wife’s folks back to a small village in Scotland near Sterling. Found the location of my ancestor’s shop on River Liffy in Dublin. Found the small village in Slovakia where my other side of family is from. None are exactly culinary hot spots.

    I suppose I could fly to Vienna, enjoy a schnitzel and a strudel before the hour long drive to Slovakia.

  2. DougT

    Just receceived my update. On my Slovak update, they nailed it down to the district. Earlier generations my folks lived in Eastern Slovakia and western Ukraine. It’s impressive they are so accurate.

    On the other hand, my 32% Irish bloood , lists the whole country, no specific town or county. On my 23&me test, my folks are shown from Galway, Cork, and Kerry. They even show my English roots in Greater London and Manchester. But 23&me shows my central Europe roots in Poland, not Slovakia.

    Weird how Ancestry and 23&Me differ.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Also, 23andme will tell you your percentage of Neanderthal DNA. Which is cool.

      Several members of my family did 23andme, which is frustrating in that they aren’t on Ancestry where I am, but cool in that they learn things Ancestry doesn’t provide — which means I learn those things as well…

      1. DougT

        23&Me Health and Traits sections are neat, but forget about a family tree. I received 23&Me and kits as Christmas gifts. Just for the heck of it, I sent my DNA readout to another company who told me my folks came from Puerto Rico and South America. Huh????

        Constructing my family tree has been really fun and challenging. Started using Family Search Wiki more recenty and have found a trove of records.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I’ll have to check that out.

          My main sources — free ones, of course (Ancestry costs enough) — are Findagrave, and Wikitree. That’s for past generations. And of course, it’s generally way easier to find what you want with dead ancestors than with living relatives — because nobody’s trying to protect their privacy.

          Another great resource, of course, is obituaries — which, if you’re talking about people who have recently passed, is one of the best sources you can find for connecting you to LIVING people, when they are listed as survivors.

          Beyond that, probably the second-best source for info on the living is Facebook — assuming the person is on Facebook, and into it to the extent that you see relationships. I can understand why people DON’T do that, but with the few who do, you can learn a lot about living relatives, and their respective relationships, that you might want to put on your tree. Or, if you’re not into genealogy, so you can find out who in the world that cousin was whom you saw at the wedding, funeral or family reunion…

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