The Human Family

A 20,000 Year Journey   


Last year I got a birthday present that was both thoughtful and intriguing.  The present directed me to a genetic DNA tracing service.  A kit was delivered that contained directions for swabbing the inside of my mouth and a mailing kit for sending it back.  I forgot about it and went about my business.  Finally I got an email that my results were ready.

The email pointed me to a site where I entered by pre-authorized User ID and Password and then I was into my ancestry.  It had taken a few months.

I first came into contact with this type of thing in the late 1980s when I read a book called  "The Search for Eve" written by Michael Brown.  The Scientists at The University of California at Berkeley had used mitochondrial DNA to trace children to their grandparents.  The children were separated from the grandparents at a very early age and the direct parents were murdered in a series of purges in South America.

The thesis of the book is very broad in that it claims that every person in the world comes from a single mating female and her trace can be found in the DNA of her female descendants.  At the time of the book's writing the science was not so well developed as it is now.  

This does not mean that this 'Eve' was the Biblical Eve.  It meant that her genes are those that survived in the mitochondria of women who had girls.  Some of the females were barren, some had only boys, some never had any children, but 'Eve' did.   Now both parents can be traced.

I read the book and became intrigued with the sub-thesis that stated that the genetic tree of African Blacks is longer and wider than any other race.  In fact selecting any two Black people at random will show that they are more distant from each other than a Caucasian is to an Oriental. This shows the length and diversity of the oldest human race.  We are truly one family.  This conforms well to my early education about the Fertile Crescent and the Biblical Paradise..... tidy indeed, but a bit more complicated..

(next column)


The Journey from Nubia in the Sudan to Scotland to the Saugeen Area

Now I bet you just can't wait for the punch line.  Well here it is.  My mother's ancestors were direct from Scotland and came to Canada in 1821 and my Dad's grandfather listed his ancestry as Scottish in the 1871 Census while living in Hanover.

My mother was particularly adamant about her ancestry since she was hurt as a child because her last name was Scandinavian and her 'pure bred' Scot friends said she was not of the 'sod'.  She told them that she was a Viking.  Being a redhead, she did not suffer fools.

Now look at the genetic map above and notice the Nubian and Viking roots of the genes that flowed in my mother's veins.  A stay in Denmark was on my mother's long trip.  I'd like to think that the 'Woman of the Star' above came from the land below the cataracts of the Nile.

Sometimes we discount things our parents say, but I always listened very carefully to Lillian Ruth Johnson, she was a Viking Princess of Nubian origin on a 20,000 year journey.