After my mom, I’m known as the family historian. We all have that one person who is obsessively intrigued by the family tree and who our ancestors were. I am that person. I’ve always been wildly fascinated with history so this seems the most natural fit aside from writing. In November 2018, my son and I did ancestry.com DNA kits and the results were mostly what I expected, but also had a sprinkle of surprises in there. So far, no intriguing family secrets; my parents are in fact mine, but it was really cool to see, for example, that my brother and son have Italian in their genetic makeup, while I am completely without.
45% England, Wales, Northwest Europe
This includes my German roots from my maternal grandmother’s side and there are clear migration paths I’ve discovered of ancestors coming to American from Germany (Nikolaus Apfel b. 1590, Balthasar Apfel b. 1610, Hans Apfel b. 1644, and Thomas Apfel (changed to Apple) b. 1697 who came to America sometime between the ages of 27 and 35).
30% Native American – North, Central, and South
My results center on Central Mexico and San Luis Potosi, MX. There is a family tale that an ancestor was the cousin of Pancho Villa, but I’ve not yet come across anything to prove this. It would be incredible to find out, though!
17% Ireland & Scotland
I’m very into my Scottish roots, everyone! I dream about retiring to Scotland. This is a serious condition I have.
Not surprising being that I’m Mexican/Native American to have Spain pop up in there.
The rest of my results are up to 1% each of my DNA so I don’t really lay claim to them. They just happen to be there because a long time ago many beautiful people met other beautiful people and their bloodline wound its way to me fortuitously.
*Cameroon, Congo, and Southern Bantu Peoples.
There was also up to 1% Middle East in my DNA, but it did not specify which part of the Middle East. While these 1%ers are interesting to see, I think my previous statement that it’s not significant enough to my genetic structure to tout that I’m French, Middle Eastern, or African (especially) is going to be something I adhere to rather strongly.
Between having found all of this interesting information out (and my son’s results were a total treat because I knew only some of what his father’s ethnicity was) and having become a Lady of Scotland in April 2018 (for conservation purposes), my son has decided we definitely own Scotland. you see, my mother’s maiden name is Bruce and our line can be traced back to the greatest: King Robert the Bruce himself. (Yes, I’m bragging.)
While 80% of all Bruces are descendants of his, laying claim to a legitimate line through either his daughter from his first marriage or the products of his second are rare and can be hard to trace. In previous notebooks from my research, I think my family comes from the second marriage (which would bring in that 1% French DNA). Grandpa Bob got around, everyone. He was…popular.
If you are interested in your own family tree and in doing a DNA kit, I highly recommend them. No matter what you may (or may not) find out, this is your story and they’re all really good tales. I have yet to come across anyone in the family tree for whom I can “blame” for my out of control hair that is always in my face, though.
Your family is your history. Maybe I’m a nostalgic historian, but if history is doomed to repeat itself then I think that means all of the good things will happen again as much as the bad. If we learn our stories (or, as much as we can), we can avoid the mistakes of our ancestors and be uplifted by their triumphs. You don’t always need to agree with what you find out, but you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by so much more.
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