As I wrote previously, I've joined the throngs of people who are researching their family history through genetic testing. I'm doing this both to learn more about my origins, but also to have some wargaming fun out of it.
The results are in!
Ancestry.com provides two levels of results. In the scope of the past several centuries, they identify which Genetic Communities your ancestors may have belonged to. In my case, they identify three communities:
- Mexicans in Western & Central Mexico
- You and 282 of your DNA matches, along with 55,801 other AncestryDNA members, are all genetically linked to form the Genetic Community Mexicans in Western & Central Mexico. Your DNA indicates that you have a strong connection to this Genetic Community. Our confidence that you belong is 95%. Itís likely that you share recent ancestors with others in this Genetic Community.
- Settlers of Colonial New England
- You and 218 of your DNA matches, along with 278,537 other AncestryDNA members, are all genetically linked to form the Genetic Community Settlers of Colonial New England. Your DNA indicates that itís likely youíre a member of this Genetic Community. Our confidence that you belong is 60%.
- Settlers of Rhode Island & Southeastern Massachusetts
- You and 152 of your DNA matches, along with 127,172 other AncestryDNA members, are all genetically linked to form the Genetic Community Settlers of Rhode Island & Southeastern Massachusetts. Your DNA indicates that itís possible youíre a member of this Genetic Community. Our confidence that you belong is 20%.
They add this caveat: "As more people take the AncestryDNA test and our ability to assign Genetic Communities improves, thereís a chance this could change."
There are no big surprises here. As I said previously, my birth parents were reportedly of Mexican and English heritage.
This is the famous pie chart – a look at lineage in terms of millenia. The smallest percentages are listed as 'low confidence regions'. My breakdown is shown as:
- Africa - 3%
- Senegal - 1%
- Africa North - <1%
- Mali - <1%
- Europe - 64%
- Europe West - 27%
- Iberian Peninsula - 11%
- Scandinavia - 11%
- Italy/Greece - 4%
- Great Britain - 4%
- Ireland - 4%
- Europe East - 2%
- America (Native American) - 27%
- West Asia - 6%
- Middle East - 5%
- Caucasus - <1%
Surprises? My birth mother's heritage is apparently not as 'English' as she believed! And my birth father, reportedly Mexican, is at best about half Native American, probably some Spanish, but must be other ethnicities mixed in as well. Scandinavian? Must be Vikings!
Ancestry.com also provides a list of people who have tested their DNA through their service (if they consent to the information being shared), along with an estimate of how closely related you are (i.e., 1st cousin, 2nd cousin, 3rd cousin, 4th cousin).
To my complete surprise, they have identified 619 people who are 4th cousins or closer! I've already been able to identify my birth mother (she passed away in 2007), and someday may find my birth father as well.
And, just to show how circular this whole lineage thing can be, they've identified someone who is a 5th to 8th degree cousin by DNA, who also shares my 4th great-grandfather on my adopted Armintrout lineage…
The Wargaming Implications!
OK, so a lot of this is significant to myself, but not so much to you. However, I did promise to come up with a wargaming project out of this! Some ideas so far:
- The Maximilian Adventure
- During the American Civil War, France took advantage of the power vacuum and invaded Mexico, creating the Second Mexican Empire ruled by Maximilian Ferdinand. Other than the Battle of Camerone, I'll admit ignorance of this period and its feasibility for wargaming. Pits my Europe West lineage against my Native American lineage!
- The Mexican-American War
- This would certain pit the American and Mexican sides of my heritage against each other, and also tie in with my adopted lineage (three of my ancestors went to Mexico for the war, but they were not soldiers – just capitalists!).
- The Pancho Villa Expedition/The Punitive Expedition
- General Pershing's pursuit of Pancho Villa in northern Mexico around 1917. Innovative use of new technologies, and asymmetrical warfare. Again, pits Mexicans against Americans.
- Opportunity to paint some colorful Ancient American armies. Pits Iberian Peninsula versus Native American.
Do you have your own suggestions that fit in with my genetic lineage? Please feel free to post your ideas! What armies would you like to see me build?