Dave and Deb of The Planet D have been traveling the world full time for the last 8 years, visiting over 106 countries.
They’ve cycled across Africa, driven from England to Mongolia, and swum in Antarctica.
But their recent trip to Scotland turned out to be one of the most unique — and it all began with an AncestryDNA test.
During their epic adventures across all 7 continents, Dave and Deb have immersed themselves in local cultures and experiences.
They weren’t quite sure what to expect from a DNA test, but they were excited to find out!
Dave’s quest: Were the Scottish stories true?
Dave knew very little about his family story. His mom was adopted and never knew her biological family.
His father passed away when Dave was a still a teen, so all Dave knew was that he was possibly Scottish.
When Ancestry reached out, he was game to find out more about his ethnic background.
His DNA test results showed that he was Irish, British, and Scandinavian — with maybe a touch of West Asia (about 2%).
And they showed that he had close genetic ties to other people whose ancestors were known to come from Scotland.
A trip of a lifetime for Dave
Here’s where it gets really cool.
Dave’s test revealed a genetic match (a “DNA match”) with a long lost relative on his mom’s side.
That person had a detailed family tree, tracing their shared lineage all the way back to 18th-century Scotland.
Previously, Dave had no idea he had roots in Scotland going back centuries. But it turned out he had ties to both the Frasier clan and the Mackenzie clan, which founded a village called Gairloch.
It was an incredible coincidence that he found this out just DAYS before his trip to Scotland!
His wife and co-adventurer, Deb, wrote,
“We have always believed in the mysteries of this world, and to find out that Dave’s family is from Gairloch, Scotland, just days before we were to fly to Scotland…and stay two nights in Gairloch was to us far more than a coincidence. This had deep meaning and we knew it was meant to be.”
Dave went from not really knowing anything about his family background to knowing — and visiting — the exact village his ancestors were from!
A new way to travel
Dave wasn’t the only one to find inspiration in his DNA and family history. There were revelations for Deb, too.
First, her DNA showed she was part of a group of people (a Genetic Community) with genetic ties to early settlers of Canada, along the St. Lawrence River.
Then Deb found out more about one of those ancestors, Gilles Lauzon. Born in 1631, Gilles was one of these early French settlers along the St. Lawrence:
“Listening to Gilles Lauzon’s story makes me think this is where I got a bit of my adventurous DNA….The first crossing was a nightmare as the ship nearly sank and had to turn around. It didn’t make it back to France, but instead waited on an Island in the Atlantic for a replacement ship to come their way.”
Where will your DNA take you?
There’s so much to discover about your family story and what led to you.
Were your ancestors daring pioneers like Deb’s?
Or are you like Dave, more deeply rooted in a part of the world than you ever imagined?
Take the AncestryDNA test to find out. Your very own DNA adventure awaits!