Tag Archives: Ancestry

More Ancestry changes means more confusion

Once again, Ancestry DNA results have changed. I get it… However, it really makes getting a test done, for the most part, useless.

You just never will know with any sort of certainty what your heritage truly is. It’s all based on demographics and people willing to buy and test their DNA. As a male, I have the luxury of being able to have my Y-DNA tested, which is, for the most part, pretty stable. It gives me better, albeit a bit more vague, insight into my heritage.

So I’m evaluating the current Ancestry change with past results, what I know for fact, and then weighing it alongside my Y-DNA results.

The latest results that came in show the following:

England and Northwestern Europe is really no change or surprise. That is my base heritage… maybe. Back in 2020 it jumped from 33% to 20% and then back into the 30 percentile until this last update, rocketing to 55%. At it’s lowest point my Germanic heritage was dominant and then evenly weighed.

Now my Germanic side is all but gone. I can only surmise that my Germanic heritage went down due to a reevaluation of Eastern Europe and Russia. I have verifiable Polish heritage on my mothers side. Did that heritage come out of Germanic Europe and get inserted into the Eastern Europe/Russia category (which, including the Baltics, originally was only like 4-8% of my DNA make up)?

Scotland was at a high point in 202 (along with everyone else in the world it seemed) and has since receded. Same with Sweden and Ireland. Bottom line is that the groupings keep changing and is inconsistent and really, as I said, based on demographics of folks having their DNA tested by Ancestry.

Finally, Ancestry has released an “Ethnicity Inheritance” feature recently. This breaks down heritage for each parent that comprises the makeup of your DNA. It doesn’t say “Mother/Father” just “Parent 1/Parent2” but it was easy to tell that parent 1 was my mother and parent 2 was my father.

My dad’s heritage is not very complex. Predominately England & Northwestern Europe, Scotland and Ireland. All, which are right in line with my research and what I know for fact. Where the strangeness comes in is on my moms side. More complex than the typical “we’re Polish” view of our heritage.  Again, England/Northwestern Europe rule but the advancement of Eastern Europe, Russia, Baltic alongside the inclusion of Sweden/Denmark and Portugal on my mom’s side was not expected.

Interestingly, my Y-DNA is Haplogroup I (I-M253) which is thought to have roots in northern France and today is mainly found in Scandinavia and Northwestern Europe as well as Eastern Europe (Viking DNA), matches my mom’s side a bit more than my dad’s.

Ultimately, this has just left me more confused and wondering what bombshells will be dropped at the next update. I’ve really started putting less care into my Ancestry DNA and have considered getting a more in-depth Y-DNA test done to see if I get more conclusive results. Granted, this only takes into account half of my DNA (my fathers) and leaves out a huge gap on my mothers side. Maybe more investigation on how to get better results from the maternal line is where I should focus my research on. But for now, I’ll be English/Northwestern European until the next change.



Over a year since I posted

Life has this way of making me get sidetracked easily. When I started this site, I had every intention of digging deeper into my BURCHETT legacy and hopefully piecing together missing pieces. Well, as I said, life just put that on hold for over a year now.

However, I recently got an update on my Ancestry DNA and, like before it’s not overly different, but enough that really using it to have a true understanding of my heritage seems impossible. Case in point: The last update seemed like Scotland dominated the update for everyone. While that made sense, in a fashion, it seems to be nothing more than something similar to marketing. What I mean is that unless a vastly huge percent of the human population submitted for DNA results the Ancestry results will be nothing more than an increase in DNA kits sold to certain markets, ergo, a higher percentage in that area in everyone’s results. How is that useful?

I don’t see the benefit of the test any longer. While a certain percentage of my results has stayed consistent, others (which I have some documented proof of ancestry) has radically changed. Scottish and Norwegian heritage are prime examples.

Initially my Scot heritage was pretty low, then, with the update it shot through the roof, now with next update, it has once again been knocked pretty low.  Similarly, my Norwegian heritage went from being fair to disappearing and now has come back again, higher than it was originally. The up and down with my English heritage is bewildering also.

So, I am not sure I can really get a true feeling of what my heritage really is. I can make a fairly educated guess, but I would love to be able to see something that confirms it. My Y-DNA test sheds some light, but again, nothing solid. But at least it seems to be solid enough to not be swayed by marketing type structuring and has a better shot at steering me in the right direction.


The brick wall that won’t break

So last I posted I had a lead on a possible Burchett (in this case, Birchett) line that showed potential of tying in with Benjamin Burchett. Alas, so far no such luck. If the connection is there it is rather far back (pre-1650’s), so while I am not giving up on that line, I have not been able to ascertain if my Benjamin fit’s into that line at all. It has been presented that Burwell Burchett may be a possibility, however, almost all that line, once gone from Virginia, ended up in Kentucky, which makes that a very unlikely scenario since my DNA results conclusively have a North Carolina connection and my Benjamin was born in North Carolina, not Kentucky. But, I haven’t discounted that possibility completely.

I have gathered enough documents that, while not 100% conclusive, leaves little room for me to doubt that the 1850 Benjamin Bucket(although after looking at the spelling it looks a lot like “Birchet” as opposed to “Bucket.” One thing I am sure of, however, is that my Benjamin is not the Benjamin Burchett of Adair, MO.  Family members, dates, locations, none of them add up or provide any link to Joseph Burchett. There is a Benjamin Burchett that shows up in Illinois that has a lot of similarities, but I believe this to also be a different Benjamin Burchett than my ancestor.

Again, dates, locations and family just don’t line up. Unfortunately, there is a lot of trees on ancestry tying all these Benjamin’s into one person, which is a shame, because it just leads to confusion and lack of proper research. So if you are one of those on Ancestry or FamilySearch, you really should correct your charts and not make assumptions based on other trees out there that equally make assumptions without any source material to back it up.

On a side note, while I was taking  breather from this stubborn 3rd great-grandfather, I discovered that I am related through various branches of the paternal line to Sir William Wade/Waad who was the Lieutenant at the Tower of London during the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and actually questioned Guy Fawkes.

In addition to learning that, I discovered that his father, Armagil Wade/Waad was married to an unknown woman with the last name Comyn from Scotland, who it turns out the records state she was the sister of Alured Comyn, Prior of St Oswald. Of course, the last name Comyn is not stranger to anyone who has researched Scottish history or has watched “Braveheart”! I have about 28% Scottish in my DNA results, so this seems to be valid conclusion. Time will tell!


Y-DNA Results came in today as well as updated Ancestry results

I was expecting an extremely long wait time (the FamilyTreeDNA site told me 6-8 weeks before I would get results) for my Y-DNA test results, however, they surprisingly came today just shy of four weeks after they received them.

After a quick look at the results all I really know so far is that it is predicted I belong to Haplogroup I-M253 with the explanation that,

Haplogroup I dates to 23,000 years ago, or older. The I-M253 lineage likely has its roots in northern France. Today it is found most frequently within Viking/Scandinavian populations in northwest Europe and has since spread down into Central and Eastern Europe, where it is found at low frequencies. Haplogroup I represents one of the first peoples in Europe.

Unfortunately, a quick look at the matches has done nothing to break through my paternal brick wall. It appears the matches I do have are many, many generations past Joseph Burchett and leaves a very large gap in between them and Joseph.

The plan now is to learn more in-depth what the results tell me and how I can use them to break down the brick wall. This will require more education on my part into the DNA realm and I suspect the involvement of a professional.

I’ll be sure to update.

On another front, Ancestry had updated results and wow, did my DNA results alter themselves. Both interesting and a bit disconcerting at the same time.


Sweden disappears altogether and Scotland takes a huge leap forward. The Germanic is expected and well-known to me. Another interesting observation is how my English roots dropped a good bit as well.

So, the disconcerting part is trying to make sense of this. I’m concerned that the results are less scientific and more based on, as a friend who also had her DNA analyzed, “crowdsourcing”. Ancestry provides a variety of surveys on your DNA account and I’m wondering how much my results are based on the updates of people with similar markers taking the surveys are as, again, opposed to scientific data.

Lot’s of what if’s and the brick wall that is Joseph Burchett remains… to be continued…