Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ancestry DNA Testing

Angie here:
I'm excited about my ancestry DNA testing results. I wanted to give this test to my dad, before, but he passed too quickly. I'd planned it for a Christmas surprise because we're both into genealogy. I've had it planned since last summer. (Mega sad sigh here.) Instead, I ended up taking it alone.
My grandparents and dad.
Another thing I'd like to learn is what happened to cause a particular line of my family to behave in certain ways. Some things are passed on genetically, while others are outside influence. I'd like to learn what the influences were that created the dynamics. Not just, well that one person did it. But where did the behavior originate? What caused it? Why was that particular expression passed down for generations?

Have you ever taken the ancestry DNA testing? I've been overwhelmed by the results! Turns out I'm mostly Scottish, then Swedish, then Irish. There's some trace elements of Northern Finnish/Russian, Iberian Peninsula, and a tiny bit of the Caucasus thrown in to the mix ;)

The testing connected me to 58 other people that are related... And then I looked again... No, that was 58 PAGES of people that are highly likely a relative. Oh. My. Goodness!

I hope to just take it one person at a time and see if anything anyone connected might know of the spots I can't find in my family tree. Surprisingly enough, several other trees have a lot more info on them. But I'm not sure of the accuracy. One thing I do know is they're really close. My dad's lineage traces back to the original pilgrims through the male line and then also to Scotland and England and Ireland.

On my mom's side, I get a strong Swedish influence with a super great traceable tree quite far back into Sweden. But another paternal line that traces to Scotland, we think, with unfortunately a very famous name that may not be the same as the famous person so it's really hard to figure out. But, that line is also one of the earliest American families. I'm fascinated that on both sides of my tree, I have some of the earliest people to this continent aside from the Native Americans and Leif Erickson (sp?)!

I have the worst case of research-itis. All I want to do is research like crazy and I have so much fun doing it! There's a story in my family that a many times great-grandma sewed a flag or something. Not Martha Washington, I don't think. But I'm sure there were a lot of flags sewn back then. And another story that talks about the Mayflower. Another that talks about my great-grandmother being the midwife who delivered Custer, I'm pretty sure I remembered that correctly. I'll have to research to make sure.

Then there's the issue of which clan do I claim? So far I've uncovered a likelihood of three: MacNeill, Buchanan, and Moffatt. Are those right? Can you be a member of more than one? Who determines it after the blending of families and intermarrying if my claim to each clan is a female member? Is there a stronger male connection I haven't found yet? Oh the questions! Oh the stories I want to tell once I have the answers!

What fascinates you about your history?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review and Renew

Angie here:
Do you review the last year before heading into the New one? If not, is it because of a fear that reviewing the past will hurt? 

I like to be intentional about reviewing my past. Not to wallow, but to look for things I want to do differently into the future. I can't change the past. However, I find similar situations repeat. If I don't think about the options, how will I choose a different reaction?

Today and tomorrow I'm thinking about each month. What was a low point? What was the high point? What obstacles bested me? What would I do differently if it happened again? And then I end each month thinking of the blessings. What surprised me? What was amazing? Can I thank someone? God? Is it repeatable and worth repeating to build on the opportunity?

The past is a beautiful foundation that helps us build the future. I challenge you to reminisce so as you review, you have the opportunities at hand to renew. 

In the past year, I've attended family funerals. Pretty rough. But in retrospect there were a lot of unexpected blessings too. Seeing family I hadn't in years, laughing as we remembered, and I met a woman who was an example of what I want to be: Fun, fearless to be herself, smile lines that show a beautiful spirit, and a natural elegance that comes from being comfortable with who she is. She shines into others. And I just might play with hair color in the future ;) No matter what, I found the courage to get comfortable with me because I don't want to miss one drop of life!

How do you review and renew?