Have you ever wondered about your ancestors before you? Who they were? Where they came from? Have you ever wondered if it effects who you are?
I always have wondered. I think living ‘alone’ in Australia with no ties to my parents family whom both are from New Zealand I have always felt somewhat a drift on where I belong culturally or ethnically. I have heard of my wonderful family traditions but never have witnessed them played out.
I have always loved New Zealand and travel back as often as I can, often using my family as an excuse when the reality is I just feel so at home there. In fact, on my recent return from New Zealand, I said to my mother I was serious about purchasing some land there because I don’t want to lose my connection there. I just feel at home there I said.
“That’s the blackfella coming out of you,” she said to me sweetly like she was sharing a secret.
I laughed at her.
But is it why I detest the heat? Why drizzly days make my heart sing and why I am torn between the coast and the mountains? Why the water brings a calmness? Why I feel at home in New Zealand? Why I can do a British accent better than John Cleese on a good day? And why Paddington Bear is much more than just a bear.
Is it our genetics? Why are we drawn to things?
Is it why my husband is never far from the sea? Why he, has always worked on her great expanse since leaving school at 17? Is it why he loves the cold also? Why he, loves to continually move?
And so wanting to know more about my husband’s ancestors as well as wanting confirmation of my own I ordered a DNA kit. It was on special and so it was the university giving me a great big thumbs up.
The process was as simple as spitting into a vile activating a key and returning it back to the lab in an addressed envelope.
Six weeks later the results were in, sent via email. Husband and I sat and read eagerly together.
For me, it was no surprise with the exception I’m more British than most Britains currently considers native to Britain. Perhaps there is a room at the place with my name on it. Perhaps Harry and I are destined to be friends given Iam 29% more British than a British person, perhaps we are – wait- cousins.
The Polynesian link is because I am proudly the direct descendent of the first interracial marriage of a Maori princess and a British explorer, a writer for the British Museum.
The other regions show a small percentile of West Asian so Iraq Bahrain and Afghanistan where I’m assuming they my ancestors started from or crossed through on their journey across the world.
Exciting to think of the people before me and the journies they made.
Making it so true that we are just all one people because I certainly don’t look like the descendent of a Maori princess or a middle eastern girl.
It does answer these questions for me, and I do believe genetics play a significant role in who we are, it just makes sense to me.
As a sweet side note through this, I have reconnected with a first cousin on my father’s side and a third cousin on my mother’s side. There are another 47 possible cousins I’m yet to invade myself on. I’m no longer drifting but paddling my way towards others on the same path.
My husband’s side? West Europe, Scandinavian, Irish, with less than 2% Italian which with a surname like Russo is interesting. And much to his delight, he has people other people that share his genetic markers also.
It seems he isn’t a mutant 6ft4 Italian but a strapping young Viking. Surprise, surprise.
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Have you ever considered finding out your roots? Do you think it plays a link in who you are?