From a very young age, I became interested in my family tree. I was always asking questions. So MANY questions. But mostly, I wanted to hear stories about my family, especially those members who I never got to meet. In the sixth grade, my big year end project was dedicated to Greece, in an attempt to learn more about my Greek heritage (on my dad’s side.)
The older I’ve gotten, the more important genealogy has become to me. In 2013, I sat down with my Mawmaw and Matt’s camera and interviewed her. I asked her to tell me as many stories as she could remember and it’s now a cherished video in my family, because we can all go back and watch the woman we all loved so very much. I have peppered family heirloom pieces throughout my house as constant reminders of where I come from. In fact, one of my current projects is re-framing my handwritten recipes from my grandparents for my kitchen (leave a comment below if you’d like me to write a post about this fun DIY!)
I’ve been a member of Ancestry since 2010. I love spending my spare time locating information about my family tree. What can I say… It’s the investigator in me! On my mom’s side, I’ve been able to trace back my family to my 10th great-grandparents, Fingin Riabach MacArthur, Earl of Glenmore, and Lady Elena MacArthur, both from Scotland in the 1500’s. It has been so stinking cool to find records and google search the areas my ancestors came from. Next, I’m hoping to take a deeper dive into my Greek side, but I’ve had quite a bit of trouble because I can’t read or speak Greek and my grandmother was a first generation American. Looks like all the more reason for my hubby to take me on a heritage trip to Zakynthos, Greece to find out more about my family (hint, hint MATT!)
The more digging I’ve done, the more I’ve learned about DNA. This year, my mom, dad and I all took the AncestryDNA test and we were able to learn so much based on the results. Once you take the DNA test, Ancestry creates your DNA story so you can see your ethnicity estimate and learn more about it. Can you tell I geek out about this stuff? My husband is a tech nerd and I’m a genealogy nerd. I seriously can’t help myself.
Okay, now the really fun part… AncestryDNA just launched a new feature called Traits. Ever wonder where your hair color, eye color, freckles, finger length or whatever came from? I sure have. Traits uses scientific data to look into your DNA to determine how DNA might have influenced some of your physical and sensory traits that have been inherited from AND how you might pass them down to your future children. Traits was so spot-on for my results, it was crazy! It pinpointed my finger length, eye color, earlobe shape and more.
My next step is to have my parents look into their traits and compare our results. This is a totally optional feature. I think AncestryDNA makes a really cool Christmas gift. Think about it, you can give the gift of heritage. What a fun conversation for the holidays over the family dinners! New customers can upgrade their AncestryDNA kit to include Traits for an additional $10.00 on Ancestry.com and Amazon. Existing customers can purchase the Traits feature for $10.00 through their Ancestry account. Purchases can be made on the Ancestry website and in the AncestryDNA iOS app.
I’m looking at these photos in a whole new light. I always knew I had my mom’s eye color, hands and feet, but now I understand better the science behind why I inherited those traits from my mom.
So what about you? Are you a genealogy nerd like me? If not, now are you a little more interested to find out more about your heritage? I hope so! It’s a fun way to understand better where you came from and who you are. I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I have writing it. I know my mom enjoyed me glamming her up like a “Beverly Hills Housewife,” lol.
PS- The dresses mom and I are looking at in the above photos are my baby dresses that we’re planning to shoot MacKenlee in. Everyone seems to think that she looks like Matt, but she’s almost identical to my baby pictures.
Thank you so much to Ancestry for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.