We all know who we are and where we come from. We’ve been told by our parents and grandparents about our ancestry, especially if we’re related to someone famous or significant in history.
Except that we don’t.
These days, DNA ancestry testing has made it possible for us to track our heritage, and people are consistently surprised by their results.
To give you an idea of this, here are 6 celebrities who found out shocking facts from ancestry checks.
- Oprah is Native American?
Oprah actually used a DNA test kit as part of a series she was doing. “African American Lives” was obviously about her African heritage, and for the most part, she got what she expected. Her ancestry can be traced to Liberia and Guinea. But a full 8% of her ancestry was found to be Native American. That’s not insignificant.
- How Spanish is Mario Lopez?
Mario Lopez is Spanish, right? He has to be. But… okay, there’s no huge plot twist here. He does have a large proportion of Spanish and Native American DNA. However, a significant proportion comes from the British Isles. One of the last places he’d have expected to find his ancestors’ graves.
- How about Eva Longoria?
Eva Longoria is a Latina goddess. She’s a figurehead for many Mexican and Native American lovers of celebrity. But a full 70% of her DNA is European! She’s not nearly as American as she thought. Of course, her recent cultural heritage isn’t compromised by these results. They don’t change where she grew up or the culture she was raised in.
- Tyra Banks is British?
Tyra Banks is, of course, a famous non-white celebrity. She certainly isn’t British in any way? Actually, 14% of her ancestry comes from Britain. While a full 85% is African or Native American, the British connection is strong enough to give her some food for thought.
- What is Snooki, anyway?
Jersey Shore star, Snooki, was adopted by Chilean parents. And from her appearance, it’s not so simple to determine where exactly she is from. Turns out, her DNA tests show she really is very diverse. While she is part Middle Eastern Jewish, and part Asian, she’s also got a large Romani or Gypsy heritage.
- The most Jewish man in the world
Larry David’s Jewish identity is a huge part of his persona and his comedy. After all, he’s the creator of Seinfeld, the archetype of American Jewish humour. His own series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, is as typically Jewish. However, his DNA testing showed that he’s only 55% Jewish European, and 32% Native American. So while he may appear to be the most Jewish man in the world, his ancestry contains a lot more diversity.