Chromosome Painting & Unexpected Heritage
I am completely fascinated with family history, DNA, and ancestry.
It dawned on me once that little pieces of our ancestors are all inside of us, making up who we are today. Whether you believe in cellular memory, or simply evolutionary changes, either way the experiences of our ancestors shaped who we are today in some fashion. Not to mention culture–the culture of families that has been passed down through many generations, folk lore, physical traits.
Who were these people? Why are they so mysterious? To think that most of us don’t even know who are great great grandparents were is sad to me. Why haven’t humans kept better records of their ancestors–of who they were beyond more than just a name with birth and death dates?
The internet has made researching this so much easier, but still so many mysteries remain. I look at each name on my family tree and imagine what their lives were like. Where did they live, what kind of house? What did they do for a job? How did they look, what features did they have? What type of personality did they have? Were they happy?
I will never know, except in cases where I’ve found old letters. Remember the ones from love letters from my great grandfather to my great grandmother Ada? Here’s the first letter, if you never saw them. I actually never finished posting all of them, but several are on my blog under the dropdown menu at the top labeled Daily Life, then click Ada’s Love Letters. I should finish digitizing them all one of these days…
I did find that one line in my family tree is part of European royalty that goes very far back, including John Lackland, King of England. You know, the bad King John in the Robin Hood book/movie?
Last year I did the DNA testing with 23&Me. It was pretty awesome. It’s still one of my all time favorite things I’ve ever done.
My ancestry matched up pretty well with what I’ve found through building my family tree. But there were a few mysterious things that showed up on there I didn’t expect.
The majority of my ancestry is Scottish, British, and Irish. More than 50%! The other majority is a mix of other European countries–Scandinavian, French, Eastern European. Basically a lot of generic white girl heritage. ;)
Then there’s something that nothing in my family tree pointed to, at least not in the extensive research I’ve done so far!
Asian DNA showed up. Also a tiny sliver of Yakut DNA, which is a tribe of people from north eastern Russia who live with reindeer. I think this is from Native American ancestry. But there are no Native Americans in my family tree that I can find!
There are also a few slivers of African DNA. Is that why I have insane wiry hair that prefers products from the ethnic hair care section? I mean I’m very, very white and my hair is reddish. However maybe that African DNA is expressing itself in my hair texture. That would explain a lot. It’s not much African DNA, so that’s probably reaching, but you never know. It is there, after all.
So…that’s interesting. I really want my dad to do the DNA testing so that I know which side of the family the African and Native American come from. Unfortunately I don’t see him doing it any time soon, especially now that they raised the price.
I wish I could know which tribe my Native American ancestors came from. I have absolutely no clue. Were my African ancestors slaves? Probably, I can’t imagine any other way they would have come to America to mix with my ancestry. I don’t think my white ancestors went to Africa.
Is this not in my family tree because I just haven’t found the branch that leads to it yet, or is someone’s father not who they claimed? The fact that I may never know drives me crazy! I will have to keep researching until all efforts are exhausted, because otherwise I will never sleep at night.
I put my raw DNA in Gedmatch recently. I didn’t realize there was something called chromosome painting until last night. It’s so cool! Here’s mine: