Surprise! My Peeps Aren’t My Closest Peeps

Remember, for the non-Hollywood types, peeps means people.

DNA and genetic research  has changed our lives in so many ways. It is hard to believe that the jurors didn’t believe that the DNA of OJ Simpson truly convicted him.

We all want to know where we come from–we are proud of our nationalities and believe that our ancestors made us what we are.

Growing up, I knew I was Norwegian, Danish and German. There was no contesting that. My paternal great-grandfather only spoke German and insisted that everyone in the house speak German. So, my dad and his siblings learned German. They were lucky they had a teacher who spoke German so they could learn English. My paternal grandmother was born in Norway and came to the U.S. as a child.
On my mother’s side, her family was Norwegian and Danish. She grew up in the town of Denmark, her parents spoke Danish so they could speak freely in front of her and she would not understand them–but she did. My mother also  played the organ in the Danish church. Therefore, I staunchly believed that those three countries were my absolute and only heritage.

When my husband was mad at me, his insult would be to call me a Neanderthal because  I was being “stubborn.” I guess he believed all Neanderthal were stubborn because of their jutting jaw and large brow that made them look like they were constantly frowning.



Then along came 23 and me.

My beliefs were not shattered,

but cracked and reshaped a bit.

What is not surprising it that I am 100% European.  91% is from Northwest Europe–ok that goes along exactly what I thought.   I knew I was from good Viking stock.

Wait–91%, where is the 9%?  Am I deficient in DNA?  Well, the rest–almost– is Eastern European and Southern European.  That surprised me.

23 and Me goes back in our history almost 400 years. The farthest they found was that I had a relative that was 100% Sardinian.  My first question was where is Sardinia?     I found out it is an Italian island in the Mediterranean.  Italian?  Now that explains why I can’t talk without using my hands.  There is always a reason.

Then, I had at least one relative who was 100% British or Irish–so now I can truly say “Kiss Me, I’m Irish.”

Surprisingly, the relative that was 100% German goes way back to the 1700’s.  Boy, those German’s really hang onto their language.  Too bad that Dad didn’t pass it onto us.  I get it–none of the baby-boomers would speak German–too many bad memories from WWII.

As the years progress, I find that I have a relative who is 100% Eastern European.  This boggles my mind. I think a future relative may have the answer.

I also have a relative who is 100% Finnish.  I did not understand why they were not included with my Northern European Scandinavian peeps. I took time to look into this and I found Finns do not consider themselves Scandinavian.  They see themselves more closely aligned to the Eastern Europeans.  I got it.  Now  I know how that Eastern European snuck in there.

Now, you know that Neanderthal insult–well it’s true.   I have aboutt 4% of overall DNA that is Neanderthal.  We have been told that every person  has a 6% connection to everyone else.   I have a Neanderthal grandparent to the 250th  degree.  (I need a mathematician to tell me how to interpret that–it is WAY above my paygrade.  Can anyone help me with that?)  There are variant traits that they look for–I have 282 variant traits.  The highest they have seen in their studies is 300 variant traits–dang-it.  I guess I am up there with quite a bit of Neanderthal. There are a few traits that are strictly Neanderthal–one is having little back hair.  My children and grandchildren better thank me for that.  At least they aren’t hairy humans.

My only problem is that now Nasr is going to tease me forever.  But, he has some skeletons in his DNA. If he starts it, I will finish it. I have been around longer!


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