Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Confession Tuesday - The Personal Identity Edition

Dear Reader:

It's another hit of cold and snow, another birthday, $145 (at last count) raised for the Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary, three more fricking recorded calls that start out "there is nothing wrong with your credit cards..." WELL DUH! They are all paid off! Lots more reading & writing, my DNA results arriving, and another week since my last confession.

So Monday, the long-awaited, much-anticipated email arrived with the results of my "spit" in a tube.  On the right, you will find the results. I confess I am not majorly surprised. I anticipated the Irish, Scottish, Welsh role in my ancestry would be maybe 20%.  I also anticipated England would figure in...  I was maybe surprised that it was as much as 38%.  Europe West at 35% seemed like a lot, but when you realize that it accounts for all the influence of ancestors from Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein, that 35% could be quite splintered up.

The 3% Iberian Peninsula represents Spain and Portugal.

The 3% Scandinavia represents  Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

The Caucasus would include  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey and the made up 2%.

Finland/Northwest Russia less than 1%

Europe South - as in Greece and Italy, less than 1%.

East Europe - This includes  Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Russia, Hungry, Slovenia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia also less than 1%.

The other surprise is the Caucasus leaves me feeling a strange connection to these countries whose history is steeped in war, conflict and sadness.

I confess that I think it is good for people to have a realization about from where they have come. Who their ancestors are, not just parents and grandparents. Would so many people today be up in arms about immigrants if they realized where their roots lead back to?  Would the world seem so big? Would we feel as steadfast in a singular "American" nationality? And unless we have native American roots, American nationality is a bit of a misnomer.

I confess I have been fascinated by this information. I already have a family tree mapped out a bit and have slowly been trying to take it back further, but this information adds a new dimension. It sort of jettisons me back in beyond the individual family trees.

Perhaps another reason this all feels exciting is that I grew up with very little contact with my father and the whole paternal side of my family. This always left me feeling as though I didn't really know who I was. It was like a piece of my identity was missing. As a child, I always felt I was something less than most everyone else.

I am wondering how this information may inform my writing in the future. I confess that I see it as adding some texture to my view of my life, and that can't but help make me a deeper writer.

That's my confession for this week. I hope we all remember we came from someplace, even if it was from under a rock.

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