So excited to learn I am part French. Here I am three years ago in front of the Paris Opera.
People who move to the South are sometimes taken aback when they are first asked by Southerners, “Where are you from and who are your people?” In the Southern mountains, you may be asked, “Are you from off?” (In other words, not from around here.) Though the questions may seem personal, even “nosy,” they are not. Southerners define themselves by family and ancestry. They have a strong sense of place and an affinity for the land. They assume you do, too. It is not unusual for Southern families to live on the same street with their children or in the Southern Mountains, on the same cove or holler.
Southerners often spend hours researching their ancestry and geneology. That process has now been made so much easier with the help of technology. Sites such as ancestry.com and 23andme.com allow you to collect a saliva sample to have your DNA analyzed by the professionals. Being the good Southerner that I am, I decided to do the search and ended up with 23andme.com. The company sends you the sample collection kit, you spit into the tube, seal it up, and mail your saliva back in the self-addressed, stamped little box. So simple. You then wait 6 to 8 weeks for results. One of the interesting things going into this was reading the warnings. Consider the fact that some people learn things that they did not know or might be painful. Clients are urged to consider that before participating. In addition to ancestry, other data is provided such as health and trait data.
My results came back and I was so excited. Here is my ancestry data:
Northwestern European 99.1%
British & Irish 74.7%
French & German 4.5% (Please note)*
Broadly Northwestern European 18.0%
Southern European < 0.1%
Broadly Southern European < 0.1%
Broadly European 0.8%
*I am so excited to be part French. My high school French teacher, Madame Tallon, would be so proud. I think I could still stand by my desk and sing, “La Marseillaise” as we did each morning. I think this means that My Favorite Yankee needs to take me back to Paris. Laissez les bons temps rouler!