Later I moved on to the autosomal testing, which covers both the paternal and maternal ancestors. I first used AncestryDNA (through Ancestry.com), and followed that with a test from 23andMe. When it was eventually made available, I took the raw data from my AncestryDNA results and uploaded them to FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA), to be included in their Family Finder testing. There is also a third party option, GedMatch, where your test results can be uploaded for comparison with other participants.
Below are the results from the three companies I have used. Two of them have a handy map to illustrate where ones ancestors presumably lived. Considering all the migrations and invasions Europe has endured, I still don't know how the DNA results can be narrowed down to these areas. The genetic origins found in the DNA genomes go back thousands of years, they say, but the results would really depend on the accuracy of the samples they used to pinpoint these ancestral locations.
To compare the DNA results with my actual family tree on paper, I looked at the place of birth for all of my ancestors back 5 generations, to my 3rd Great-Grandparents. This would at least cover the "recent" migrations of my ancestors, back to the 1850's. Unfortunately, with really no records to back it up, there is no telling how many generations before them had lived in the country they had immigrated from. Plus, these DNA ancestral origins calculated by these companies can run back hundreds of generations, for which there would be no paper trail for me to follow. But, it still gives a rough idea on the percentages I needed to give me something to compare with. Of course, unless I included all 13 generations back to the settling of this country, 43.75% of my ancestors would fall under being from the "U.S.", as would the 6.25% from Quebec. The majority of this percentage is of Anglo ancestry, with a bit of Scottish, Irish, and Swedish migration (1630's-1750's). So, for just my 3rd Great-Grandparents, my ancestry composition (per paper records) was:
43.75% US, 25% English, 18.75% Irish, 6.25% Prussian, and 6.25% Canadian (Quebec)
The results from the three major DNA testing companies are as follows:
The "trace regions" are interesting, as I don't recall finding anyone in my family tree as being from Spain, Portugal, or even the Caucasus area. I did have an ancestor from the mid-1600's called "John Amazeen the Greek", but can one man who lived 400 years ago really contribute 3% of my DNA?
My Scottish ancestors (including Duncan Stewart, who arrived here ca 1650, and John Marr, to America by 1719) could fall under the "Great Britain" region, but much of Scotland is also of Irish stock.
While AncestryDNA put the "Iberian Peninsula and Italy/Greece" at 3% each, FTDNA has Southern Europe at 21%, quite a big difference. 23andMe (below) gives that same region only .4%.
Eastern Europe (8%) easily covers my Prussian ancestors [3rd Great-Grandparents, or 6.25%].
The Caucasus/Turkey area also shows in the FTDNA results, with same minimal number.
The high Scandinavian percentage is probably the result of the Viking invasions of western Europe and the British Isles.
While AncestryDNA separates "Europe West" and Ireland in their result charts, both FTDNA and 23&Me list them as one.
While it shows I have 97.9% Northwestern European ancestry, the breakdown clearly doesn't add up to that, as there are DNA markers that couldn't be traced to a specific area. I suppose the same reasoning applies to the "European 100%", when the NW and Southern percentages only add to 98.4%.
In the end, there weren't any real surprises upon viewing all my DNA test results. On paper, I knew that the majority of my ancestors had come to the US from the British Isles, from the 1600's to the late 1800's, so I had expected an overwhelmingly high NW Europe turnout. The Iberian and Caucasian hits, though, I sure would like to know more about. If the events occurred prior to anything being recorded on paper, however, I suppose the stories of those ancestors are forever lost to history.