Saturday, October 17, 2015

DNA Test Results - I Am Excited!

I'm not sure why it took me so long to get my DNA test. Probably because my brother, Phillip got his done about 3 years ago and I didn't understand the results. I wasn't prepared to learn the difference in an autosomal DNA test, X-DNA test, Y-DNA test and mtDNA test or learning what my personal Haplotype is. I looked at the info and decided it was way over my head. So did three years of research on my ancestry and now they are now able to provide information on my mother and father for the same price that my brother paid for just our father. I find them to be equally important so I am glad I waited.

Since I created my family tree on Ancestry.com I had my DNA test done by them so I can easily find others in my family tree. I sent my saliva sample to these lovely folks and bingo they created a colorful pie chart, map and graph that made me very happy, proving once again that I am an artist unwilling to compute numbers and figures but I get all giddy about colorful pie charts and maps that only sort of make sense because it is as it states, a very colorful ethnicity estimate. I have the raw data files that I will attempt to figure out later. I just recently found out that forty-six chromosomes make up our DNA. 23 from our father and 23 from our mother. So here is my pretty little DNA Pie Chart.



As the pie chart above shows, I have 45% Iberian Peninsula and 26% Native American ethnicity. That is the easy part because the rest of the pie chart doesn't make sense unless you refer to a written description on Ancestry.com and the map below. Obviously the Iberian Peninsula is the darkest blue area which includes Spain and Portugal but the paper work says because of migration, or as I would call it hanky panky with the neighbors, it also includes Sisily, Italy, France, Morocco and Algeria. And then the large light blue circle that encompasses 10 other regions including more of Italy and France and then there is Switzerland, Germany, England and a tiny bit of Ireland. And last but not least the 5% Middle Eastern from Morocco and Tunisia. Which makes perfect sense when you consider that from the 8th to the 15th centuries, parts of the Iberian peninsula were ruled by the Moors who crossed over at the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco to Spain. The Strait of Gibraltar is only 9 miles across.



The graph above compares my ethnicity to the average person that lives in Spain today. I have 45% Iberian Peninsula DNA compared to their 51%. The people living in the Iberian Peninsula region are fairly admixed, which means that when creating genetic ethnicity estimates for people native to this area, there are similarities to DNA profiles from other nearby regions.


My cousin, Davy Delgado tells me that some of that 26% Native American is very likely from my Castillo-Padilla branch of the family tree. Davy and I share a great-grand parents, Jose Delores Padilla and Marcelina Castillo. He tells me that the Castillo-Padillas were Comancheros before and after the Bosque Redondo era. I am going to take his word for it because he is the New Mexican historian extraordinaire. He lives and breaths our family history.

Early on in my ancestry journey, I met a cousin, Eric Castillo who lives in Pueblo of Isleta is nestled in the scenic Rio Grande Valley, 15 miles south of Albuquerque. It is one of the larger 19 Pueblos within New Mexico and was established in the 1300s. Isleta Pueblo covers an area of more than 329 square miles, surrounded by the Manzano Mountains to the east and to the desert mesa lands of the Rio Puerco on the west. The name Isleta in Spanish means "Little Island."

With that being said, I might possibly be part Navajo and Mescalero Apache and maybe even Hopi. As the story goes, from 1863-1868 the U.S. Army forcibly moved the the Navajo tribe from their traditional homelands in Arizona to The Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation in Ft Sumner. It was a tragic period of U.S. history. It is as difficult for me do research on this era of my history as it is to do research on Cortes conquering Mexico and the Spanish Inquisition. It seems that I always end up on my couch at 2:00 in the morning, with tears welling up in my eyes as I read about people being wrongly uprooted from their homes.

The Navajos were starved into submission and also forced to march hundreds of miles to the Bosque Redondo Reservation. They call this journey "The Long Walk." Some 53 different forced marches occurred between August 1864 and the end of 1866. Four different routes were used, based on the weather, water and rations available along the way. The Spanish Mission of San Agustin de la Isleta was built in the pueblo around 1629 or 1630 by the Spanish Franciscan friar Juan de Salas. During the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, many of the pueblo people fled to Hopi settlements in Arizona while others followed the Spanish retreat south to El Paso del Norte, present-day El Paso. After the rebellion, the Isleta people returned to the Pueblo, many with Hopi spouses.

So much for the history lesson of injustice. That lesson seems to repeat itself and it is something I would like to see healed amongst the human species. I really would like to see the day when we all realize that there is more than enough for everyone if there wasn't such greed amongst some.

Back to the DNA information. I also learned that sibling's DNA vary slightly. My brother Phillip and I had already sort of figured that out as it has always felt like maybe our siblings Gilbert and Nita got the Fajardo Catholic gene and Phillip and I got the mystic Jewish gene. Memories are carried in our genes. It is a proven fact and you can read about that  here.

Scientists have found that memories may be passed down through generations in our DNA

Your DNA contains a record of your ancestors, but you aren’t a carbon copy of any one of them. The particular mix of DNA you inherit is unique to you. You receive 50% of your DNA from each of your parents, however you may receive different segments of DNA than your siblings. 

Here is a chart that shows the possible variations in a family.
This is not my family, just a sample.