Hidden History: Valerie Pritchett


You’ve probably sat around the dinner table talking about your ancestors and wondered what makes you, well, you.

I took a journey to find out what’s in my DNA. Where did my ancestors begin?

“We know that 99.9 percent of our DNA all people share is the same than the last point one percent variance from one person to another,” said Brianne Kirkpatrick, owner of Watershed DNA in Virginia.

After ordering a testing kit and sending off a sample, results arrived weeks later. Kirkpatrick opened her laptop to check out the results.

“I click on the ancestry composition first and your map was one of the most colorful maps I’ve ever seen,” Kirkpatrick said.

Shades of blue, orange, yellow, red, purple and pink hit many continents.

“The company analyzes your DNA. They can measure the length of segments and narrow down to different parts of the world where that segment came from,” Kirkpatrick said. The long stretches of the pink, that’s West African. They know you’ve had a more recent ancestor that came from that part of the world. Your European background is close to 30 percent … Portuguese, Spain, and I think a little bit of Italian.”

Add in some British, Irish, and Scandinavian.

“Your Native American background, East Asian and Native American, are often grouped together because Native Americans came from East Asia migrating,’ Kirkpatrick said.

Just how unique is my ancestry composition? Kirkpatrick says hers is just blue.

“I have a couple of areas in Europe that pop up, but you have ancestry from many different parts of the world. Most people don’t have that, so that was something different with you than most people I work with, is the diversity of your ancestry,” Kirkpatrick said.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.

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