“If you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you are going. And if you don’t know where you are going, you are probably going wrong”
– Terry Pratchett

“Where am I from?” “Where are we going?” “How did we get here?” These are questions that more than one of us in the family has asked time and again. You have to know where you have been and where you are to know where you are going. This is part of the reason in how this journey came to be. Ike has a keen affection for learning about his family tree and documenting the story of how we all came to be where we are. Both born in Jamaica, we believed, for the most part, that most of our ancestors were from there. But how could we be sure? This is why adding a genealogy aspect to our journey was a no-brainer. We wanted to know the whole story of our ancestry. In order to do so, we decided the best place to start was to get a baseline of our genetic makeup. This would start to “paint the picture” to all of us of the origins of our histories, the homelands of our ancestors and far more.

After careful research, we decided to use the personal genomics test, to establish a baseline for our family. We took the test to establish baselines from both Ike and Natalee’s sides of the family.

Ike’s Side of the Family:

Global Region Percentage
Sub-Saharan African 82.2%
West African 77.7%
Central & South African 2.0%
Broadly Sub-Saharan African 2.5%
European 17.5%
British & Irish 11.2%
Broadly Northwestern European 4.2%
Broadly Southern European 0.4%
Ashkenazi Jewish <0.1%
Broadly European 1.6%
Oceania <0.1%
Broadly Oceanian <0.1%
East Asian and Native American <0.1%
Native American <0.1%
Broadly East Asian <0.1%
Unassigned <0.3%

Natalee’s Side of the Family:

Global Region Percentage
Sub-Saharan African 66.3%
West African 63.4%
Central & South African 1.5%
East African 0.1%
Broadly Sub-Saharan African 1.3%
South Asian 22.5%
European 10.5%
British & Irish 3.4%
Scandinavian 0.3%
Broadly Northwestern European 4.2%
Broadly Southern European 0.5%
Broadly European 1.6%
East Asian & Native American 0.2%
Unassigned 0.8%

The test broke down our ancestry based upon 31 different populations around the world. We now have the ability to see the baselines for our ancestries across the globe and helped establish a few of the places we visited in our explorations.

Not only were we able to connect with our origins but we were also able to connect with distant, living relatives through another unique aspect: the Shared DNA service. This service illustrates who else out there shares our ancestries that has taken the test and willing to share their information. We had the ability to locate and connect with these relatives on our travels. 

The Journey

We laid out this journey in part to learn more about where we came from and learn about the different paths our ancestors walked. The journey has taken us to Scotland where roughly 14% of our ancestral roots originated from. We also explored different parts of Jamaica as a good portion of ancestors on both sides of our families lived their lives there. Some came from Scotland to Jamaica as a British colony in 1802. The DNA results uncovered Natalee’s heritage in South Asia so we took the time to experience different parts of India to learn more about this part of her heritage. Several of the stops along the journey were in Sub-Saharan and Western Africa as 78% of Ike’s ancestry is from Western Africa and there are traces of ancestry in Sub-Saharan areas of Africa on both sides of the family.


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are like
on a Tree
we grow in different directions yet
our roots remain as one.