Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Who Do You Think You Are?

Every so often I get an urge to really get into my genealogy. My great-grandfather did a family tree (back before you could do such things on the internet) and my grandmother and now my mother became the keepers of it. So I even have a pretty good place to start.

Well the bug has bitten again, only this time I mean to do something about it. I joined Ancestry.com and they have this thing which I think is pretty neat where you can get your DNA tested and they'll tell you the genetic background of your family. As in, you're 50% Scottish, 10% German, 5% Native American, etc. etc.

I bought the kit for this, so now I'm just waiting for it to show up in the mail so I can spit in a tube and learn my past! Admittedly, on my mothers side there's not much mystery. We're German. So German. Much German. And some Czech. Maybe some Polish. But mostly German. So sayeth the Family Tree! And my grandmother, when she was alive, bless her So Very German soul.

But my father, for obvious reasons, is a mystery. I was always told his family was Scottish but his last name actually has an Irish...flavor to it, I guess? And honestly, who knows? Not me.

I'm actually kind of excited to find out where my genes come from, in broad strokes. And I'm working on the genealogy itself, as I get time. This coming weekend I'm going to dig out all the boxes of family stuff my mother has and lay claim to it for a while. The site is really interesting, even just knowing the couple of things I know off the top of my head I've found censuses from when my Grandmother was growing up and from my great-grandfather's childhood too. And they have a picture of my great-grandparents' headstone up in Ohio which I found pretty neat.

I'm not telling my mother about the DNA testing though. Couldn't tell you why, but I feel like I want to keep that private (as she posts about it on the internet for all and sundry to see). It'll be a couple of months anyway, between waiting to get the kit and then waiting for the results, but there you go. Aside from goggling at the idiotic kinds of books that get published and the people we have running for president, that's my new hobby.


  1. Cool! I have another friend who did this, and I enjoyed hearing about her results. Niki likes researching her genealogy, too.

    1. My little kit came yesterday and I mailed it back today. So in something like a month and a half we'll have our answers!

      My co-worker is hedging her bets that I'm an alien. :D

  2. Interesting! I like this stuff.
    When I was in the USA I used to ask my American friends where their ancestors are from :) I know it is weird but I like this kind of stuff. In Missouri, the answers were either Germany or Ireland. So, no mystery there :) Although, my academic adviser posted on his FB page last week that he found his great grandfather is from Hungary.

    In Jordan, we maintain the names to the sixth or eighth great grandfather. We don't have a middle name. In the official documents we have to write our names in four syllables. (given name) (father's name) (grandfather's name) (family name).

    Nevertheless, most of Jordanians maintain the tree of names to the sixth or eights great grandfather's name.

    1. I really like this stuff too, but I haven't been making the time to do anything with it. I'm going to change that now though and really make sure to schedule time to do what I want. :)

      It's sort of funny, German heritage seems to spread a good range around the US. We're *everywhere*! Even my co-worker from Peru has some German in her ancestry.

      I know some people who can recite their lineage similar to what you're saying, though of course it's not required on official documents or anything unless you're trying to join Daughters of Confederate Soldiers or something like that.

      In my case I could give you...not six back, but four generations on my mothers side. Nothing on my fathers, unfortunately. Which makes me wonder, what is done about children in Jordan who don't have that level of history? If they don't know their fathers or grandfather's names?

    2. Good question. I haven't thought about it before.

      About four years ago there was a big incident that occurred when a police officer treated a young man unfairly. The story escalated and became the talk of the nation. It turned out that orphans, who were not raised by any next of kin, in Jordan have special identification number. Almost no one knew about this except people involved in social service and the law.

      The police officer treated this young man badly because he knew he is one of those orphans. Upon this story, activists demanded that those orphans don't have a special identification number.

  3. That's awful. Is it because the officer knew the young man didn't have any family to protect him?

    Did the law get changed?

    1. - Yes.
      - Unfortunately, I don't know. Seeing how things work here most probably the law didn't change.


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