Author Topic: What is your ancestry?  (Read 3907 times)

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Online MirrorMask

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2021, 12:22:18 PM »
Anyway, if you think about it, it's such a mental trip to ponder about ancestry and where we all come from. I mean, if we're here, it's because everything went good, but if you go far back enough in time, it's insane to think how many things had to go "right" for each and everyone of us to be here.

I mean, for all we know, at least someone in this thread is alive only because someone in 1547 avoided a carriage of a startled horse just at the last possible second, and that guy went on to have a child, then a grandchild, then a grand grand grand grand..... descendant, and that's one of us in this thread. Heck, maybe that "phew, I avoided a carriage that would have trampled me to death, it's my lucky day" guy is an ancient ancestor of Hitler, and he would have never been born if that carriage had struck on time.

The possibilites, both positive and negative, are endless. For all the scientists we have, maybe the one to discover the cure for cancer 50 years before it will eventually happen has never been born. We got Freddie Mercury, but maybe because of a drunk brawl in a pub in 1678 that resulted in a killing, we never had someone who would have created the greatest band in the history of music, something that would make the Beatles irrelevant.

Really, think how many wars, how many emigrations, how many diseases for which there was no cure our ancestors survived in order for all of us to be here today. It's crazy if you think about it.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2021, 12:47:08 PM by MirrorMask »
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Offline Stadler

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #36 on: February 08, 2021, 12:37:39 PM »
For those families that came from Middle Europe, that's certainly true.  My grandmother's family is more or less within 50km of THREE death camps, and at least 2 other camps, from the Nazi occupation.  They're vague, and seem to vary over time, but there are stories from those in the family that stayed behind, and it puts things into a stark perspective.

I know even in my own tree, go back two or three generations and the number of children born increase significantly even if the number of children that lived to adulthood stayed the same. 

Offline Orbert

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2021, 01:11:58 PM »
100% Chinese.  All four grandparents are from remote villages in mainland China.

Offline LudwigVan

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2021, 01:57:49 PM »
Pretty sure I'm 100% Chinese too, although I've had some people assume I was Southeast Asian, Filipino, Hawaiian, Japanese or even Mexican! I guess I could've been a good undercover international spy.

Anyway, my Dad's side is from a hick mountain region in China called Tai Shan. Yes, that Tai Shan from the bad Rush song.

My Mom's side is from Hong Kong, but I don't know what her ancestry is prior to that.

My Dad was born in Brooklyn at a time when there were very few Chinese women in the country due to the Chinese Exclusion Act.  Many Chinese men, including my Dad and his younger brother went back to the old country to find and bring back their wives. I believe at the time, my Mom was a nurse in Hong Kong.
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Offline Chino

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2021, 02:04:15 PM »
I would think that China is one of the few regions of the world where people can say they are 100% and have it be pretty damn close to being factual. For most other regions of the world, I just don't see that being possible/likely. I mean, if you go back back just 300 years, that's what, 15 generations give or take? That's nearly 38,000 individual bloodlines that eventually manifested into you, and that's just in the last three centuries. Go back five centuries and see where we're at. Odds are at least one of those people was from a distance.

Offline pg1067

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2021, 02:15:23 PM »
But then how would we know what ethnic/cultural group to identify with?  :D

You get to "identify" as whatever you want.  Didn't you know?   :biggrin:

This week, I'll be identifying as a 27 year old Pakistani woman.  Not sure about next week.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #41 on: February 08, 2021, 02:33:10 PM »
But then how would we know what ethnic/cultural group to identify with?  :D

You get to "identify" as whatever you want.  Didn't you know?   :biggrin:

This week, I'll be identifying as a 27 year old Pakistani woman.  Not sure about next week.

For the past few weeks, I've been trying like hell to identify as a 75 year old doctor with asthma, but no one is buying it.  I feel unheard. 

Offline Herrick

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #42 on: February 08, 2021, 06:48:14 PM »
Cameroon, Congo & Western Bantu Peoples - 25%
Spain - 20%
Nigeria - 14%
Portugal - 8%
Mali - 8%
Benin & Togo - 5%
Ivory Coast & Ghana - 4%
England & Northwestern Europe - 3%
Indigenous Puerto Rico - 3%
Senegal - 2%
Basque - 2%
Cyprus - 2%
Southern Bantu Peoples - 1%
Northern Africa - 1%
Ethiopia & Eritrea - 1%
Wales - 1%

100% Herrick
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Offline Lonk

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #43 on: February 08, 2021, 07:01:09 PM »

Offline King Postwhore

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #44 on: February 08, 2021, 07:08:12 PM »
You are the ultimate mutt. Lol
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Offline Prog Snob

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2021, 04:15:00 AM »
I started a thread about genealogy a while ago. I'm glad someone else started one up again. My ancestry is exceedingly important to me.

All eight of my great-grandparents emigrated from Italy. I've succeeded in finding the town of origin for all but one of them, which while giving me a sense of accomplishment is slightly frustrating because of the one I can't find.

I did the Ancestry DNA test a while back. I'm 93% Italian, which is broken down to 80% Southern Italian and 13% Northern Italian. The other 7% is Greece & Albania. I know Greeks occupied a large portion of Sicily many years ago so I'm guessing that's where that comes from.

Offline The Walrus

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2021, 10:42:46 AM »
don't know specifics other than I'm like half Italian from my dad's side and then a lot of German and Swedish from my mother's side

if my great grandfather hadn't been orphaned and had his name anglicized I'd probably have the surname di Giovanni

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Offline Prog Snob

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2021, 03:43:45 PM »
if my great grandfather hadn't been orphaned and had his name anglicized I'd probably have the surname di Giovanni



I have a friend with that surname. I don't see it that often.

Offline The Walrus

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2021, 03:56:22 PM »
if my great grandfather hadn't been orphaned and had his name anglicized I'd probably have the surname di Giovanni



I have a friend with that surname. I don't see it that often.

La mia familia!  :lol
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Offline Podaar

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #49 on: March 05, 2021, 06:09:17 AM »
According to 23andMe, 73% United Kingdom (Mostly from around London and Liverpool, a bit of Coventry and some Scottish highlander), 26% Scandinavian (all Danish), 0.1% undetermined Northerwestern European.
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Offline Prog Snob

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #50 on: March 05, 2021, 06:29:32 AM »
if my great grandfather hadn't been orphaned and had his name anglicized I'd probably have the surname di Giovanni



I have a friend with that surname. I don't see it that often.

La mia familia!  :lol

I'm going to turn into an Italian grammar Nazi. It's actually famiglia. Familia is Spanish.  ;)

Offline The Walrus

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #51 on: March 05, 2021, 06:37:32 AM »
I swear I had the g in there when I posted because I definitely know that. WTF  :lol
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Offline Prog Snob

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #52 on: March 05, 2021, 07:02:49 AM »
 :lol

From where in Italy was your great-grandfather?

Offline The Walrus

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #53 on: March 05, 2021, 07:31:29 AM »
:lol

From where in Italy was your great-grandfather?

I honestly have no idea. Details on my family history are super fuzzy. Beyond that story about him, I know nothing else about him or my family history beyond my grandparents on both sides. Sometimes I hate that, others... I'm kind of okay with that.
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Offline Prog Snob

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #54 on: March 05, 2021, 07:46:03 AM »
:lol

From where in Italy was your great-grandfather?

I honestly have no idea. Details on my family history are super fuzzy. Beyond that story about him, I know nothing else about him or my family history beyond my grandparents on both sides. Sometimes I hate that, others... I'm kind of okay with that.

You could probably do a little digging and figure it out if you wanted.

Online MirrorMask

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #55 on: March 05, 2021, 07:51:17 AM »
Well if you don't mind posting the surname on the internet, I could tell you if it sounds like a specific region of Italy....
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Offline The Walrus

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #56 on: March 05, 2021, 08:10:23 AM »
All I know is that his name was Pio di Giovanni and he was orphaned and raised by nuns and had his name changed to Johnson. I don't even know anything about my grandpa's life other than that he made my dad's side of the family and was an X-ray technician in the Air Force. I could go into why but I'm not terribly interested in learning about my ancestry. I was never told much about it growing up so I have zero connection to most of my family beyond my siblings and parents. It is what it is. I was considering doing the Ancestry.com thing but then I read something a while back about how the results from that place aren't actually reliable? I dunno.
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Offline Orbert

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #57 on: March 05, 2021, 08:21:48 AM »
I've read articles online (they must be true!) about those ancestry tests, and how they're basically a crock of shit.  There are no genetic markers which can place the geography of your ancestors.  What they have are databases of people's markers and where they came from, and they keep adding to that, but it's not scientifically accurate and includes a healthy dose of guesswork.  That's why they include disclaimers.  They're not scientific and are for entertainment only.

My sister took one, just for the shits and giggles.  According to them, she's mostly Chinese, with some Samoan, Inuit, and few others tossed in.  When you consider that both Samoans and Inuit are believed to have Asian ancestry, it makes sense.  What doesn't make sense is saying a Chinese person is "part Samoan".  The genes are the same; they just happen to have some Samoans in the database.

As I mentioned, all four of our grandparents come from remote villages in mainland China, so it's pretty safe to assume that we're Chinese "all the way back".  The chances of anything other than Chinese being in the mix are practically nil.  Those tests are a joke.

Online MirrorMask

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #58 on: March 05, 2021, 08:26:44 AM »
All I know is that his name was Pio di Giovanni and he was orphaned and raised by nuns and had his name changed to Johnson. I don't even know anything about my grandpa's life other than that he made my dad's side of the family and was an X-ray technician in the Air Force. I could go into why but I'm not terribly interested in learning about my ancestry. I was never told much about it growing up so I have zero connection to most of my family beyond my siblings and parents. It is what it is. I was considering doing the Ancestry.com thing but then I read something a while back about how the results from that place aren't actually reliable? I dunno.

Definitively not a famous surname, looks like it might be from the center, but most likely from souther regions such as Abruzzo, Campania and Sicily.
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Offline The Walrus

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #59 on: March 05, 2021, 08:27:31 AM »
All I know is that his name was Pio di Giovanni and he was orphaned and raised by nuns and had his name changed to Johnson. I don't even know anything about my grandpa's life other than that he made my dad's side of the family and was an X-ray technician in the Air Force. I could go into why but I'm not terribly interested in learning about my ancestry. I was never told much about it growing up so I have zero connection to most of my family beyond my siblings and parents. It is what it is. I was considering doing the Ancestry.com thing but then I read something a while back about how the results from that place aren't actually reliable? I dunno.

Definitively not a famous surname, looks like it might be from the center, but most likely from souther regions such as Abruzzo, Campania and Sicily.

Very interesting!  :corn
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Offline Prog Snob

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #60 on: March 05, 2021, 08:41:11 AM »
All I know is that his name was Pio di Giovanni and he was orphaned and raised by nuns and had his name changed to Johnson. I don't even know anything about my grandpa's life other than that he made my dad's side of the family and was an X-ray technician in the Air Force. I could go into why but I'm not terribly interested in learning about my ancestry. I was never told much about it growing up so I have zero connection to most of my family beyond my siblings and parents. It is what it is. I was considering doing the Ancestry.com thing but then I read something a while back about how the results from that place aren't actually reliable? I dunno.

Definitively not a famous surname, looks like it might be from the center, but most likely from souther regions such as Abruzzo, Campania and Sicily.

Very interesting!  :corn

I've been doing genealogy research for close to twenty years now. The records on sites like Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org are official records. They aren't unreliable. What is unreliable is when people add misinformation to their own trees which then gets propagated into other trees. Always confirm your sources. It'll save you from a lot of headaches.

As far as the Di Giovanni surname, I would agree with MM. I've come across that name in Campania and Sicily. I have family from both of those regions. I don't have family from Abruzzo so I never looked into the towns there and therefore wouldn't be able to comment on the surnames from the region.

Offline Stadler

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #61 on: March 05, 2021, 09:23:30 AM »
I've been doing this too, for about 10 years now, and have a tree that is in excess of 1,200 people.  Before COVID hit, I was planning a trip (hopefully around the Iron Maiden touring cycle!) to Slovakia and Poland and Ukraine, for this purpose.  It will still happen.

I respectfully think that Prog Snob is closer to accurate than Orbert.  It's not FOOLPROOF, but it's not a crock either. 

Mike, I can't tell you what you SHOULD do, that's personal, and that's up to you.  I know that I've found some... not peace, really, but connection, in searching out my tree.   My grandparents, on both sides but especially my mom, were rather uninterested in ancestral stuff.   Particularly on my maternal grandfather's side, he didn't speak to his brothers and sisters, and I only know his parents names, but not a scrap of info on them.  My material grandmother and her parents, I daresay they were essentially illiterate.  Upon coming to America - from god knows where (I don't have even one reference to a ship crossing or other transit to America) - they parked in an unincorporated village in between towns in Connecticut and there almost no records, church or municipal.  That's what I grew up with, but I've gotten a good deal of other information that has fleshed out that story.  On Dad's side I can get back to the mid-1700's in Europe (and hope to go farther once I'm over there).

No sense in causing yourself pain, if that's what it will do, but if you DO choose to go down that path, there are likely to be answers if you want them.

I found out I'm related to a guy that played on the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl teams in the 60's, too.  :) :) :)

Sidebar: one of my best friends found his real dad and a sister he never knew he had - within the last two years or so - through Ancestry, after search most of his adult life for his roots.   It was both painful (his mom lied to him for decades about his "dad") and cathartic (he knew in his head and heart that the numbers didn't add up, just didn't know how to get the math right).   

Offline pg1067

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #62 on: March 05, 2021, 10:08:08 AM »
Well if you don't mind posting the surname on the internet, I could tell you if it sounds like a specific region of Italy....

My great-great-grandfather was born in 1810 in Biella, Piemonte (Piedmont?), Italy, and there are apparently a significant number of folks in that city with my last name, which is quite uncommon/rare here in the states.  I won't post it, but my surname is similar to one of two well-known rival factions in medieval Italy, which is also the name of a city in Ontario, Canada.
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Offline CrimsonSunrise

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #63 on: March 06, 2021, 06:09:00 AM »
Mostly German.  Some Scottish. A little tiny bit of Cherokee.
is that you Mrs. Warren???  :biggrin:

Funny story for my ancestry.  I was raised believing I was predominantly German/Irish/Swedish.  There's always been a rumor in the family that my dad's mom, who was a fire and brimstone Catholic woman, had an affair with A doctor in the 30's.  A few years back my eldest sister did a genealogy test.  Not even one percent German.  Highest percentage was Jewish (can't remember the actual genealogical name).  So I'm Jewish and not German like we grew up thinking. 

Online MirrorMask

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #64 on: March 06, 2021, 06:30:01 AM »
Well if you don't mind posting the surname on the internet, I could tell you if it sounds like a specific region of Italy....

My great-great-grandfather was born in 1810 in Biella, Piemonte (Piedmont?), Italy, and there are apparently a significant number of folks in that city with my last name, which is quite uncommon/rare here in the states.  I won't post it, but my surname is similar to one of two well-known rival factions in medieval Italy, which is also the name of a city in Ontario, Canada.

I've been to Biella once! yes, Piedmont is the english name for Piemonte. I have no clue however of the popular surnames of that area  :D
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Offline Stadler

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #65 on: March 06, 2021, 07:25:21 AM »
Mostly German.  Some Scottish. A little tiny bit of Cherokee.
is that you Mrs. Warren???  :biggrin:

Funny story for my ancestry.  I was raised believing I was predominantly German/Irish/Swedish.  There's always been a rumor in the family that my dad's mom, who was a fire and brimstone Catholic woman, had an affair with A doctor in the 30's.  A few years back my eldest sister did a genealogy test.  Not even one percent German.  Highest percentage was Jewish (can't remember the actual genealogical name).  So I'm Jewish and not German like we grew up thinking.

That's not uncommon, though, for obvious (or maybe not so obvious) reasons. 

I've written a lot about how my dad is one of the smartest people (if not THE smartest person) I've ever met, and his family - his sisters, his parents - are no slouches either. And they all have an interest in the ancestry.   But even with that, it's been ever fascinating how much they got wrong through the years, and how nebulous and sketchy family lines can be. I've found at least two instances that are best explained by "someone sleeping with someone they shouldn't" in my tree.  It's not my business, but I know I raised one to my dad and he said "yeah, that's been the whispers but no one talks about it."

Offline CrimsonSunrise

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #66 on: March 06, 2021, 07:48:11 PM »

That's not uncommon, though, for obvious (or maybe not so obvious) reasons. 

I've written a lot about how my dad is one of the smartest people (if not THE smartest person) I've ever met, and his family - his sisters, his parents - are no slouches either. And they all have an interest in the ancestry.   But even with that, it's been ever fascinating how much they got wrong through the years, and how nebulous and sketchy family lines can be. I've found at least two instances that are best explained by "someone sleeping with someone they shouldn't" in my tree.  It's not my business, but I know I raised one to my dad and he said "yeah, that's been the whispers but no one talks about it."
I guess it probably happens quite a bit.  There's no way in hell we could ever bring the subject up to my Dad.  He would flip!  He won't take to kindly to the fact that the man he thought was his Dad wasn't his biological Dad.

Online Phoenix87x

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Re: What is your ancestry?
« Reply #67 on: May 25, 2021, 02:37:27 PM »
Decided to do 23 and me since everything I knew about my heritage was hear say.

It turned out fairly different, lol.

Thought I was german, and I'm actually mostly Polish. Thought I was half Italian and I'm actually only like 17%. 
The only same thing was being Irish, so its been enlightening.