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We Took DNA Tests To Learn If We're From Where We Think We're From

When it comes to your lineage, there's the story that your grandparents tell, and then there's the story that your DNA tells. To win a trip based on your DNA, buy a 23andMe kit or enter for free online.

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We asked our BuzzFeed coworkers where they thought their ancestors were from. Then we had them take a 23andMe DNA test. There were, to say the least, some surprises.

BuzzFeed

What do you think your lineage is?

"I'm definitely part Native American. My maternal grandma was Choctaw Indian, and my paternal grandma was Blackfoot Indian. Also, I went to South Africa nine years ago, and a woman told me that I was Nigerian. She just KNEW it. I have these wee little gaps in my upper teeth. That's called maxillary midline diastema, which is considered a beauty trait in Nigeria, so she very well could be right."

23andMe

What is your reaction to the results?

"West African! That's so cool. That aligns with what the lady told me all those years ago. Nigeria is in West Africa! That European part was a definite surprise. Then again, of course I have British and Irish in me. I've always been into things that were British. I cried for 20 minutes while visiting Buckingham Palace last year."

Based on what you know now, is there somewhere you would like to travel?

"I spent a month in South Africa in college, but now I definitely want to visit Nigeria. I also want to go back to London now to hang out for a longer time."

BuzzFeed

What do you think your lineage is?

"Well, I know my dad's side of the family is from Germany, and my last name is 'Schlagel,' which I've been told comes from the German word 'schlag,' meaning to 'hit' or 'blow.' So purely based on these two facts, there is no doubt in my mind that I am super German."

23andMe

What is your reaction to the results?

"I'm blown away to see that I only got 3.5% French and German. I think Germany can also be lumped in with the 41% that comes from 'Broadly Northwestern Europe,' which makes me feel like my life is not a total sham. Really had no idea I was 20% British and Irish."

Based on what you know now, is there somewhere you would like to travel?

"Oh, man. I am ALL ABOUT visiting Ireland! I've always wanted to go, and now I feel like I have a legit reason! I've always loved an Irish accent — probably because it's in my blood (or spit). We spit in the tests."

BuzzFeed

What do you think your lineage is?

"I already know for a fact that I am 100% Vietnamese from my father's side and partially Chinese from my mother's side. For the most part, I feel confident in saying that if you're Asian, you have some Chinese blood in you."

What is your reaction to the results?

"It's funny because I knew I would was going to be part Chinese, but for some reason being 62% East Asian was still surprising for me. I identify mainly with being Vietnamese, culturally and ethnically, so I was expecting to be more Southeast Asian."

Based on what you know now, is there somewhere you would like to travel?

"I've done a fair bit of traveling through Southeast Asia, and it's a wonderful part of the world. Visiting Vietnam again, for an extended period of time, would be something I'd like to do to try to connect back with that cultural aspect of my life."

BuzzFeed

What do you think your lineage is?

"I've always been told that on my father's side we are Italian and Hungarian. My mother's side is more of a mystery. I'm pretty sure it's just some European blood. I am truly not sure. I've mostly just identified as being Italian because my skin gets pretty tan in the summer and I could eat pasta until I pass out."

23andMe

What is your reaction to the results?

"Okay, I am super shocked I'm 9.4% Ashkenazi Jewish. Guess I'll be going on birthright! I'm also surprised I'm not more Italian. It's so cool to see my results broken down this way. I had no idea we were also British and Irish too!"

Based on what you know now, is there somewhere you would like to travel?

"My sister and I traveled to Italy last year because we thought it was our motherland, but after seeing this breakdown, it doesn't seem that way anymore. Now, I'd love to explore Ireland and Israel."

BuzzFeed

What do you think your lineage is?

"My mom is from Belize, and from what the family story tells, it's a mix between Mayan and Scottish. My dad is African-American, with family roots from the South. Because of the slave trade in America, I would imagine that side could also be fairly mixed."

23andMe

What is your reaction to the results?

"I did not expect to be 37% European, mostly British and Irish! I'd be curious to have my dad take a test to know if the 51% Sub-Saharan comes completely from him or if there is any hint of the other results in his test as well. Last but not least, I'm 12% East Asian and Native American. I'd be curious to see if in the future we could trace that to certain locations or tribes!"

Based on what you know now, is there somewhere you would like to travel?

"A small percentage of my test pinpointed the Iberian peninsula, Spain and Portugal. I never thought twice about it before, but I would love to visit now that I know someone in my family's history had roots there!"

BuzzFeed

What do you think your lineage is?

"I think I’m the whitest, most British dude you can find. That said, a very, shall we say old-school, member of my family once told us to 'stop digging' when I worked on a genealogy project, so I wouldn't be surprised to find Native American or African roots way back when on the family tree."

23andMe

What is your reaction to the results?

"Being 99.6% European and, more specifically, 48.4% British and Irish sounds about right to me. I’m not surprised to see African and Native American/East Asian ancestry, though I am surprised how Oceanian ancestry snuck in there."

Based on what you know now, is there somewhere you would like to travel?

"I know it’s not a huge part of my genetic makeup, but I’ve wanted to travel to New Zealand for a while now. Now that know I have even a teensy little bit of Oceanian ancestry, I think that trip will be even more interesting to me."

BuzzFeed

What do you think your lineage is?

"Both my parents are from Haiti, so I expect to have a mix of West African and French and/or Western European lineages. I also know my great-great-great-grandmother is Chinese, so I'm curious how much that will show in my results!"

23andMe

What is your reaction to the results?

"The broader percentages are what I expected! What I didn't expect was having more of a Spanish/Iberian background (15%) compared to French/Northwestern European background (11%). My family's French last name had convinced me that we have predominant French roots."

Based on what you know now, is there somewhere you would like to travel?

"Only 0.1% of my DNA alludes to my Chinese great-great-great-grandmother. So I would really love to visit China and try to discover more about her background before her mark becomes too small to genetically detect among my family's future generations."

BuzzFeed

What do you think your lineage is?

"I'm half French/half American, and on my French side the rumor is that my lineage started when a saucy knight had an affair with a scullery maid. I've heard that my last name is derived from Catalan, so perhaps there's a little bit of Spain in there? My American side is from Pennsylvania. Perhaps German or Dutch? I'm hoping for some surprises in there, though. Tell me I've descended from Amazonian warriors! Gimme something."

23andMe

What is your reaction to the results?

"My largest percentage is French and German, just like I thought! Also, I'm not that Spanish at all as it turns out! Only 1.6% Iberian. I also wonder how much the tiny percentages actually count. What does it mean to be 0.2% Native American? Or to be 0.1% from the Yakut tribe in East Asia?"

Based on what you know now, is there somewhere you would like to travel?

"I've always had a fascination with East Asia and will use my 0.1% Yakut heritage to justify a trip some time soon. Gonna go back to 0.1% of my roots!"

BuzzFeed

What do you think your lineage is?

"Fifty percent Asian (mostly Filipino) and 50% Caucasian (specifically 25% Italian and 25% Norwegian). My dad is into genealogy on his side, so I think I've got this one down pat. Also, 100% witch."

What is your reaction to the results?

"I knew it! The biggest surprise is that I'm mostly Scandinavian. My grandfather is Italian (maybe half Italian and half Norwegian?), and I guess his genes didn't go through."

Based on what you know now, is there somewhere you would like to travel?

"Norway! I always had an affinity for Scandinavian Trolls, so I'd like to explore the dark forests, meet my people, replace one of my eyes with a magical Troll eye, and maybe even marry a Huldre lass...and never be seen again."

BuzzFeed

What do you think your lineage is?

"All I know for sure is that I am a European mutt who burns easily in the sun. According to my mom, I'm mostly Irish and German with a possibility of British and French in there too. My paternal grandmother's side is the most mysterious to me. She was adopted, and I never had the chance to meet any family members from her side."

23andMe

What is your reaction to the results?

"Not at all surprised that I'm 100% European! However, I am surprised that my French and German percentage isn't higher. The 0.7% Balkan is a nice surprise! I'd like to know the story of how that ancestor worked their way into my 95.5% Northwestern European-ness!"

Based on what you know now, is there somewhere you would like to travel?

"I've always had an interest in visiting Croatia because that coastline looks so unbelievably beautiful! However, discovering that 0.7% Balkan has made me interested in seeing what other areas of the Balkan Peninsula have to offer."

BuzzFeed

What do you think your lineage is?

"I think I’m basically 50/50, European Jew and Greek. My mom's family is from Central Europe, from Russia/Poland/Lithuania/Ukraine. Have you seen Fiddler on the Roof? That kind of situation. My dad, from Sparta, is Dorian Greek (the swarthy kind), which tells me there’s going to be some North African, Turkish, and/or Mongol in there. I also think I have an Italian great-great-grandfather maybe?"

23andMe

What is your reaction to the results?

"I was pretty spot-on about my heritage, but I was shocked that my ancestors were OG af: My mom’s side had been in Central Europe for 18,000 years, and my dad’s side in Southern Europe for 28,000 years. It struck me how significant a change my immigrant father and great-grandparents made: They left Europe, for the first time in 20,000 years, to come be a part of America."

Based on what you know now, is there somewhere you would like to travel?

"This solidifies my desire to take my three sons to Arachova, the village near Sparta where my father’s family has lived for hundreds (and now it’s looking like possibly thousands) of years."

BuzzFeed

What do you think your lineage is?

"I’m lucky in that my parents have always been into their genealogy, but it’s never been very evidence based. My mom is definitely half Norwegian, and my dad has always claimed to be 100% Irish."

23andMe

What is your reaction to the results?

"I am the whitest person in the world. My husband had his 23andMe test done a few years ago, and they found traces of Mongolian DNA. I thought for sure there’d be something outside of continental Europe, but my family barely ventured outside of Northwestern Europe. As an added bonus I was able to discover that my husband and I do not share any DNA. So, thanks 23andMe!"

Based on what you know now, is there somewhere you would like to travel?

"I was surprised to see that I had some French / German on my report. I would love to visit the French Alps or the French Riviera sometime. Y’know, to get in touch with my roots."

23andMe

What is your reaction to the results?

"I was pretty surprised by my 3% Sub-Saharan African ancestry! It's fascinating for me to think that so recently (the 1800s) my ancestors probably faced types of discrimination and hardship I never knew was part of my family's history. It's equally interesting for me to wonder why I know so little about their stories."

Based on what you know now, is there somewhere you would like to travel?

"I'd like to travel to Ireland and drink whiskey in honor of my forebears."

If you're like these people and want to go on a trip based on your genetic profile, enter the Golden23 DNA Travel Sweepstakes.

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