Researching family history is exhausting and somewhat brutal on the hip pocket. Having extensively researched my family's history for the past several years now, I felt like I had enough knowledge of culture and heritage that I could write a book!
I'm sure others who are researching their own family's history feel the same.
So with me, the history of my ancestral roots is pretty long, so I will fill you in on what I know.
I was born and raised in Australia, so am Australian (but not Indigenous).
I also have Celtic Irish, Irish, American, Austrian, Jewish, Spanish, French Polynesian - Kanak (from New Caledonia), Hawaiian, Japanese, English, Scottish, French and Ancient Egyptian blood in me. Phew.. Not a lot at all!
Quite exciting when you think about it, I mean for years I had been waiting for something big to come along and tell me what I already knew, and to also give my research skills and eyes a break, so when Ancestry bought out their DNA testing, I JUMPED at the chance to finally see if I was correct (or not) and see exactly what percentage each was.
So after spitting into the jar, returning the sample and waiting (which felt like forever) I finally got the results back and was thrilled! I wasn't too shocked at all, but I was left perplexed wondering where the Scandinavian, Finnish/Russian side of me came from..???
Anyway, let's go through each of Ancestry's DNA Estimates.
My Irish roots are deep, with the very first of our clan holding a seat in Country Cork long before Christianity took hold of the Eire. It was via Ancient Egypt and Spain that my family travelled, and after a period of time in Cork, and in Roscommon, they settled in Ballymena (County Antrim). Whilst the region is under British control at present, my hope is that this changes soon, for the people of Eire need to be rejoined as one again as it was in the beginning.
There is so much history yet the funny thing is how I feel. The very first thing I noticed was HOW Irish I was growing up considering it was my great-great grandfather on my mother's side of the family that first decided to leave his family in the fair land before setting sail for Australia.
EVERYTHING I do is based around Irish culture, from cooking to family to fun. Yet my oldest son may as well be Japanese considering how he eats, speaks (he learns the language at school) and draws whilst my youngest is Irish/Italian (potatoes and pasta lol)..
Just goes to show you don't have to be born in a particular country to FEEL and BE a certain nationality or culture, although you do need the DNA from that country!
EUROPE WEST 24%
French | German.
Aside from having actual French heritage, I was thinking that New Caledonia was also included in this given it is a French territory at the moment. There is my great-great-great grandfather on my father's side of the family who was German (the same man who married the Scandinavian woman). They went onto have a generations of children who would marry, move and settle in Austria before my father's grandparents moved to New York, eventually settling in Clifton, New Jersey.
Anyway, a LOT of DNA marking - travelling - occurred on my mothers mother's side of the family that we do not know about.
GREAT BRITAIN 12%
England | Scotland.
Like many other Australians, I have ancestors on my mother's father's side that came from both England and Scotland. My mother's father's mother bore the surname of Robbie, and today this name is known worldwide through Australian actress, Margot Robbie. Not sure how we are related, but we are somehow!
Sweden | Norway | Denmark.
Utterly shocked by this coming up. I understand since reading about Ancestry DNA's estimates that a family's or person's (or clans) travelling habits leave DNA Markers behind. However, I found out that this was not the case after researching my father's side of the family and discovering that my eventual great-great-great grandmother married into the family.
Again, shocked.. same as above? Or could my Ancient Egyptian heritage come into place, given the Italy/Greece and Iberian Peninsular regions are inter-wined on the map?
IBERIAN PENINSULAR 2%
I do have ancestors from Spain, so this isn't a shock.
FINLAND/NORTHWEST RUSSIA 1%
Again in shock. There is no one in the family from these regions.
Considering it's closeness to Scandinavia, I would have to say the family clan/s that travelled also travelled briefly through here?
I read an article somewhere that mentioned those with Irish ancestry did have connections with Finland/Russia through their Scottish ancestors. It will be interesting to learn more.
New Caledonia (a Kanak Village) | Hawaii (with Japanese DNA included).
Both of these countries have played a HUGE part in my family's lives, with my great-grandfather on my mother's side being born into a Kanak Village in Thio, New Caledonia; whilst one of my cousins (again on my mother's side) was born in Maui, Hawaii to a Japanese father whose family originate from both the Miyajima Islands in Western Japan and Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands.