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.
Please note that after we got our 23 & Me results, we downloaded the raw data and uploaded it to We Gene English for free. I highly recommend you do the same after you get your 23 & Me or Ancestry results.
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. PLEASE NOTE THAT ARE INITIAL 23 & ME RESULTS WERE INCORRECT. After the 1st video was taken, we got emails about 2 weeks later informing us that our results had changed.
We got our original results from 23 & Me and then 2 weeks later we got updated results. THEREFORE THESE ORIGINAL RESULTS ARE NOT ACCURATE. 23 & Me said that I am 78.2% East Asian. Of that East Asian, it said I am 76% Chinese, 19.7% Southeast Asian, 2.2% Broadly East Asian, 2.1% Broadly East Asian & Native American. 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.
MY ORIGINAL RESULTS SAID: 76% Chinese, 4.3% Broadly East Asian (possibly Korean), and 19.7% Southeast Asian (possibly Vietnamese).
23 & Me originally said that Kenny is 80% East Asian. Of that East Asian it said he is 79.8% Chinese, 19.5% Southeast Asian, 0.1% Yakut, 0.2% Broadly East Asian, 0.5% Broadly East Asian & Native American.
KENNY’S ORIGINAL RESULTS SAID: 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.
So after the debacle where we got the wrong results, we finally got the right results. These results were much more in line with what I initially thought I was, which was mostly Cantonese Chinese. MY FINAL 23 & ME RESULTS SAY I am 94.5% Chinese, 5% Southeast Asian (lists Philippines), and 0.4% Broadly East Asian (doesn’t specify).
Kenny’s results are a bit more confusing for him. KENNY’S FINAL 23 & ME RESULTS SAY he is 89.4% Chinese, 10.4% Southeast Asian (lists Vietnam), 0.1% Broadly East Asian, 0.1% Broadly East Asian & Native American.
We uploaded our raw data from 23 & Me to We Gene. Here are our 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. I like that We Gene breaks down exactly what type of Chinese I am. Since there are 55 recognized ethnic groups in China, it’s great to see it all broken down for 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.
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. I believe 23 & Me is great for giving you a good general overview, and We Gene is great if you would like to break down exactly what you are.
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. 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 still identify as Chinese. But I’m going to be delving a bit more into Vietnamese culture, Filipino 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!
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. 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.