I got my Ancestry.com results yesterday, and, as I had suspected, I am not quite as advertised.
49% East Asian
22% British Isles
13% Central European
So, it looks as though my mother is a touch less than pure Japanese. As a good Japanese (from Japan) she should have been dismayed by this information, but when I conveyed it to her last night, she just laughed and said, "So that's why I have this hook to my nose."
Then she asked me how much I paid to have this test done. When I told her $109, she then asked, well, was it worth it?
Of course it was. I finally found out what I am. Well, 92% of what I am, anyway.
The 13% central European is no great surprise; my father always said he was an eighth German, which would have made me roughly 6% central European; and the British Isles were invaded by plenty of different Continental types over the years.
The big surprise was the 8% Finnish/Volga-Ural. Or maybe it wasn't such a big surprise, at least to me: even though many people take me for Hispanic, maybe the guy who mows their lawn, I've always seen myself more as a Scandinavian beauty.
The eight percent "uncertain" certainly leaves a fair-sized chunk of uncertainty. Oh well, maybe it's better to preserve a little mystery. And a lot of possibilities.
Ancestry.com's explanation for "uncertain" is: "This means that small traces of a specific genetic population may have been found in your DNA, but the probabilities were too low to pinpoint it to a specific ethnicity. This is not uncommon, and as more genetic signatures are discovered with a higher confidence level, we may be able to update this 'uncertain' percentage of your ethnicity over time."
This leaves open the possibility that I am part American Indian or black, as I originally speculated. But those genetic signatures are probably pretty well well documented. The "small traces" and "low probabilities" point toward something more exotic. Like Neanderthal. Or Homo Floriensis.
Or maybe they couldn't figure it out because I'm 8% nonhuman. I'd prefer that mix to be tiger, with a little wolverine mixed in. But, given my cowardly nature, there's more than a little likelihood of worm, as well.
It could just be that the "8% uncertain" is merely a straightforward reference to my personality. (I always seem to feel a tad less sure about things than many people I know. My wife, for instance.)
I'd like to hold out the possibility that I'm 8% immortal. Maybe I'm descended from Hercules (who was only half immortal himself).
My 18-year-old daughter, who is nothing if not topical, suggested we could be part vampire.
I may go to another service (most likely 23andme, which also evidently gives you a profile of your inherited health conditions) just to see if the results match. And if that 8% uncertainty can be cleared up.
In the meantime, I'm planning on a trip to Helsinki, where I can meet Finns like this one --
-- and tell them, 'Hey, we could be cousins!"