- October 17, 2017
As promised, Kenny and I are releasing the full results of our 23 & Me DNA tests and the results after we uploaded our raw data to We Gene. Let’s just say that we are both surprised and confused by the results. We don’t know whether 23 & Me or We Gene is more accurate. I’ll let you decide.
The actual 23 & Me kit basically comes labeled with your name on it. You need to register it online and then spit a significant amount of your saliva into a tube. You seal the tube and send it off in the pre-packaged box. It was a bit difficult coming up with enough saliva and it took me longer than Kenny.
Kenny and I were both raised to believe that we are full Chinese or 100% Chinese. I identify as Cantonese Chinese and so does Kenny. I speak fluent Cantonese. Kenny does not. Both our parents were born in Hong Kong. I kind of knew that nobody could really be 100% anything. But I was expecting the results to show that I was at least 90% Chinese. Kenny was expecting the same.
Also, my maiden name is Cheung. We discussed the possibility (not that it would change anything since it would be distant) that Kenny and I could be distant cousins.
You can see from the videos that we were definitely surprised by our 23 & Me results.
23 & Me Results
Jax 23 & Me Results
23 & Me says that I am 78.2% East Asian. Of that East Asian, I am 76% Chinese, 2.2% Broadly East Asian, 2.1% Broadly East Asian & Native American. It says I am 19.7% Southeast Asian. It was the 19.7% Southeast Asian that threw me off the most. That’s a lot. I mean, that could mean that one of my grandparents is mostly Southeast Asian. I am not sure why Broadly East Asian appears twice but if you add the percentages together I am 4.3% Broadly East Asian.
Like I said in the video, I am unsatisfied with these results because they are don’t specify what other East Asian ethnicity I am or what Southeast Asian ethnicity I am. I find it interesting though that some of my cousins on 23 & Me with whom I share DNA actually do not identify as Chinese. Some of them actually have Vietnamese and Korean last names. I already have chatted online with a 4th cousin my age who grew up thinking she was full Korean. We can’t figure out whether what our relation is, whether it is through our Chinese side or Korean side.
So if I were to accept the 23 and Me results as fact, based on my initial analysis I would conclude I was 76% Chinese, 4.3% Broadly East Asian (possibly Korean), and 19.7% Southeast Asian (possibly Vietnamese). Now, this conclusion is flawed because I’m merely noting the amount of cousins I have in 23 & Me who have DNA tied to certain ethnicities. I have over 160 cousins who share my DNA who have a significant portion of Vietnamese in them. There are over 50 cousins who share my DNA who have a significant portion of Korean in them. I am noting that I don’t see a single cousin with a Japanese last name or a significant portion of Japanese in them.
Kenny 23 & Me Results
23 & Me says that Kenny is 80% East Asian. Of that East Asian he is 79.8% Chinese, 0.1% Yakut, 0.2% Broadly East Asian, 0.5% Broadly East Asian & Native American. It says he is 19.5% Southeast Asian. Again, we aren’t sure why Broadly East Asian appears twice but if you add them together Kenny is 0.7% Broadly East Asian.
Like me, Kenny thinks it is confusing that he is 19.5% Southeast Asian. We are both not quite satisfied because 23 & Me doesn’t specify what Southeast Asian we are. Kenny hasn’t fully analyzed the data on his DNA cousins or chatted with any of them yet.
So for Kenny the final breakdown is 79.8% Chinese, 0.1% Yakut (Turkic people who lived in Russia), 0.7% Broadly East Asian (Korean or Japanese), and 19.5% Southeast Asian.
We Gene Results
We uploaded our raw data from 23 & Me to We Gene. Here are our We Gene results.
Jax We Gene Results
According to We Gene I am 94.3% Chinese (78.05% Southern Han Chinese, 8.54% Gaoshan, 3.31% Hmong-Mien, 2.53% Dai, and 1.57% She), 2.32% South East Asian (1.18% Kinh Vietnamese, 1.13% Thai), 3.25% Indian, and 0.36% Oceanian (Papua). Honestly, these results are much more what I thought I was going to be when we initially did 23 & Me. I like that We Gene tells you specifics about your ethnicity and doesn’t just give you a blanket title of Southeast Asian or something like 23 & Me.
The results are very confusing to me. The percentages are very different from 23 & Me. Now I don’t know what to think or believe. I don’t know which service is more accurate. I am certain now that I want to do further DNA testing to try to unravel this mystery. It’s not that I want to prove I’m more Chinese or something. It’s that I want to know for sure what I am so that I can really learn more about any ethnicity that I am that isn’t Chinese.
Kenny We Gene Results
According to We Gene Kenny is 93.82% Chinese (80.62% Southern Han Chinese, 8.53% Dai, 3.34% Gaoshan, and 1.19% She), 2.59% South East Asian (2.59% Kinh Vietnamese), and 3.55% Indian. Kenny also believes that these results are more what he had in mind when we initially did 23 & Me.
Kenny’s We Gene Results are also very different from his 23 & Me results. So which one is more accurate? My first inclination is to say We Gene is because We Gene breaks down every single ethnicity. But who knows?
If you think you are 100% of one ethnicity and don’t want to know if you are anything else, don’t do 23 & Me or We Gene. I would advise doing 23 & Me and We Gene if you are prepared to have some surprises in your ethnicity. I would also be prepared for some uncertainty since 23 & Me and We Gene will almost certainly give you different results.
Both Kenny and I have enjoyed our experience with 23 & Me and We Gene. 23 & Me did NOT indicate that Kenny and I share any DNA. However, we both think that it is a bit weird that our percentages are so similar. My good friend is a geneticist. She is surprised we don’t share any DNA since our percentages and breakdowns are so so similar. Both Kenny and I have agreed we would like to do further DNA analysis and also upload our raw data results to more paid services to see whether the results match 23 & Me or We Gene. I would like to try Promethease.
I still identify as Chinese. But I’m going to be delving a bit more into Vietnamese culture, Korean culture, Thai culture, and Indian culture. My goal in doing further analysis is to come to a better conclusion about exactly what ethnicity I am and Kenny is. After I figure this out, I would like to to have our daughters Roxy and Carissa do 23 & Me, as well as We Gene. I will be sharing any future DNA results with all of you. Thank you for joining in with me on this journey of discovery!
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Dr. Jacqueline "Jax" Cheung grew up in Sacramento, California. She is a Christian Wife, Proud Mom, Major Foodie, Sacramento Native, Elk Grove Resident, Feminist, Adoption Advocate, Blogger, Freelance Writer, and Cat Lover. Jax is the owner of the award winning Jax Chronicles Blog & Adoption Ministry. Jax won Sacramento Area A-List Local Best Blogger 2014, 2015, 2017 & 2018 and Best of Elk Grove Best Blogger 2016 & 2017. She is also the Editor-In-Chief of the Elk Grove Tribune, and freelances for Sacramento4Kids, and many other publications. Jax is married to Dr. Kenneth Cheung (Kenny). Jax and Kenny live in Elk Grove, California and have 2 daughters named Roxy and Carissa, and 3 cats named Mochi, Miso, and Mango. To follow her journey please like her Jax Chronicles Facebook page, follow her Instagram @jaxchronicles, follow her Twitter @jaxchronicles, or check out Jax Chronicles Blog & Adoption ministry.