AncestryDNA: My sister and I are officially related...hurray!

My sister recently took the AncestryDNA test, completely of her own accord - so bizarre to not have to coerce any of my family members into taking the test. Just as a refresher, unless you are an identical twin, you and your siblings (or parents) will NOT be exact DNA matches. You will, of course, share most of your DNA, but each of us gets a different combination of DNA from our parents, just as they did theirs, just as they did theirs, and so on. So testing other family members, while expensive, is worthwhile from a genetic genealogy standpoint, because it will give you a more complete genetic picture of your family tree AND it will expand the number of people you can connect to genetically. What does this mean? Let me use me and my sister as an example:

I only just checked her results (yes, I was impatiently checking every day, and for the record, it only took 11 days for her results to be posted after they received her sample) so I haven't a chance to see her percentages yet, but we match 99 percent as immediate family. So, no awkward explanations needed from Mom and Dad, thank goodness! :) She has two main ethnic matches: Ireland and Western Europe, which is not surprising...our families are primarily from Ireland and Germany, and looking at my sister with her red hair, she looks like she could be from either. My main ethnic groups are Great Britain, Ireland, Western Europe, and Scandinavia. We both also have trace genetic regions that showed up. Both of us got European Jewish and Iberian Peninsula - I can see European Jewish being somewhere in our German roots, but I'm not sure where the Iberian Peninsula comes from (ethnic groups are so fluid in their localities and a genetic match could've been inherited from many, many, many, MANY generations ago...). She also had Scandinavia and Great Britain show up in her trace results. We each have one more trace, and it's different: mine is Eastern European, and hers is..... Italy/Greece. What???? Where in the heck did THAT come from??? I guess that's the crazy thing about genetics.

Okay, so back to what I was talking about before. Because my sister took the test, my genealogy picture became more complete. She and I have the same exact family tree - we have all the same ancestors. She inherited Italian/Greek DNA from someone somewhere down the line, from one of her ancestors. That means, I also have an ancestor who is of Italian/Greek ethnicity, even though it didn't show up in my DNA. So that's kind of a cool and exciting discovery for me. And now for what I'm most excited about - because my sister inherited different DNA than I did, she's going to match genetically to different people than I did. So the people she matches with are her cousins; they're related. And because she and I are related, that means that even though I don't genetically match with them, they are my cousins, too - I'm excited to see if anybody has any family tree info that matches mine, or better yet, can help me with mine!

Confusing stuff...but oh so exciting!

By the way, new Who Do You Think You Are tonight at 9 pm on TLC - Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson will be featured. At some point eventually I'll get around to posting my thoughts on last week's Cynthia Nixon ep which, surprise, surprise, had me in tears by the end, and hopefully tonight's ep and future eps!