Ever wonder where your ancestors are from? It’s such an American question and it makes sense. Do you recall when I told you about the American from Seattle who asked my friend where her ancestors came from and the French woman said, “France.” And the American said, “oh no no. Before that.” And the French woman repeated “France. “ I think there was one more round.
So for her: France. She did tell me her husband’s great grandfather was from Sweden – he came down to work in fishing in Normandy, fell for a French woman and stayed. But that was the true outlier for her family.
It’s the US that is the Melting Pot.
However, given my family history, there’s not been much melting. Grandparents or great grandparents came over from Sweden or Germany. There ya go.
Clearly, I have a great affinity for France. Also for Brittany and the Celts. So I fell for an Ancestry.com DNA test. The results took forever! I think everyone responded to the same ad! But the results are in.
No surprise: Europe – 100%
Scandinavia – 61%, Europe West – 13% , Ireland – 9% , Great Britain – 8%, Europe East – 7%
Well, I see the Celts in there through Ireland and maybe GB. Ancestry defines Europe West as France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany.
OK fine, it’s probably Germany but I am claiming France.
The DNA results were on their website which drew me back to my original stab at a Family Tree. And I got hooked. I think it was a fleeting moment – I am always focused forward more than to my history. But it was interesting and pretty slick. Ancestry is connected to tons of data bases. And you’d be impressed at the collection of birth, marriage and death records that exist in Sweden and Germany. I have traced back to one grandmother born in 1704. And if others in your family tree have used Ancestry.com and given permission, their info and research is available to you. The biggest puzzle (and it’s because it was a puzzle that I got drawn in!) was how to make the jump from the US to Sweden as Ellis Island had changed the spelling of one grandfather’s name. And in Sweden the “Oh” sound was written with the A with the tiny circle over it. Not on my keyboard! But I found a name I could copy and paste and then I was on my way again.
What’s strange to me is that the tree that goes back to 1704 is through my mom’s father – the one person in the family we didn’t know much about other than he was born in Wisconsin to German parents. Surprises.
I showed the family tree to another French friend. He was equally puzzled as to way one would want to do this. Clearly, we are the Melting Pot people.