Please see my 'Contact' page re email address.
Chris Drakes in 1951 & 2005
I am 'English' and 'white-skinned European', as they say. Yet I have slightly sallow skin, with an almost-grayish tint, and tend to tan rather than burn in strong sunlight. So, I have always wondered what my ethnic origins were. I have been reliably informed that I looked 'Italian' as a baby, and several people thought that my maternal grandmother looked 'Jewish' when elderly. All my known ancestors, mostly traced back to between 1590 and 1750, are English plus one Irish line and one Scottish line, which I cannot trace back beyond the early 1800s.
I have four branches of my family that are stuck about 1800/1840: 'Huntly' & 'Hermitage' at Lambeth, London; an 'O'Regan' & his wife at Adare, Limerick, Ireland; and 'Beacham' at Worth Matravers, Dorset. All of these are all in the period when:
slavery in British Territories was ending, and some British slave owners brought back their half-black offspring and ensconced them in Dorset & Devon, away from the eyes of London 'Society'; however, since many female slaves had children by white men, there are many possible origins; also, the Portuguese continued the slave trade after it was ended in Britain and America and I have Portuguese DNA.
the British Army and Navy were heavily involved at war with Napoleon in mainland Europe and the Iberia Peninsula. Many of their troops and sailors were Irish, and some must have taken local women as their wives. In order for an ordinary seaman or soldier to get their employers to bring back a wife to the UK, they would have needed to be already married, as they couldn't afford the fare themselves. This means that such marriages would have been abroad where they were serving. The Moors that invaded Spain were Moroccan Berbers and Algerian Mozabites, resulting in a considerable amount of Arab DNA in Spain, plus Spanish and Arab DNA in Ireland brought back by Irish soldiers and sailors (This is the era of the Sharpes stories by Bernard Cornwell, which have since been produced as films for TV).
the British had many Scottish and English troops in India, where the lower ranks were actively encouraged to marry Anglo-Portuguese-Indian and native Indian women, as did the East Indian Company and the Portuguese soldiers and staff before them. This was because Euopean women frequently died within 3 months of going out to India. All this has resulted in a great deal of English, Scottish & Portuguese blood in the Anglo-Indian Community; many of whose descendants have English, Scottish and Portuguese names in India today and look European, but with darker skin colour.
the British Army had recently been fighting the French, who had Basque ships & crews in Canada. The Basques had been involved with the Algonquin-speaking Native Americans through their cod-fishing expeditions & fur-trading for centuries, even before Cabot discovered Cabot's Cove - evidenced by several Basque first-names already in common use by the local native American tribes when Cabot discovered them.
The links between these local racial groups and the British peoples fit in well with my DNA results (see below). So, I must be a product of British Colonialism on several of my ancestral lines.
I have researched quite a way back on most lines of my family tree and everyone seemed to be English, Irish, or Scottish (from: Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Dorset, Devon, Surrey, Limerick & Aberdeen). Though there is no hint of anyone being from any ethnic minority group, I suspected that there was possibly some Middle-Eastern, Mediterranean, or Eastern European blood in me 'somewhere way back'.
To resolve this, I ordered all of the tests that the laboratory then did for personal DNA research. My test results showed the percentages of each ethnic group that I am made from, as well as the routes that my direct male-line and female-line ancestors travelled out of Africa some 170,000 years ago.
Timescales involved: I ordered and paid for some tests by phone via 0845 257 1217. I received the test kits by post two days later and posted them off the next day. The DNA sampling required consists of rubbing, what look like two large single-ended 'ear wipes', inside each cheek and around the inside of your lips and gums, where they collect loose skin cells - there is nothing 'unpleasant' involved at all. My DNA test results began to arrive, one at a time, after about 3 months - some taking much longer than others to complete - you cannot rush scientific tests, they take as long as they need to take to get accurate results.
When you have read all my results below, I suspect that you will be left wondering just what ethnicity you really are yourself? If you want to undertake these tests to obtain an answer, please see the DNA page.
My DNA results:
NB. The company that carried out some of the more complex DNA tests shown below, on behalf of DNA-Worldwide.com, was in North America and is no longer trading; however, DNA-Worldwide is still a strong and dependable DNA testing company and still offers a great range of tests - see DNA.
1) Y-SNP chromosome - Paternal line (male) Y-Chromosome DNA. (i.e. father's father's father & etc. This test is for men only; so, ladies need to find a willing close male relative with their maiden surname) Male line back to about 170,000 years ago.
My Y-DNA is haplogroup R1b3* [the * just means that it is not one of the sub-groups] (it is now known as: R1b1b2), which is found predominantly in Western Europe. My direct-line male ancestors are direct descendants of the first modern humans who entered Europe about 35,000-40,000 years ago; they were among the tribes that inhabited the caves in Southern France and Northern Spain, where numerous cave paintings have been found dating from the period when Britain was still covered in ice up to 2 miles thick! R1b3 is a highly dominant lineage in Western Europe, covering about 40-70% of paternal gene pool of continental Western European populations (English, Spanish, Catalans, Portuguese, French, Danes etc.) and reaching up to 82% in Ireland. [see additional notes under 'Y-STR' below]
photo by Chris Drakes
Solutre, Burgundy, France, where remains have been found of the first humans to live in Europe.
Paleolithic 'Cro-Magnon' cave paintings in the Lascaux caves near Montignac, in the Dordogne region of in southwestern France.
If you are interested in reading about the Cro-Magnon peoples and their lifestyle, I thoroughly recommend Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans by Brian Fagan (who, like me, is also a Cro-Magnon descendant) (Hardcover released 2 Mar 2010, price £25.00) These are available for £12.97 (+£2.75 UK delivery) & an audio CD version for £14.73 (+£2.75 UK delivery) via amazon.co.uk. This book combines a good knowledge of current academic thinking with well-written fictional scenes of life at the time, making it an enjoyable and very readable book. Brian Fagan has written numerous books that are related to the early history of man and the last Ice Age; see his own website in the USA at: brianfagan.com
2) Y-STR chromosome - Y-chromosome Analysis Report (male) (This 43-marker test is mainly to prove/disprove any relationship to someone else with a similar surname. This test is for men only; so, ladies need to find a willing male relative with their maiden surname)
Y-chromosome Analysis Report (43-marker test to confirm relationship with others of a similar surname) Using all 43 markers, Whit Athey’s Haplotype Predictor gives a 100% positive result: ‘Haplo-group R1b’, and an exact match for the ‘Atlantic modal haplotype’, which is very common in all of Western Europe from Spain to the British Isles and western Scandinavia. It appears that approximately 2.5% in Western European males share this 12 marker signature. Because of its very high frequency, the 46 marker test (as I have undertaken) is especially suited for genealogical purposes. This group is particularly difficult to interpret in that they are found at relatively high frequency in the areas where the Anglo - Saxon and Danish invaders originally called home (Friesland 55%, Norway 30%). The Atlantic modal haplotype is the most common Y-Chromosome DNA signature of Europe’s most common Haplogroup (R1b), with 100% in areas of western Ireland, gradually reducing as you go eastwards until it is scarce in eastern Europe and virtually non-existent beyond the Middle East. More than half of men of European descent belong to R1b, and probably all descend from a single male individual. This group is responsible for a dramatic population explosion over the past 10,000 years, when humans re-colonized Europe as the ice retreated at the end of the last Ice Age 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. They survived the Ice Age in northern Spain & France having arrived from the east 30,000 years ago as part of the Paleolithic (old stone age) peoples, who are referred to as 'aboriginal' to Europe, and appear to be the direct ancestors of the Basques peoples of the Pyrenees; they possibly used the Basque language, which is of a uniquely different origin than any other language. Their ancestors were the people who painted the beautiful art in the caves in Spain and France. They produced finely napped stone ‘leaf points’ which define the Solutrean culture and were culturally distinct from the people in other European Ice Age refuges who are described more generally as Epi-Gravettian. They appear to be the descendants of the first modern humans who entered Europe about 35,000-40,000 years ago (Aurignacian culture). They were the modern humans who were the contemporaries - and perhaps exterminators - of the European Neanderthals. They reached what is now the British Isles about 15,000 years ago which at this time was connected to mainland Europe by land; the rising seawater caused by melting ice not having breached the area now known as the North Sea.
Every male on the planet can trace his Y-chromosome back to a single anatomically-modern male ancestor who lived in East Africa 170,000 years ago, some of whose descendants are believed to have migrated out of Africa via the Horn of Africa to Yemen across the Bab el Mandeb just under 80,000 years ago. Only this route would have been passable at the time. This doesn't mean that only one male left Africa, just that only one of them has direct male-to-male line descendants, the other male-male lines having ended with only daughters surving to reproductive maturity, or no surviving issue at all.
3) MtDNA Mitochondrial - Maternal line (female) (my ancient female-line origin 170,000 years ago in Africa & defined by the migratory route from Africa taken by my pure female-to-female line; i.e. mother's mother's mother, & etc., for both men and women. This is not your X-chromosome (men have one and females have two, each of which are a combination of up to five female ancestors, and thus are a mixture of female DNA, which cannot provided direct-line female-female DNA information). However, there are measurable bacterial marker's in every cell in your body that record only your direct female-to-female line to either a male or female living today (recorded by their MtDNA bacteria). Men do not pass these bateria on to their children, only females do this; so, they can be used to trace your ancient female-to-female line in both men and women. For current information about available tests see the DNA page.
My MtDNA is J*, which confirms my Irish roots on my mother's maternal line, the earliest whom I have traced was surnamed O'Regan; however, being a female, this is her father's surname and the surname will have changed for each generation going back on the female line. This MtDNA is classed as Near Eastern, and came out of Africa from the 'Horn of Africa' to the Arabian Peninsula, where the majority remained. They spread north and west to Norway and Ireland; the highest European density is in Ireland at 12%, and there is another hot-spot in Norway, but it is scarce elsewhere in Europe and virtually non-existent to the east of Europe. There is a theory that this MtDNA haplogroup J may have come to western Europe, from the Arabian Peninsula, towards the end of the last Ice Age, and travelled north and west as the Glacial Maximum retreated.
The only recent major source of Arab DNA in Ireland is as a direct result of the British Army recruiting numerous Irish soldiers in the early 19th century, during the Peninsular War, to fight in Portugal & Spain against the French Emperor Napoleon's troops. There is a considerable amount of Arab DNA in Spain, as a direct result of the Moorish invasion from North Africa. I have both Morrocan Berber & Algerian Mozabite DNA, who were the Spanish Moors. Since my 'Arab' DNA is within the last five generation, I strongly suspect that this is how it arrived in Ireland. The British Army, and the East India Company before it, recruited troops from England, Scotland and Ireland to serve in India, which has resulted in a very large Anglo-Indian Community with British surnames, many of whom returned to live in the UK. There are a considerable number of people with Arab & Spanish DNA in Ireland today.
There is another (less likely) possibility, in that my MtDNA might be of ancient origin and its arrival in Ireland could be hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago. The source of my MtDNA could be as a result of the Viking settlements about 800AD in Leinster (the County around Dublin) and Limerick, where Adare is situated and my earliest known female line ancestor was born. The Vikings are known, from archaeological evidence, to have traded with the Arabs and DNA evidence shows that they liked Arab women. In addition to those in the Arabian Peninsula, there are two hot-spots for MtDNA 'J' in Europe, and they are in Ireland and Norway. Also, there is evidence that the Irish were trading with many different races over the millennia besides the Vikings, including the Phoenicians; ancient Gaelic mythologies of origin attribute a Phoenician/Scythian influx to Ireland by a leader called Fenius Farsa.
Edward Hermitage (1837-1925) & his wife Ellen Mary O'Regan (1832/4-1913)
I suspect that they are the origin of my Spanish and Arab DNA
Their daughter Lizette Catherine Hermitage (1860-1914) and her husband Frank Huntly (1859-1918)
I suspect that his family are the origin of my Anglo-Portuguese-Indian DNA
The Huntly & Hermitage families, who were the ancestors of my maternal great grandparents, appear likely to be the origin of most of my Spanish/Portuguese and Asian Indian DNA, even though, like the rest of my ancestors, they appear to be white-skinned Europeans.[see: 'A Gordon Highlander' for the main family photo from which these individual portraits were taken]
Ellen Mary O'Regan (1832/4-1913) of Adare, Limerick, Ireland, my earliest known MtDNA ancestor; she is the direct female-to-female descendant of an Arab female, and whose descendants eventually settled in Limerick, Ireland. Her female ancestor may have arrived in Ireland as a direct result of the British Army recruiting numerous Irish & Scottish soldiers early 19th century during the Peninsular War in Portugal & Spain, to fight against Napoleon's troops, or even earlier with the Vikings or Phoenicians. One thing is certain however, her ancient direct-line female ancestor was an Arab.
Broad Street, Adare, co. Limerick, Ireland in 1923.
This is where Ellen Mary O'Regan was born about 1832/4, some 80 years earlier.
A cooper's workshop, as it may have appeared during the Napoleonic War and a completed barrel.
Ellen Mary O'Regan's father, William O'Regan, was a cooper (barrell maker) during the early 19th century. During this period Britain used numerous Irish troops to fight Napoleon's French Army in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain & Portugal). Barrells were the main means of storing and moving anything from water and food, to gunpowder; every Army Unit and Naval ship would have had its own coopers. Maybe he served in the British Army in Spain and maybe he brought back a Spanish wife. I have been unable to trace any information about his wife, who was Ellen Mary O'Regan's mother, so they may have married in Spain before returning to Ireland.
4) Ancestry by DNA 2.5 (Worldwide genetic makeup - this test is now available again, as well as another test 'World DNA Population Match' below)
I was absolutely astonished when I read my results, as I hadn't even remotely suspected what they were about to reveal. However, the whole experience has been really exciting. My results show parts of my ancestry that I will probably never be able to trace using documentary evidence. I am now awaiting the test results for a close maternal cousin to confirm my suspicions as to which side of my family the African-American DNA is from.
82% European (this part is further broken down in the next test)
8% Sub-Saharan African
7% Native American
3% East Asian
I suspect that my Sub-Saharan African and Native American DNA comes from one individual, possibly the descendant of an African-American or West Indian slave - a very exciting new aspect for my research. My maternal lines appear to be the origin of my non-English DNA results, as most of my paternal lines are Lincolnshire & Yorkshire farmers. I have an unknown maternal-line male ancestor, who had an illegitimate daughter in the 1830s at Worth Matravers, Dorset; he may have been an African-American sailor anchored at nearby Swanage, Poole or Weymouth? There is also the possibility that it was she who was African-American. The family came from Worth Matravers, Acton & Lytchett Matravers, Dorset. My only other un-confirmed maternal-line ancestor, from this generation, had a daughter in the 1820s at St. Marylebone, London. I am awaiting the test results for a maternal cousin to confirm my suspicions that these non-European DNA results come from my maternal side, so that I can narrow down my research. My next task will be to find a descendant of each of the two suspected source-lines, who is as distantly related to me as possible, and then see if their DNA also matches my results. Obviously, it will not be proof even then, as these specific results could come from another of their ancestral lines that is unrelated to me, but an absence might prove it wasn't one of these two ancestors - barring adoption or 'affairs' in the intervening generations. I'm beginning to think that I need to test everyone in the extended family - given a very large Lottery Win and their consent!
[See: Your Local Slave Trade History, by S. I. Martin via the BBC History in-depth website, re ideas for possible UK links to slave descendants; see also other BBC slave links, including documentaries & etc. [The BBC History website is a brilliant website, so it's well worth searching there for other things of interest to you.]
Most British, West Indian and American slaves came from six regions of West African: Senegambia, Sierra Leone, The Windward Coast, The Bight of Benin, The Bight of Biafra, & West Central Africa (Kongo, Angola). About 2/3 were male, 1/3 female, and about 1/4 of these were children. About 70% were taken to the sugar islands, and half of these were taken to Jamaica. Some were sold on to French & Spanish buyers, and 10% went to North America, especially Carolina and Georgia, usually via Chesapeake Bay and Charleston. Between the 15th & 19th centuries about 12.4 million slaves are estimated to have been taken from the West African coast; about 1.5 million of these died within a year of leaving the African coast, especially during the Atlantic crossing. An additional 1.8 million are estimated to have died whilst 'in transit' to the slave ships that were lying off the West African coast: some having been taken from hundreds of miles inland, being sold from one trader to another along the way. Whilst many plantation-slave records are very informative, there are few records of the horror that caused the deaths of so many during their initial capture and transit to the European and American slave-ships. Many that were too old, too young, too weak, or too sick to be sold on as slaves were killed by their captors; very few were released to return home once caught by the slave traders. Most captives were as a result of local wars, local disputes and village raids. There were even some that were sentenced to slavery for committing offences such as murder, rape, theft, adultery, witchcraft, debt, sometimes having been falsely accused because of a grudge. Some of these 'slaves' were a bit like those British convicts who were transported to America until 1776 and to Botany Bay, Australia from 1786, often for very minor 'offences'. Although slavery within Africa had been going on long before European involvement, the majority of African-'owned' slaves were treated as members of the family that they 'belonged' to; nothing like the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and its horrors. The nearest form of 'European-styled' slavery was mainly run by Arabs who took (and still take - see 'Slave' below) African slaves to north Africa and the middle east. For further information, I thoroughly recommend 'The Slave Ship' by Marcus Rediker, which covers all aspects of the slave trade, partly as individual stories of slaves' experiences from capture to plantation, and partly from others involved in the slave trade from sailors to merchants. It makes both shocking and riveting reading, presented in 'bite-sized' chunks; it is a welcome new approach to spreading the awareness of the subject. This book cannot fail to both educate and sicken the reader: '......... the violence and terror of the ship ......... captured the brutal logic and cold, rational mentality of the merchant's business - the process by which human beings were reduced to property, by which labour was made into a thing, a commodity, shorn of all ethical consideration.' Some 12 million souls were taken against their will from their African homelands to fuel the Atlantic slave trade, which was carried out by American, British, Danish, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Spanish and at the point of origin even by fellow Africans. About 5 million were to die shortly after capture in Africa, on the journey to the coast, on board slave-ships, or within the first year of their arrival in the West Indies or the Americas. Once they arrived, many were worked to death on the plantations or killed for trying to gain their freedom.
The following are two exceptional books, and both are well worth reading: The Slave Ship: A Human History, by Marcus Rediker, published by John Murray (Publishers) in 2007 - ISBN 978-0-7195-6303-4 & Roots, by Alex Haley, from which the well-known TV series was created over 30 years ago.
I also thoroughly recommend two brilliant DVDs: The Slavery Business, two documentaries produced by Open University; and Amistad, the true story of a slave insurrection onboard a Portuguese slave-ship, starring Morgan Freeman. Both are usually available via either: amazon.co.uk or ebay.co.uk.
The Slavery Business (DVD) Amistad (DVD)
But slavery isn't over, it still goes on today. The true story of a small girl taken from her parents during a raid on her African village, towards the end of the 20th century, and sold to modern-day Arab slave-traders is told in the following book. She eventually gained her freedom when she escaped after her Diplomatic 'owners' brought her with them to London:
Slave: the True Story of a Girl's Lost Childhood and Her Fight for Survival, by Mende Nazer and Damien Lewis, published by Virago Press in 2004 - ISBN 1-84408-114-1. Usually available via: ebay.co.uk and amazon.co.uk, used from as little as 1p (plus p&p).
5) Euro DNA 1.0 (Indo-European Breakdown, which should be seen as percentages of the 82% European above - this test is no longer available; see alternative test 'World DNA Population Match' below)
39% Northern European
33% Southeastern European
12% South Asian
Combination of 4) & 5) results
This is a mixture of all my ancestors and is not in direct percentages according to the position in my tree; i.e. a grandparent is unlikely to be 25% of my DNA, nor a great grandparent 12.5%; however, somewhere in my last five generations, there was someone with a significant amount of each ethnic grouping.
31.98% Northern European (part of 82% European) includes Great Britain, Ireland The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia (and former SSR), Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Lativia, Estonia, Belgium, northern France, Austria.
27.06% Southeastern European (part of 82% European) includes Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, Croatia, southern France, Bulgaria.
13.12% Middle Eastern (part of 82% European) includes Egypt, Syria, Labanon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen, western Afganistan, (all countries on the southern edge of the Mediteranean Sea and abutting the Red Sea and Persian Gulf) The Arab Tribes
9.84% South Asian (part of 82% European) includes India, Pakistan, eastern Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan. (Sadly, this is too small a percentage to identify the actual tribe; this type of result is normally obtained from direct-line Y-DNA or MtDNA results) The Races of India
7% Native American includes populations that migrated from Asia to inhabit North, South and Central America. (Sadly, this is too small a percentage to identify the actual tribe; this type of result is normally obtained from direct-line Y-DNA or MtDNA results; however, my 'World DNA Match' test below, shows me as strongly linked to the Native American Indians of Michigan) The Native American Tribes. A very interesting 1887 book History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan is available free on-line, along with numerous other resources for research. I also found Kevin Costner's '100 Nations' 1994 DVD set, book and music CD absolutely fantastic, and I totally commend the DVD set, if you have the slightest interest in the Native American peoples; these are still readily available via Amazon & Ebay.
3% East Asian includes Japanese, Chinese, Mongolian, Korean, Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders, including populations native to the Philippines. [3% is the minimum amount of DNA that will show up in these tests; anything less will give a 0% result. This small part of my DNA could be from the days when the Mongol Empire raided the Ottoman Empire; many modern-day Turkish-Cypriots claim Mongol ancestry as a result of these raids] Chinese immigrants in Britain 100 years ago (Sadly, my 3% is too small a percentage to identify the specific regional ethnic group; this type of detailed result is normally obtained from direct-line Y-DNA or MtDNA results)
What a mongrel I am; this really is a case of 'mixed race', or maybe more of a racial-soup! Yet, like millions of others, it doesn't really show in my physical appearance, and none of my ancestors, whose photographs I have, appear to look other than white-skinned European.
Since it normally requires at least 30-35% of any DNA group to affect your appearance, my slightly sallow complexion probably comes from my 27.06% Southeastern European DNA, rather than the other DNA groups. I am unlikely to have any apparent outward-signs of the five lesser-percentage groups (e.g. facial features, or skin and hair colouring).
The Chinese discovered the world in 1421, including the west and east coasts of north & south American, the West Indies, the west and east coasts of Africa, Australia, New Zealand (see 'The Year China Discovered the World 1421', by Gavin Menzies). Some settled in the countries they visited, and left traces of their DNA in the indigenous populations. It is quite possible that the Sub-Saharan African, Native American and East Asian all come from one person in American, whose descendants may have come to England.
Mongolians invaded the Ottoman Empire and apparently left DNA traces in the Turkish peoples. I have recently spoken to two Turkish-Cypriots who told me that their elderly relatives claim to be descended from the Monguls. If my 27.06% southeastern European DNA is Turkish or Greek it may well acount for the 3% 'East Asian'.
The following link gives a good breakdown of The DNA Tribes of the World and offers DNA checks to confirm your Tribal Ancestral makeup.
The Seven Major Racial Groups of the World
These DNA tests are a really exciting project; they have inspired me to try and check my male Y-DNA with others who have the same or similar surname in an attempt to link the ten 'Drax / Dracas(s) / Drakes' trees that I have compiled [see Y-DNA Project].
6) World DNA Population Match ('cultural' or 'regional' origin rather than an 'ethnic' one) [e.g. Zorastrians are ethnically 'Arab' but were driven out of Persia by the Iranians; their present-day 'cultural' origin is 'Asian Indian' where the majority of them now live.]
This test creates your own Unique DNA Identity Profile from 16 DNA markers and compares them with over 250 present-day population groups to give my 'cultural' or 'regional' ancestry, rather than sepcifically 'ethnic' ancestry. I was hoping that it would provide some clues to my African and Native American tribal origins, as well as narrow down some of my other rather exotic DNA results to specific regions in recent history.
NB. These results do not necessarily mean that my ancestors lived in these locations, just that lots of people with similar DNA mixtures to my own live there now. The fact that I have Spanish & Portuguese matches would obviously make me similar to many people in South America today, without my ancestors having ever lived there.
The following are my own results for this test and, just like my other results, I was absolutely astonished with my current World DNA Population Match results. The top 20 (test now gives 30) present-day matches are listed in order of highest percentage match. (NB. these are not 'ethnic' results, but matches with the DNA of current world populations) My own research shows me as 'English'; I have found no-one in my family who was born outside of Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Devon, London, and Ireland, but have two lines that I cannot trace back before the early 1800s, in the generation where I have 32 direct-line ancestors:
7. Basques (France & Spain) (Basques)
11. Gope (Orissa, India) (Gope)
14. Karan (India) (Karan)
16. Alabama Caucasian (Alabama) [This suggests to me that my African ancestor might have been an American slave]
18. Northern and Central Moroccan Berber (Berbers)
An Anglo-Indian Childhood by Shirley Gifford-Pritchard, published in 2005
The Anglo-Indian population today is frequently stated to be rather small and widely-spread throughout India and most of the World, but this statement ignores the vast numbers of us who have Asian-Indian DNA links going back hundreds of years and long-since watered down by marriages in the country of our present-day birth after our ancestors migrated to other countries - mainly via England. Only those who have remained in Asian-Indian communities still have clear visual Asian-Indian appearance. There is an extremely interesting book about life as an Anglo-Indian in India during the middle of the 20th-century: An Anglo-Indian Childhood by Shirley Gifford-Pritchard, who was born in India in the 1930s and now lives in the USA. With a bit of imagination and awareness of Victorian English class structures, this brilliant book gives us some insight into what life might also have been like for Anglo-Indians in India during the Victorian period, when my own ancestors were probably living there. It is now in re-print by amazon.co.uk and thus widely available. It is a good read and I couldn't put it down; so, I read it all during the afternoon it arrived!
Native American Indians
Kaw-win ke-taw-gawsh-ke-to-se tchi-gaw-ke-so-taw-wod mau-ni-to.
[Translation: You cannot hide from God.]
Widi gishigong ishpiming Kidonjiibiotisinim Nimpidon tibajimowin Wenishishing keget nawon.
[Translation: From heaven above to earth I come, I bring good news to every home.]
It was the Official Policy of the American Government was that it was not in the interests of the American people to integrate with the Indians; better that they were 'removed'. To this end they slaughtered the buffalo, and massacred women and children and the elderly, along with men of fighting age. Numerous treaties were broken by the whites, and there were many atrocities on both sides.
Chief Joseph said, “I have heard talk and talk, but nothing gets done. Good words do not last long, unless they amount to something. Words do not pay for my dead people. They do not pay for my country. They do not protect my father's grave. Good words do not give me back my children. Good words do not give my people good health and stop them from dying. I am tired of talk that comes to nothing. It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises.” “If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian, he can live in peace. There need be no trouble, treat all men alike, give them all the same law, give them all an even chance to live and grow. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward, as that any man who was born a free man should be contented, when pinned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. We only ask an even chance to live as other men live. We ask to be recognised as men. Let me be a free man; free to travel; free to stop; free to work; free to choose my own teachers; free to follow the religion of my fathers; free to think, and talk, and act for myself.” There is a brilliant website about Chief Joseph, of the Nez Perce Tribe (1840-1904)
Andrew J. Blackbird (actual name: Mack-aw-de-be-nessy = Black Hawk) was born in 1822, an Ottawa Native American Indian; he wrote, "My own race, once a very numerous, powerful and warlike tribe of Indians, who proudly trod upon this soil, is also near the end of existence. In a few more generations they will be so intermingled with the Caucasian race as to be hardly distinguished as descended from the Indian nations, and their language will be lost. I myself was brought up in a pure Indian style, and lived in a wigwam, and have partaken of every kind of the wild jubilees of my people, and was once considered one of the best “Pipe” dancers of the tribe. But when nearly grown up, I was invited by a traveling Protestant Missionary, whose name was Alvin Coe, to go home with him to the State of Ohio, with the assurance that he would give me a good education like the white man, and the idea struck me that I could be really educated and be able to converse with the white people. And although at that time (in the fall of 1840) I missed the opportunity, the idea was never after off of my mind. So some time afterwards I started out voluntarily to obtain an education; and I had nearly succeeded in completing my professional studies when I called away to come home and look after my aged father, in 1850. And now I have four children, but not one of them can speak the Indian language. And every one of the little Indian urchins who are now running about in our town can speak to each other quite fluently in the English language; but I am very sorry to add that they have also learned profanity like the white children. For these reasons it seems desirable that the history of my people should not be lost, like that of other tribes who previously existed in this country, and who have left no record of their ancient legends and their traditions." See: History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan (published in 1897).
My own ancestors were the result of such an 'intermingling' between an Ottawa (or Chippewa) Native American and a Caucasian. It makes me sad to think of the people and heritage that have been lost forever.
If you have an interest in Native American Indians, I thoroughly recommend the following music CD and very large and informative book, both entitled '500 Nations' and available on-line:
500 Nations: A Musical Journey music CD from the CBS TV mini-series.
500 Nations: An Illustrated History of North American Indians by Alvin M. Josephy, Jr.
There is a brilliant book about life with the Michigan Native Americans called, 'In the Wilderness with the Red Indians: German Missionary to the Michigan Indians, 1847-1853', which is available via amazon.co.uk. A free online version can be found at archive.org, though such digital text conversions frequently contain lots of text errors, you can view actual book pages by clicking 'see other formats' at the top right of the page of this link.
Photos taken by Chris Drakes in July 2012 (missing feather replaced digitally on left photo)
Algonquin Indian Princess Pocahontas (1595-1617)
2016 is the 400th Anniversary of her death & her 17th generation descendant, John Wroth, visited her grave & statue.
This beautiful bronze statue of Princess Pocahontas is in the churchyard at St. George's Parish Church, Gravesend, Kent, where she is thought to have been buried in the vault beneath the chancel. She was an Algonquin-speaking Indian and was thus from the same ethnic group as my own Native American DNA. Pocahontas spent a year in England (1616-1617), during the reign of King James I, where she and her entourage of Indians became celebrities at Court. She had married Thomas Wroth and had become a Christian, taking the name 'Rebecca'. Towards the end of her stay in England, it was realised that she was suffering from tuberculosis (TB). Native Americans had no natural resistance to the diseases brought to the Americas by European settlers, including smallpox, influenza, typhoid, measles and tuberculosis. It is estimated that, by the end of the 16th century, some tribes lost more than half of their populations to European diseases. She died in March 1617, aged 21, whilst on board Captain Samuel Argall’s ship the “George” off Gravesend, waiting to sail back to her family home in Virginia, USA. The Parish Burial Register shows, '21 March 1616/7: Rebecca Wroth wyffe of Thomas Wroth gent. a Virginia Lady borne, was buried in the Chauncell.' Their son, Thomas, grew up in London and eventually returned to his mother's homeland in Virginia, USA, where he is believed to have numerous descendants. This lovely statue, commemorating the young Indian Princess, was unveiled by the Governor of Virginia, USA in 1958. Sadly, some 'mindless creature' has recently seen fit to break the feather off the back of her head, so I have tried to digitally 'paint' it back in (see above left). Hopefully, some kind and generous person will arrange for this stunning statue to be restored, maybe with a spiked railing around it to prevent further damage.
Ojibwa Warrior: Dennis Banks and the Rise of the American Indian Movement by Banks, Dennis 2005
This interesting book is about The American Indian Movement (AIM) and their struggles. It also includes a lot about the traditional way of life for Native Americans. It is a very good read and a must for anyone interested in American Indian affairs and the way that they have been treated by US officials. 'Somehow, we all became stronger through the pain inflicted upon us. If one does not become mean because of it, becoming an enemy to oneself, then pain can give strength to a person and add a feeling of victory to mere survival.' (p.318) 'Life is like a circle. You walk and walk only to find yourself at the place you started from.' Henry Crow Dog. (p.348) (available via amazon.co.uk)
I recently found another interesting book about the Northern Canadian Native Indian Tribes, which covers: The Algonkians, Naskapi, Cree, The Déné, Chipewyan, Slavery, Dogrib, Hare, Mackenzie Mountain, Kutchin, Southern Yukon, The Inuit, Mackenzie, Copper, Netsilik, Caribou, Sadliq, Igloolik, South Baffin, Ungava, and Labrador peoples. Though this book was written as a classroom text for Secondary Schools, it is an excellent read. It includes a section on the migration of the first Native American peoples from Asia. It is unlike any other book that I have read, in that it encompasses many traditional stories and personal experiences, interaction between tribes before the arrival of the first Europeans, and their later influence on the Indian way of life. Most other books are heavily biased to a later European viewpoint. I thoroughly recommend: A History of the Original Peoples of Northern Canada, by Keith J. Crowe; A Technical Report of the Man in the North Project, Arctic Institute of North America, 1974, 226 pages; there is also a 1991 2nd edition, 264 pages. [Copies are frequently available on amazon.co.uk, ebay.co.uk, ebay.ca & ebay.com]
Alfredo Rodriguez is a very tallented present-day artist, living in the USA, who paints very beautiful and realistic scenes from the old West, especially native American Indians. To see his work, click on Paintings, then click on each 'Gallery', one at a time; you can enlarge images by clicking on them.
An Algerian Mozabite man & a Mozabite street with a Mosque.
"Wa `alaykum s-salam" - "wa `alaykumu s-salamu wa rahmatu l-lahi wa barakatuh"
Moroccan Berber women - these would really fit in with one of my 'Dancer' family surname in Lambeth that I am stuck on. 'Dancer' is 'Schikkat' in Morroccan. The Berbers with strong sub-Saharan African and Andalusian links, both of which I have, live in the Sous region near the Moritanian border. This is also a region where dancers are found, unlike most Morrocan regions, which do not normally have traditional dancers. Strangely, my mum always wanted to be a dancer - it must have been 'in her blood' as they say.
If you have an interest in Berber artifacts, including old jewellery, there are frequently good itmes on ebay.co.uk.
The following is an excellent book about the various Berber Tribes of North Africa: The Berbers (The Peoples of Africa series) by Michael Brett & Elizabeth Fentress, published in paperback. Usually available via: amazon.co.uk.
If you have mixed-race DNA and especially if you have a family association with Dorset, I thoroughly recommend Ethnic Minorities: Lyme Regis & West Dorset Past & Present by Louisa Parker, Judy Ford & Jo Draper, published by Lyme Regis Museum, and available from The County Archives, Dorset History Centre, Bridport Road, Dorchester, DT1 1RP; tel: 01305 250550; email: email@example.com; website: dorsetforyou.com at only £3.50, plus £0.50 p&p within UK.
Lyme Regis Museum, Dorset, hoasted an 'Ethnic Minorities' exhibition, on which the above book is based; see: lymeregismuseum.co.uk.
The following link to BBC News is very interesting; it discusses issues involving the present-day Anglo-Indian communities in the UK & India, as well as historical facts surrounding this ethnic/cultural group of which I am part, as are many other 'white-skinned' UK citizens. Please see: Anglo-Indians: Is their culture dying out?
If you are interested in other mixed-race issues, there is a support site at: mixtogether.org
Like many other ethnic groups around the world, the Native American Indian tribes have been very unfairly treated over the centuries and at times pushed to extinction. It seems to be the nature of humans to try to exterminate those that do not fit their racial ideals, or who possess something they want. I suspect that, if they run out of ethnic groups to pick on, they will find something else they don't like about other groups of people.
At this point, I would like to use a well-known quote from World War II:
First they came for the Jews,
And I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists,
And I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
And I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for me,
And there was no one left to speak up for me.
'They Came For Me' by Pastor Newmoller
Maybe we should all have our real ethnic-origins checked by a DNA test before we jump to assumptions about who our ancestors were.
It would be interesting to see the DNA test results of everyone in my own street, most of whom might well consider themselves 'English through and through', as I did prior to receiving my own results.
Well, you have now seen which ancestral races I am made of, and I thought I was 'white-skinned' European; so, is it time you found out what your own ethnic origins really are? See: dna-worldwide.com.
Please note that I do not receive any sponsorship from any of the suggested website, nor from anyone else; my research and this website are totally self-funded.