Friday, March 28, 2008

The Genographic Project

Like most people I am interested in my ancestry. All I know so far is that virtually all my ancestors, except for some fairly distant ancestor of my mother's, come from Wales. The only exception is a Huguenot, who according to this excellent Wikipedia article, would have originally fled France in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Although this is not mentioned in the article, there was a settlement of Huguenots in Treorchy in South Wales, and this ancestor of mine was one of them. He was called 'de Wilde' and changed it later to less foreign-sounding 'Wilde' when he wanted to open a shop. The Huguenots were religious protesters - protestants, in fact - causing no end of trouble in France for a couple of centuries - which is probably where I get my cantankerous nature from.

The reason I am thinking about all this is that thanks to this BBC News page (which contains the rather unsurprising information that Christian Lebanese have greater tendency to have European genes than their Muslim neighbours tend to have genes from the Arabic peninsular) I came across the fascinating website of the Genographic Project and found that for $99 (plus p&p) they will analyse my DNA and find out where my ancestors came from. This sounds like an excellent idea to me and I am going to get Hodmandod Senior to do it too.

Apart from being a 'bit French' I have always suspected that I am a 'bit Chinese' too - on the rather flimsy evidence that my blood group is B positive, which is common in Mongolian populations, I believe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, you don't look Chinese! Perhaps a case of taking 'inscrutable' to the nth degree...

Fri Mar 28, 03:37:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I'm not very inscrutable, either, Susan!

Fri Mar 28, 05:27:00 pm  
Blogger Susanna said...

that does sound cool, but they do, if I am not mistaken, keep and file the results. I think this has been a point of discussion.

Fri Mar 28, 11:25:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Susangalique, I was wondering about that!

I know they say it is all anonymous but it does make me feel a little uncomfortable - after all you don't know what else lurks in your genes. Also, on further investigation I don't think they're going to be able to tell me much about my Huguenot relatives, so I am going off the idea now.

Fri Mar 28, 11:33:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, this will be entertaining--oh, I see you've changed your mind by the comments.

There was a Huguenot population around Charleston. They'd go to and fro between plantations and church or town on the tidal rivers. I found that rather interesting.

Clare de Wilde!

Save that one for your bodice rippers, okay?

And there shouldn't have been anything wrong with that email address... Maybe Yahoo was feeling a bit Snailish.

Sat Mar 29, 02:04:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clare de Wilde - excellent! Now who did I discuss this with once? I think it may have been my former agent. I think we came up with Clarissa Wild - but de Wilde is much better.

I am finding that Huguenot community in Charleston very interesting. When was this, I wonder...

Sat Mar 29, 11:16:00 pm  

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