On The Ancestral Trail

The moment my DNA profile dramatically changed on Ancestry, from when I first looked over my results, I became skeptical of the entire DNA service.  How does one's DNA change from Italian to Irish? Or from Mexican Indian to Norwegian? As a person who is constantly asked "what are you anyway?" "so what country are you originally from?" or "your an Indian, right?" I felt the $98 spit test would provide answers.

However, my DNA result profile went from being a combination of many different ethnic types to a purely Northern European one over the course of a year.  Now, having the mindset of a political analyst, I did not think HOW did this happen; I thought WHY did this happen? Who stands to gain from this altercation - and it was clearly being done to my black cousins who came up Irish, Scottish and Welsh without any Caribbean or African regions as well.  Not to mention the surprised native Canadian cousins, who knew they were native, who did not seem to possess any indigenous DNA. 

But they lured me back with the Family Tree Research.  I discovered I have ancestors from the very community I live in. This was a complete shock - as I believed we came from Down North Cape Breton, Scotland, England, France, Italy and Russia.  That was my expectations. Newfoundland, particularly the western, outport community of Trout River, Newfoundland, was a place I had moved to out of love.  I had no kin or reason to feel at home here, but the spirits must have recognized me.  Either that or the Ancestry bots did.  Turns out, lo and behold, my family is one of THE FOUNDING  families here, besides the Crockers and several indigenous tribes. 

Now, they spur me on in zest with their tidbits of family obsessions in the textile industries.  This past week I have learned not only were the Scots involved in sophisticated wool production, but that they invested in silk plantations as well. Mohair, cashmere, linen and silk - all wonderful fibres for keeping people warm and fashionable.

There seem to be links to Australia, Sicily, Romania and Mexico on the branches of the Family Tree itself but alas, so far the DNA has not switched back to reflect these branch findings.  Perhaps they (Ancestry) suffered too much criticism for their commercials of a woman discovering her "native roots" and wanting to learn more about her culture.

Media stories were quick to interview indigenous women speaking out in anger about the commercial. The government in Newfoundland found itself in a mess of hot water, turning down previously accepted indigenous people for status, blaming the unrealistically high numbers.  After all, didn't Joey Smallwood say there were no natives in Newfoundland?

Genetics aside, it has liberated me to know that fabric was our Celtic and French families' businesses. That it was the desire to produce the very best that caused them to personally travel to new production facilities in various countries long before Canada was a nation.  They approached the friendly Mi'kmaq on Newfoundland island with business ventures and with respect and equality the English did not.  In doing so, they learned new techniques to their trade and made new partners. So, I no longer need to view my fascination with knitting, weaving, sewing and the creation of new types of fibres as odd.  In fact, I am beginning to think my ancestors want me to set up a textile production facility right here in this picturesque coastal village of Trout River...right after getting our land back from Parks Canada. 

The ocean on a calm day, shoreside along Trout River's boardwalk. 

Published by BossMama

Teacher, secretary, behavioural therapist, linguist, artist, designer, Wiccan, Vampire-fiction fan, LARP storyline writer, hiking enthusiast, horse obsessed, Mommy to an assortment of furred and feathered babies. Enseignant, secrétaire, thérapeute comportemental, crivain, artiste, Vampire aimant, écrivain storyline LARP, passionné de randonnée, cheval obsédé, "witchy" femme et Maman à un assortiment de bébés à fourrure et à plumes.

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