Ancestry.What?

Ever since my daughter got her DNA results, my curiosity has been peaked. Her’s favored both her and my paternal Italian/Mediterranean side of the family, with a showing of Norwegian stock. I wondered what was coursing through my veins. Previous blogs described my Mother’s lineage from Norway. My paternal Grandfather’s family came from Italy, but Grandma was a mystery.

No one in Dad’s family spoke about themselves or where they came from prior to Brooklyn. They moved upstate New York a few hours from Long Island, so we didn’t see much of them when I was growing up. After Grandma died, my Uncle did some research and let us know that she was an orphan and her maiden name was O’Rourke. Little else was known, except that she had a great sense of humor and was a lovely woman. Unfortunately, she died young before I was curious enough to ask questions.

I believed that I was predominantly Norwegian, with a side slice of Italian. The odd thing was I was always drawn to Irish culture. I rarely miss the St. Patrick’s Day parades and love Irish music, dancing and Guinness. After going on a trip to Ireland with my daughter, the attraction was even stronger.

Just before Christmas, I sent in the Ancestry.com DNA test and got my results this week. You may have guessed the results: 39% Irish, 36% Norwegian and the balance Italian/Mediterranean. It was such a fun shock. I felt closer to my Grandmother, who was such a lovely lady. Relatives said that my looks favored her and it seems her blood as well.

As my daughter and I discovered on our trip, Ireland has lots of Viking history. Perhaps my Irish roots came through the back door as well. Either way, it was exciting to find out my genetic makeup. Coincidentally, just before Christmas, my husband and I booked a tour of Ireland. Both of his parents have Irish ancestry and I wanted to experience Ireland with him. Now we both will return to our roots.

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