Showing posts with label ancestry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ancestry. Show all posts

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Embark Dog DNA Test Review

Embark Dog DNA Test Kit

Dogs are such wondrous mysteries.  When we adopt a rescue animal, there is this vast unknown.  It is only natural to have a desire to discover as much as possible about a new family member.  In the quest to uncover a newly adopted fur baby’s history, more and more pet parents are choosing to explore their dog’s breed mix, heritage, and health profiles through DNA analysis.  This is where the Embark Dog DNA Test comes into play.

Finn's Disability is Congenital
I have had so many questions about my newest dog, Finn.  Because he was rescued from a situation of extreme neglect, and because Finn has a congenital condition (Medial Patella Luxation), it seemed especially critical to know more about potential health issues.  Of course, like most people who choose to have their dogs tested, I was also excited to gain a greater insight into Finn’s family tree.  One of my biggest questions, with regard to Finn being rescued with a group of dogs (a hoarding case), has centered on what his relationship might be to the other dogs that were trapped in the same household with him.

My decision to send Finn’s DNA to Embark’s veterinary geneticists came about when a fellow adopter of one of the dogs saved with Finn spoke to me about Clark’s DNA results.  I suspected that Finn and Clark might share a Border collie ancestor.  Curiosity led me to go online and order my Embark Dog DNA Test so I could compare Clark and Finn’s results.  Amazingly, my test kit arrived within three business days. 

Finn's DNA Sample
Collecting Finn’s DNA sample took just 30 seconds.  Using the swab in the kit, I soaked up a small amount of saliva and secured the sample in the vial provided for preservation.  Mailing the vial could not have been easier.  A postage paid label and box were provided.

Embark is exceptional when it comes to communication.  At every step along the way, I was notified by email and text message about what was happening with Finn’s DNA sample.  For instance, I knew when it was in the centrifuge, when it was being purified, when the DNA was being replicated (one million copies!), and when the geneticists were beginning to build Finn’s profile chromosome by chromosome. 
Finn's Health Summary
First, I received Finn’s health summary.  I was relieved to see that he is clear of each of the common genetic conditions identified for his breed mix.  Competitors charge extra for each test.  I appreciated the advantage of having all of these genetic disease tests included in the price of the Embark test kit.  As a bonus, a custom report was provided for Finn’s vet.  



Finn's Breed Mix
Next, the greatly anticipated breed mix report arrived through my online portal.  Wow!  I was expecting Finn to be part poodle and part Border collie.  That was confirmed.  What I didn’t anticipate were all of the other interesting breed mixes and percentages.  

Finn's Family Tree

There are other advanced features and analyses too involved to cover in this review.  One thing I will mention is that Finn now has the opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge research.  When I chose the Embark Dog DNA Test, one of the factors that appealed to me most was that of the ongoing research which would provide me with continual updates. 

Though there are less expensive DNA tests, with faster results, I am completely sold on Embark's comprehensive package.  I feel the cost was reasonable for what I gained in terms of knowledge about Finn, reassurance about his genetic disease risk, and the fascinating details about canine genes.  I highly recommend Embark's Dog DNA Test.










Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Irish Mug Reviewed

For St. Patricks Day Or Any Day

Irish Scene image courtesy of Pixabay.com
I have been looking for an Irish mug to add to my cupboard for a couple of reasons. As I write this we are fast approaching St. Patricks Day so there is one reason that I would like to have one. The other reason is that I have been working on my genealogy in the last few months and it turns out that I have several Irish ancestors. 

When I got my DNA testing results back the report indicated that about 22% of my DNA is from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. To be honest, I was a little surprised by those results. Now, that I have spent so much time looking for ancestors; I am a little surprised that the numbers aren't higher than that 22%. The chart did show the entire area of Ireland but then it was also quite specific for Ulster, Munster and Connaught. As I plodded through the hints of possible people who belonged in my family tree at first I was only finding people who came from Ireland but their origin was not very specific. Then one day I found it! Well, eventually I found several "its". It may seem silly but I got really excited to find family from those areas that were specifically mentioned. I am still amazed that the DNA results could be so exact especially since those connections go way back in time.  I am not talking a couple of hundred years, folks. Those family members go way back to the 200's, 300's, 400's and 500s in the Common Era! My ancestors came from those areas of Ireland when Ulster, Munster and Connaught were kingdoms in and of themselves. 

So, I have become quite fascinated with Ireland and its history. That is why I have been looking for things pertaining to Ireland which led me to wanting an Irish mug to drink my coffee in. I found one that I particularly like. 

As I continue to work on my genealogy, I can enjoy my coffee in a colorful cup that reminds me of where many of my people came from. I also like that the Irish blessing can inspire my day:

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind always be at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
and rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand. 

I am thrilled that I took the DNA test and am finding ancestors from several countries, not just Ireland. It has been quite an interesting journey into my family's past. How about you? Do you know for sure that you have Irish ancestry?



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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Ancestry DNA Kit Reviewed

Genealogy Made Easy 

ancestry image
Someone's ancestor painted this
Have you considered getting an ancestry DNA kit to find out what your heritage is? It is something that I have wanted to do ever since I found out that it was a possibility. At first the cost seemed rather expensive to me and I would think that perhaps it was something that I could ask for as a gift. Then I would feel guilty thinking that it was rather an expensive thing to ask for. 

This year, the various companies that offer this service have placed their ancestry kits on sale. Suffice it to say, they got my attention. I also saw a report a few weeks back comparing the top three selling kits. This report used a set of identical triplets to send the samples to. All three were accurate and came up with the same results. That was really about all I needed to hear to make me take the plunge. 

I decided to go with the one from Ancestry.com (not an affiliate link) because they have the largest database to look into. To be honest, at first I decided to give a kit to my father for his Christmas present this year. Once I had put it into my cart, I decided to treat myself to one too.

Both kits arrived at my door very quickly. So, I decided to go ahead and send my sample in. Dad won't get his until Christmas morning. It is all pretty easy. They send you a vial to spit in (ewww!) and then you send it to the lab. There is a number on the vial that you have to register so that they can identify whose kit it is. They send you an email to let you know that it has been registered and I just got an email telling me that it has arrived at the lab and is waiting to be tested. The drawback is that it will take 6 to 8 weeks for them to test it and send me the results. I am hoping that by the end of February I will get the report telling me where my ancestors came from.

While I am waiting, I decided to get a membership on the site to begin the process of finding the names of some of my ancestors. That is not a requirement to get the results of the DNA testing, by the way. You get matches with the test but you are limited in what you can search for without a membership.

On my maternal side, I had a pretty good feel for what my heritage is from that branch of my family tree. A few of my uncles were curious about our genealogy back in the days when they had to go look for records in courthouses and such. Plus, my mother's family was very good with oral history. For as long as I can remember my maternal family has been proud to have come from Scotland and Ireland. As I work through building a family tree on the site, that information is holding true. Many of my ancestors did immigrate from Scotland, Ireland and England.

What has been interesting is working on my paternal branch of the family tree. I found a few ancestors who crossed the ocean from England, a few more from Ireland and Scotland but the surprise was the number who came from Germany. My grandfather's people hailed from Germany for the most part. Perhaps I should consider getting a pair of lederhosen! So far, I have been able to trace ancestors as far back to 1550 in Germany on the Rumler side of the tree. That is incredible!

Oddly, I am having difficulty finding my paternal grandmother's people. Well, not so odd if the truth be told. Our family lore on her side was always a little guarded. Legend on this side has always been that my great-grandfather was Native American and ran away from a reservation. This may turn out to be factual. Oddly, the only records that I can find for him are of his marriage to my great-grandmother and the children they had together. Beyond the marriage certificate issued in 1896 there are no records of him. Other family members have stated that he was born about 1873 but they do not indicate exactly where he was born. Even odder is that I can't find birth records of his wife, either. She was supposed to be Caucasian so why can I not find records of her birth and her parent's names? Did they disown her when she married an Indian?  Well, it would be one thing to say she is disowned but it would be another to destroy records of her birth, wouldn't it? Quite the mystery! She did seem to suffer from a bit of an identity crisis. The marriage certificate names her as Leanna. Later census reports sometime name her as Lena while others name her as Anna.

I can hardly wait to get the results of the ancestry DNA testing kit! From the research that I have done already it should show a strong presence of German, Scottish, and Irish genes. Will it show a presence of Native American DNA? Time will tell.

How about you? Do you know your own genealogy? Have you considered getting the kit or have you already done so? Have you considered giving one as a gift this holiday season? 



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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

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