Who am I?

16 May

 

dna testing kit

For Mother’s Day, my children got me one of those DNA testing kits where I have to spit into a vial and mail it in to a company who will test it and tell me who I am.

Who am I?

It’s all the rage right now to find out who you are by researching your ancestry. Many of my friends are going onto Ancestry.com to find out more about their distant relatives. Families are truly fascinating. I especially love that PBS show Finding Your Roots where celebrities learn about their backgrounds.

I’ve never really felt connected in any way to one specific ethnic group. Being born a white American I’ve always envied those who come from big families and wholeheartedly embrace their culture. My parents migrated to California from Baltimore in the early sixties and I grew up without any extended family nearby. To this day, I’ve not met several of my first cousins. Beyond my immediate family, I’ve never had that sense of belonging to a clan.

I know some of my heritage. My father was half-Italian but didn’t discover this about himself until he was in his forties, after my grandfather—the estranged son of immigrant Italians—died and his secret past was uncovered. Maybe that’s why I married a Latino man with thirteen siblings and a strong family connection—that little bit of Italian in me was crying out for some familia.

I’m intrigued to find out if there are any big surprises in my DNA—besides being part Italian, maybe I have something else going on from my mom’s side—something other than western European—something exotic.

My kids also got my husband a DNA kit. I think he’s a little hesitant to do it—probably because he doesn’t want to know how much Spanish blood is mixed into his Zapotec blood.

I guess it doesn’t really matter what we find out about ourselves. Sometime in the future, there will be so much genetic mixing that we’ll all end up looking pretty much the same.

Which is really what we all are on the inside anyway—the same.

I’ll be sure to let you know who I am when I find out.

great grandparents

My Italian great grandparents, Giuseppi and Rosa Intrieri (a.k.a. Joseph and Rose Winters)

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5 Responses to “Who am I?”

  1. Deborah Mele May 16, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

    Last year I found a copy of my father’s birth certificate on ancestry.com. Yesterday I emailed my order. His birth certificate doesn’t match mine so I have no idea what I will find out. Maybe both were lies! My mother was German and that I have always know. I have a feeling many things were covered up. Every one involved is dead so I will be on pins and needles for eight weeks. I like myself and whatever my ancestry is will be fine with me. Of seven children, I was the only one who inherited some of his musical abilities.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • brittonswingler July 12, 2016 at 11:00 am #

      Wow…compelling. You must be on pins and needles. Sounds like a book in the making.

  2. Marilyn Chelini May 16, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

    Jessie,
    Still….how you got your birth past name Winters is so interesting!! Do tell

    • Marilyn Chelini May 16, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

      Last name…not past!

  3. Britton Swingler May 18, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

    Waiting eagerly for news…

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