Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Finding Out Who I Am

I love history, my favorite time period being the War Between the States and now early Carolina settlement. However, my own history is about as murky as that of the Lost Colonists. Growing up, I believed myself to be the biological child of my beloved dad and therefore, the ancestors of his "people", as we Kentucky folk call them. When I was thirty, I learned my mother had, in fact, been previously married, and her first husband was my father. After a search, I found him and my family only to discover little was known about his paternal side.

To make matters more complicated, I'm not the only one on my maternal side with a broken surname line. My family always believed my great-grandmother to be Vica Witt. After obtaining her vital statistic records, I learned she was actually Vica Johnson who originally hailed from North Carolina. Her name had been changed after my gr, gr, grandmother was "taken in" (we have no idea what that means) by Washington Witt.

Consequently, I knew little about my ethnicity. The name of my maternal family indicated I was Scotch-Irish. My biological paternal name indicated that side was Italian. No one on either side was entirely certain, so when I learned about Ancestry.com's ethnicity DNA test, I jumped at the chance to take it.

The results came in on Christmas Eve, and I instantly learned I'm not what I believed myself to be. While I knew my paternal grandmother came from an Irish line, the estimated amount of Irish in me is far higher than I believed. Scottish? None. Instead, the test estimates I'm twenty-eight percent Scandinavian.

Scandinavian? That explains my bright-white complexion.

There are other, lower estimates as well. Great Britain, Iberian Peninsula and more. I have just a trace amount of Italian in me. The results are so low, it can't be guaranteed.

Though I'm the person I have always been, I feel like a new person. I'm definitely not the Scotch-Irish/Italian I believed myself to be, and now I'm curious to confirm the results and to learn more about who and what I am. My father plans to take a Y-DNA test to examine his ancestry through his father's line. His sister, my aunt, plans to take the autosomal test I took through Ancestry DNA. We'll compare our results to determine my paternal side. I'll post my progress here.


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