In many ways, a DNA test is like a time machine…
Unfortunately, you don’t get to physically visit times or places in the past.
That would be cool… Although also possibly messy, as seen in Back to the Future and many other fictional depictions of time travel.
However, DNA does bring messages from the past to the future.
Some strands of your DNA are unique to you, but the vast majority of your genes are identical to the genes of your parents and grandparents and ancestors even farther in the past…
In this “CRI Genetics DNA Test Education” series of blogs, we’ve covered how percentage breakdowns of ancestry are created.
These tell you what parts of the world your ancestors came from. The results are compiled by comparing specific genetic markers to samples from all over the world and identifying common patterns, while also accounting for historical context.
Now at CRI Genetics, we have something unique called an Advanced Ancestry Timeline…
Instead of showing you where your ancestors came from, it shows you WHEN they joined your family line.
How do we do that?
Remember the metaphor where DNA is a message from the past…
Imagine for a second that it’s written on an actual piece of paper, as if it’s your average letter delivered through the mail…
The older that piece of paper is, the more worn down it’s going to be… right?
If that paper is 75 years old, it will probably be a little brown, maybe have some old stains on it…
If it’s several centuries old, it will be fragile and flimsy, have tears in it, and the text might be hard to read…
Luckily, your DNA is only as old as you are, so we don’t have to quite worry about THAT type of degradation.
While it’s still a message from the past, it’s really just a COPY of a message from the past.
However, CRI Genetics scientists can still estimate when that DNA joined your family line based on similar concepts to our old paper metaphor.
Here are some of the clues CRI scientists use to estimate what year your ancestries originated:
- The length of your segments for an ancestry
- How many segments you have of an ancestry
- How close together segments from an ancestry are
If segments for a particular ancestry are longer, that means they’re more recent in your family history. If they’re shorter, that means they’re from farther into the past.
If you have many segments from a particular ancestry close together in your chromosomes, that means they’re more recent. If they’re fewer and spread apart, they’re from farther back in time.
As with all CRI Genetics algorithms, there are other relevant factors considered as well, such as historical migrations and statistical probability.
When you look at your percentage breakdown and then at your ancestry timeline, you’ll probably notice that your larger percentages are more recent in your family history and the smaller percentages are much farther back.
The Advanced Ancestry Timeline at CRI Genetics gives near-exact dates in history that each ancestry joined your family line, going back up to 50 generations into the past.
We’re proud to say that no other ancestry timeline gives as specific of an estimation OR goes as far back.
It’s one more cool aspect of the CRI Genetics experience that helps you get to know yourself and your family better than ever.
If you're a CRI Genetics customer, you can access your Advanced Ancestry Timeline Report in your CRI Genetics account right now and find out WHEN your ancestries came from.
Not a CRI Genetics customer yet? Go check out any current promotions and find out how you can get the Advanced Ancestry Timeline Report (and many more).