Genealogy – Finding My Roots

I just got back the results from a second DNA kit a couple days ago.

Which has consumed my attention for the past couple days and distracted me from writing my story. But that’s cool because my roots are part of my story. My lack of knowledge of my roots was always something that bothered me. Getting asked to make a family tree at school would cause me to belligerently refuse to do it. So finding my roots is part of my story.

DNA results fascinate me. Not necessarily because I am looking for my biological relatives, because that’s not an issue for me. Or it didn’t seem like it was an issue until I got my first results back. But they fascinate me because they tell you what you are.

Finally, I would know the more complete answer to the question: “what are you?”

I am 49% European and 45% African. The other 6% of me is West Asian and Pacific Islander.

My European blood is mostly Italian and British. Showing me that my maternal grandparents were almost 100% Italian and 100% English.

I knew about the English part. My English family, the Wedgewoods, came from England in the early 1900’s. That was my biological mother’s maternal line.

But the 100% Italian grandfather was new. I even know his ancestry, but I don’t know him. But I know that his mother was Caterina Bochicchio. My great grandmother.

See DNA is an amazing thing. You can work out relationships and fill in great great grandparents but not know who your parents are. That is the case with my mother’s father. I don’t know if we’ll ever solve the mystery of who he was, but it is really cool to know who my great great grandparents were. And to connect with cousins along the way.

Being mixed race makes figuring out connections a bit easier. But it still doesn’t make searching easier.

But to figure out all of me, I need to fill in as many gaps as I can.

It’s ironic how much DNA reveals about family patterns of behavior. It shows me how amazing it is that I can have so much in common with someone who is a fourth cousin and we even look alike. So it’s amazing to see an adult who resembles me.

DNA is remarkable because it is helping this same cousin help orphans from the Vietnam War reconnect with their lost mother’s and GI fathers. For more information about the Free Spirit Festival.

Genealogy is a multi billion dollar business, so no one can say that finding your roots is not important. For adoptees, it is even more important. It’s an opportunity to reclaim something that was taken away- our identity.

The answer to the questions. “What are you?” “Where do I come from?” “Who am I?”

So I continue to dig and try to connect the dots in my genealogy. And I appreciate my DNA cousins who have all their information and are willing to share with me. It fills in some gasps and makes me feel like somewhere out there, I really do have a family tree that is all mine.


About sjwoods318

Mother of six children - five girls and one boy; wife; community organizer, family chauffeur, philosopher, trans-racial adoptee, Deadhead, person of mixed racial heritage, artist, poet, writer who loves to swim, read, and run around with my family.
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