Irish Again

A few months ago, when Ancestry DNA informed me that I was no longer predominantly Irish, I felt a huge sense of relief. It was before St. Patrick’s Day and the denouement of the “fact” that I’m predominantly Scots meant I didn’t have to worry about wearing green, cooking and eating corned beef and cabbage (yuck), or any of the rest of it. But then…

Ancestry updated its update and wouldn’t you know it? I’m Irish again and hardly Scots at all. That said, I can return again to screaming like a banshee when I’m hurt, walking the narrow trail wit me Shillelagh and weeping over the poetry of William Butler Yeats.

It’s very cool that now that Ancestry can also let me know what DNA came from which parent. Parent 2 in my chart is obviously me da’ whose ma was Swedish, 100%, and Parent 1 is obviously me ma as me gran had ancestors from Switzerland.

They also offer an explanation about why the DNA of siblings might be different. I’d talk that over wit’ me brother, but obviously… Another good thing about being Irish again is I can continue to have a dark, acerbic sense of humor.

I’m just slightly more than mildly curious about this stuff, so I haven’t followed the progress in DNA research, etc. These developments are new to me, interesting, but not important. The most interesting bit of my ancestry came from another test I took that gave me my Haplogroup which, it happens, is the very close to that of Ötzi, the Ice Man from the Tyrol. Even if it’s not true, I’m going with it because I can’t think of any place I would rather have my maternal family originate. It’s likely, though, as they have been traced to that very region of the world. So, in Ötzi’s honor, I’m now riding the bike-to-nowhere on the Ötzal road. Family matters, right?

The Otzal road is amazingly beautiful on the Bike the World video I am watching. And why am I doing that? Well, I have a dream. I wrote about it a couple of weeks ago in “Meandering, Zoomorphic Post.” Although I still haven’t found anyone willing to join me, I’m not giving up. The Mineral Belt Trail is an 11 mile loop trail at an elevation somewhat higher than here. I am not daunted by the distance, but I’m a bit daunted by the altitude. In any case, I’m training.

36 thoughts on “Irish Again

  1. I’m thinking the DNA testing stuff is mostly a parlor game, since results vary so widely. The cynical side of me wonders about the use of the huge database they are collecting from info we provide voluntarily. (Without the ACA, it could be used to deny insurance coverage based on genetic data.) And, as for the differences in DNA among siblings, I attribute that (in my generation) to the milkman, the bread man, and the Fuller Brush Man. In the previous generation it included the iceman.

    • My dad and mom were proud of their ancestry and I knew my grandmother (Swedish one) so that was good. And then, I accidentally found them while researching one of my books. It’s totally unimportant, just kind of interesting.

  2. DNA tests are pretty exact. It’s interpreting the comparisons that can go awry. My maternal side is mostly Swedish, but my grandmothers maiden name ended with a ‘Z.’

    • When I first looked for my grandma’s Swiss ancestry (because some of the dishes I ate in Switzerland were exactly like hers) I got lost because the name I found was Snavely. Pretty British. It didn’t occur to me that the immigration Brits in Philadelphia spelled it that way and their real name was something else. Their real name is awesome. It means “Little snow ball.” Schneebeli. So who knows what kind of weird shit they did/do to people’s names when they arrive? My grandma’s maiden name is Bergen, in Sweden spelled with two gs…

  3. They seem to change the DNA at will. My granddaughter had hers done. My grandmother is 100% Cree and there was none to be found which isn’t likely. Although they have traced killers through DNA so really confused about the truth of the findings. Still happy for you your continuing with your goal. That’s awesome.

    • I did a little studying up on why some regions might not show up in a person’s DNA. Apparently, we don’t inherit EVERYTHING from a parent which is why siblings’ DNA regions might not be exactly the same. For my money, the combination of known history and DNA is probably the most accurate. It’s kind of creepy in its use to solve cold cases.

  4. I know–they just informed me that I’m 31% Scotch and 6% Irish. I KNOW there’s a bunch of German. It said some Scandanavian, which was probably Vikings raping Irish women.

    On Thu, May 5, 2022 at 9:46 AM Women’s Wilderness Legend “Summer is the seas

  5. When I was younger I knew people who believed in “past life regression”, in which they “experienced” past lives. They all seemed to have been royalty at some point. With DNA we find out we (white Europeans) are descended from rapists (as you noted) and (more specifically) slave owners who were rapists.

    • Royalty back in the day was pretty meaningless. One of my ancestors was a knight. All that meant was that he owed allegiance to some rapacious asshole and got to live in a stone house on a hill that’s called a castle. Within two generations that rapacious asshole’s family was chased out of Switzerland (Habsburgs) and my ancestor’s family had to change their names. Within three generations some of them owned a mill, others scrambled for work, and one of them was a military leader of mercenary soldiers who fought with the Guelphs. It just blows me away how people who’ve found my books — distant relatives — are so thrilled to be descended from “royalty.” It seems to me that the odds of being descended from “royalty” are pretty good because long ago it was pretty meaningless. Even being a “king” was more like being a governor today. And then, too, not every population kept good written records and most people didn’t even have surnames back in the day. So, yeah, that’s the “royalty” I’m descended from. Just a guy who had a job guarding a stretch of river and the road the led over the Gottard Pass. Of course, the castle was pretty small. It’s main job was providing a safe place for villagers to go in the case of an attack. I’ve seen photos of the ruins. The floor plan of the bottom floor (all that remains) isn’t much larger than my house.

      So the BIG honor of all that is being descended from people who were important enough that records were kept of their existence, I guess.

      As for past life regression, it’s intriguing. I’m not sure about reincarnation but I am pretty convinced about ancestral memory. Too much inexplicably weird shit and unreal coincidences have happened to me writing my stories.

  6. MAK, I meant to tell you in the post about the Mineral Trail that it DOES sound amazing! I’m absolutely enthralled with that type of area and history. And speaking of..The Iceman and all the regions in which you originate~what beautiful places! Sorry you have to start acting a bit more Irish now~but you’re as eclectic as I knew you were! My twin and I STILL need to do this. I’m so intrigued!

    • I was Irish for a looooonnnngggg time before I was Scots, so it’s not a big deal. Let me know what happens when you and your twin do this. Who knows what I’ll be next? For a very short time, I was a Viking, but that just didn’t last long. I guess the boat sank… 😀

          • True! Happy Friday, MAK. I hope you have the best day and weekend. I can’t believe how Covid put me down. I STILL have cough and congestion. It’s rained all week and going on 12 days since I’ve been on the trail. It’s going to be in the upper 80’s from Sunday through next week. Sure nature and I will dry out a bit and begin to bloom again. 💛🙌🏻

              • Thank you, MAK. This Covid is like doing the cha-cha. Yesterday I took steps back. I’ve been out of my house only 3 times in two weeks. I walked around the store in a fog. Started coughing and felt discouraged. Did you get the rain I sent? After my yard flooded Thursday morning I REALLY tried sending it on to you yesterday 😉☺️. The sun is going to shine for the next 5 days. I’m hoping that will put some extra pep in my step. I know I must give myself grace and time. 🥹❤️💛🤗

  7. Very interesting! I’m curious to know how my DNA stacks up to that of my sisters and my parents. My mother did several DNA tests because she was so into genealogy… Anyway I hope you can find someone to bike with – it seems a moderate distance and not a huge increase in elevation. There must be someone….

    • I think they are insofar as they affect us physically, but otherwise? No. I mean, because of genetics I need a ladder to reach the second shelf in my kitchen cupboards 🙂

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