Have you and a sibling taken a DNA test and were either shocked or confused about why you didn't have the same ancestral DNA results or ethnicity percentages, when you have the same parents? Did you think that you and your sibling should have the same exact ethnicity and percentages, well, because, you're siblings? Not exactly. Let's take a look at why this could happen in genetic genelogy!
DNA Ancestry vs Cultural Ancestry:
Don't siblings Have to Have the Same Ancestral DNA? No, you and your siblings do not necessarily have the same ancestry results in your DNA. DNA ancestry can be quite different than cultural ancestry. Think of it like a bunch of colored marbles in a jar, and that each color represents a particular ancestry.
Ancestral DNA Mini Experiment:
Pretend that you have a jar of colored marbles, and that you cover your eyes, reach in, and pull out a handful; then your sibling does the same. Do you think that you and your sibling will pull out the same combinations? The answer is most probably not. It is the same thing with your ancestral DNA.
Random Mixture of DNA:
Yes, you will each get 50% of your DNA from your mother, and 50% of your DNA from your father, but that DNA isn’t passed down in a single block; not every child gets the same 50% from their mother or the same 50% from their father, just like in the little jar of marbles experiment above. Each child will get a random mixture of that 50% DNA (a particular colored marble) from each parent.
Full Ancestry vs Mixture of Ancestry:
If your parents each have 100% of a particular ancestry (this is not the usual case nowadays), but each has a different ancestry than the other, you and your sibling should each get 50% of each. It’s when your parents have a mixture of ancestry (usually the case) that you and your siblings will have different ancestral DNA results from one another. Since most people are made up of many ethnicities, the mixture in the marble jar will be more varied, thus each handful pulled out has a higher chance of being different from the previous handful.
Have you taken a DNA test and were either shocked or confused about why you and a sibling didn't have the same ethnicity results? How different is your ancestral DNA with your sibling? Do one of you have more of a particular ethnicity than an other? I'd love to find out how different you and your siblings' DNA ethnicity is! Let me know in the comments below!
More DNA Tips and Resources:
Find more genealogy DNA research tips under the under the DNA Simplified category of my blog and on my dedicated Genealogy Research Tips page! Haven't tested yet or looking into tools you can use in your DNA research? Find some DNA genealogy resources on my Genealogy Resources page!
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Related DNA+Genealogy Content That May Be of Interest:
Evalogue.Life, Heart of the Family, Molly's Canopy, Climbing My Family Tree, Cami Mayer, Field Genealogist, Ancestor Detective, DNA Breakthroughs, Your DNA Guide, Ancestral Findings, Genealogy Tip of the Day, Family History Daily, Genea-Musings
I hope my family history and genealogy blog on genealogy research tips, resources, events, and more, along with my own genealogy journeys, will help you in your research and in building your family tree to learn more about your ancestors and family history to preserve for future generations to come!