Map of ethnicity results from AncestryDNA

The AncestryDNA results are in . . . and they’re CRAZY (not really).

After Mẹ took her AncestryDNA test at the beginning of January, the results finally came back from the lab — and it actually didn’t take long!

The email came in from yesterday, which I appreciated because I had checked the status the day before and they were still processing it then.

Ethnicity results were not surprising. Pretty much what I expected based on the 23andMe test. But I guess I can do a drumroll for them anyway. 

The Results

Mom's ethnicity results from AncestryDNA dna kit test

One key difference from 23andMe is that AncestryDNA gives you a bit more of a focused look on which African country your ancestors could have come. Where 23andMe told us we had ancestors from West Africa, this service gives us Senegal and the Ivory Coast specifically — which is pretty dope.

Conversely, though, they’re a lot more vague with their Asian ethnicity results — though that’s due to the lack of Asian samples they have to draw from.

Instead of saying China or Southeast Asia like 23andMe, we have Asia East, Asia Central, and Asia South.

Most surprisingly, the results showed a little bit of Polynesian ancestry, which — after watching Disney’s Moana — gets me excited to think I’m related to the demigod Maui “The Rock” Johnson.


Excuse me while I practice spitting my Lin-Manuel Miranda bars.

While all the ethnicity stuff is cool, the real reason I took this test was for the DNA matching — and that’s where the fun stuff comes in.

AncestryDNA Matches

relative dna matching from ancestrydna test kit

Notice anything about the above?

That’s right we have a SECOND COUSIN.

This is the CLOSEST relative match we have received to date.

That means finding our common ancestor should be MUCH easier . . . well, in theory.

The nice thing about AncestryDNA is that they provide their “confidence” in the match estimate. For the alleged second cousin, Texas950, we have a match that’s “Extremely High” in confidence.

It also connects you with the alleged cousin’s family tree (if it was public of course). Luckily, Texas950 shared a good amount of their tree so we have a few names to work with.

AncestryDNA provides a handy “Shared Matches” feature, which connects me to people that we’re both related to. This should come in handy later if I should need to cross reference genealogical trees for any reason.

Since the results came in yesterday, I’ve messaged Texas950 who last logged in last month. Hopefully, they’ll see the message soon and hit me back.

God, this is exciting, you guys.

Overall, I think I prefer AncestryDNA over 23andMe. They were much speedier with the results and better about notifying me as soon as the test came in.

Also, you can’t really beat the fact that WE HAVE A SECOND COUSIN MATCH. WOOO!


This is the closest I’ve felt to finding my grandfather since starting the project.

I know it’s not smart to get excited about this sort of thing, especially when you’re dealing with something as messy as amateur genealogy.

After all, it could be mismatch from the DNA testing facility. Texas950 might have put together an incomplete tree. Anything could have happened that is just taking me down a dead end . . . but dammit, if this isn’t the most exciting thing.

In any case, stay tuned for more.  I’ll have loads to share soon.

NEXT UP . . .

  • Grandma’s story: My ba ngaoi lived like ten lives before I was even born. Now I want to tell just a piece of that story.
  • History of the Boat People: brief overview on the Vietnamese diaspora following the Fall of Saigon and where my family fits in it all.


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