DNA Ancestry Testing – Am I Really Chinese?

Unlike my husband’s family, who has been in the U.S. (and North Carolina) for generations, my parents were the first people (that we know of) to immigrate to the United States from our family. I like to joke with my husband that I’m a “pure blood” (lame Harry Potter reference), unlike his mixed and somewhat far removed heritage in Europe.

My husband took a DNA test through 23 and Me about two years ago to figure out where his ancestors came from. The results indicated that he is 100% Northwestern European – 62% British/Irish, 10% French/German, and 5% Scandinavian.  At the time, I didn’t feel a need to do the test because I was confident that I wouldn’t get any surprising results, but I was still curious about what I might find out.

My husband bought the kit for me for our 3 year anniversary present, and I sent my sample in. 

My results from 23 and Me are shown below, as well as the analysis of a few other websites using different databases. WeGene is based in China and specializes in DNA analysis for people of Asian descent. DNA.LAND is operated through a collaboration of scientists from the New York Genome Center and Columbia University.

It was very interesting to compare the different interpretations of my DNA. My Chinese percentage ranges from 88% to 92%, although it is difficult to compare since the definition for “Chinese” varies from site to site. For example, 23 and Me and DNA.Land does not consider Mongolian descent as Chinese, whereas WeGene does.

23 and Me believes me to be more Korean than Japanese and WeGene believes the opposite. DNA.LAND has combined the two ethnic groups into one. Overall, my Korean/Japanese ancestry seems to be somewhere in the 3-5% range.

The rest of my ancestry seemed to vary quite a bit between the three sites – Mongolian, Southeast Asian, etc. It was very interesting to see from WeGene, the breakdown of the specific ethnic groups classified under Chinese as well.

23 and Me



Although I didn’t get any crazy surprising results, it was very fascinating to see the breakdown of where my ancestors came from. Another perk of getting your DNA analysis done is that through these sites, it’s also possible to find and connect with people with whom you share DNA. I would definitely recommend getting the test done, even if you’re confident you know where your ancestors came from. You never know, you might get some surprising results!


  1. Very interesting article. I have also done a DNA test a year back and now uploaded the data on other platforms as well -> always some tiny changes depending which platform is being used.
    I think i will also have a little blog post regarding that as I am very interested in this whole thing and besides that I do a lot of family research

    • Did you get any results that were surprising to you? You should definitely do a blog post about it. I’m sure people would be interested in knowing!

  2. Hi Katie, I have wanted to do this. But have had the same reservations since I am Chinese also. Thank you for sharing your experience. Your results have been so interesting. My husband is Chinese also but want to buy one for each of us.

    • I would definitely recommend it! I think they have deals for if you’re buying more than one. It would very interesting to compare yours and your husband’s ancestry. You might get some surprising results!

  3. Well, since you read Timo’s blog, I’m assuming you saw my post on this already! But it is facinating and so much fun. And you – you’re pretty much Chinese! How do you feel about the hill tribes knowing that you have some of them in you, too? Just curious because in Thailand they are not considered Thai, so they are an interesting anomalies.

    • I did see your post already! I really enjoyed reading about your self-reflection on identity and how to define it. I have struggled a lot with my own identity because my ethnic background and family is totally different from the environment that I grew up in and relate to more closely. I definitely think of myself as ethnically Chinese. I doubt there are many people out there who are 100% anything. I think it’s fascinating being able to speculate on when certain ethnicities intermingled. In the future, there will be much more mixing, I’m sure. How do you feel about your genetic makeup and how has that influenced what you think about your own identity?


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