Justin's HIV Journal

Monday, June 17, 2013

Justin's HIV Journal: DNA Testing & Family Genealogy

Since I was a little boy I had been told stories about where my family is from. My Dad side were farmers and worked the lands were for the most part educated. They came from a background of Native Americans from the Creek-Cherokee tribes and Susquehanna Tribes. My mother’s sides were made up of Spanish Jews escaping the Spanish Inquisition, Mulatto slave owners and the family called Sasportas in South Carolina. I am glad to know of my family history whichever way you look at it, without it I wouldn’t be here. I opened up an Ancestry.com account and I always want to know more and more. I never really was one for just taking one side or opinion about something or someone. This has allowed me to look and see for myself. Genealogy has become a big interest to me and to know that one of my ancestors is a famous Jewish Rabbi from Spain, and I’m a relative of Cab Calloways. It is great to uncover and learn the truth. Thank you everyone ;-)

I didn’t want to bore you guys about my family history but I will copy and paste what Ancetry.com has told me about the regions from the DNA test:

About Southern European Ethnicity

Modern Day Location
Italy, Spain, Portugal

Did You Know?
One of the most common Italian surnames is Russo.

About Your Region
If you had to choose one region of Europe that has wielded the most influence over the course of western history, a strong candidate would be the land of your ancestors—an area that includes modern day Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

In ancient Italy, the Romans and their empire set the stage for modern European culture. After adopting Christianity in the 4th century, the Romans spread (along with their Latin language) to all corners of their realm. Centuries later, Italy again stepped to the forefront, leading the way out of the Middle Ages as brilliant artists and philosophers like Machiavelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Michelangelo ushered in the Renaissance.

Spain and Portugal experienced periods of great strength and influence during the Age of Discovery. Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand II of Spain funded the voyage of Christopher Columbus to the New World in 1492, initiating an era of global colonization and great wealth and influence. Today, as a result, Spanish is the second most spoken language on Earth. Portugal kept pace with its neighbor, establishing its own colonies around the world, most notably Brazil.

In the modern era, all three counties saw tumultuous transitions from monarchies to authoritarian dictatorships to modern republics. While their modern day borders may be much smaller than in the days of their powerful empires, their legacy still reaches around the globe.

Migrations into this region
Southern Europe shares a substantial amount of genetic affinity with North Africa. This is mostly because the Iberian Peninsula was conquered by Moorish (Berber) invaders, from present-day Morocco, in about 711 C.E. Their legacy can still be seen in Spain and Portugal, ranging up to 15% in some individuals.

Migrations from this region
During the Last Glacial Period, beginning about 21,000 years ago, glaciers and windswept tundra made much of northern and central Europe uninhabitable. Populations retreated into the southern glacial refugia of Spain and Italy. Then as the climate warmed, these Mesolithic people expanded out of southern Europe to occupy the entire continent, as far north as present-day Finland. The south-to-north pattern of genetic differences in Europe is attributed to this post-glacial expansion. Additionally, Iberia was the historic source of migration into the Americas. Populations throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, southern USA and South America can trace their lineages back to Spain and Portugal, usually through their paternal side.

About Scandinavian Ethnicity

Modern Day Location
Norway, Sweden, Denmark

Did You Know?
In the northern latitudes, the sun rarely dips below the horizon in the summer, meaning very long days and very short nights. However, the tables are turned the rest of the year, with almost no daylight at all in the middle winter months.

About Your Region
Looks like you may have some Viking blood in you. Your genetic ethnicity ties you to Scandinavia, which includes the modern-day nations of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. While the Vikings were feared by the coastal towns of medieval Europe as seaborne raiders and violent pillagers, they were also well-travelled merchants and ambitious explorers. They raided the Mediterranean coast of Africa, settled areas as far south as the Black Sea, and traded with the Byzantine Empire. And it was a Norse sailor, Leif Ericson, who is credited with being the first European to travel to North America—500 years before Columbus.

And it wasn't just the Vikings who had an irrepressible urge for adventure. In the days of the mighty Roman Empire, the Goths, originally from Sweden, wandered south and settled in what is now eastern Germany. In the year 410, they invaded and sacked Rome, setting the stage for the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire.

In the more recent past, the Scandinavian nations have embraced a new identity. Considering their neutrality during the World Wars, high quality of life, and relatively egalitarian societies, they are known more for their peaceful ways than their ancient Viking lineage might suggest.

Migrations into this region
As the glaciers retreated from Northern Europe, roaming groups of hunter-gatherers from Southern Europe followed reindeer herds inland and marine resources along the Scandinavian coast. Neolithic farmers eventually settled the region beginning about 6,000 years ago. However, the tradition of hunting and reindeer-herding remains among the Sami people of northern Scandinavia. The Sami formerly occupied much of northern Scandinavia and Russia, and likely had connections with the Volga-Ural region (where there are other languages similar to Finnish and Sami).

Migrations from this region
The rise of the Viking culture spread Scandinavian ancestry far throughout Europe. Their earliest coastal voyages took them to Scotland, northeastern England and established the settlement of Dublin, Ireland. As their power continued to grow, the Vikings spread farther afield, down the Volga River in Russia, to the coast of France and Spain. But perhaps their most famous accomplishments were the oceanic voyages across the Atlantic, establishing villages in Iceland and Greenland and exploring the northern coast of Canada. Few, if any of the early Scandinavian settlers, are thought to have survived in the Americas. However, Iceland remains a flourishing post of Scandinavian language and culture.

About West African Ethnicity

Modern Day Location:
Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Gabon, Congo, and various other nations along Africa's west coast, from The Gambia to Equatorial Guinea

Did You Know?
Yams were domesticated in Western Africa and are still a popular staple.

About Your Region
Your ethnicity indicates that you have ancestry from West Africa, an area that stretches along the continent's Atlantic coast from the desolate sands of the Sahara in Mauritania and Mali to the humid canopies of the central African rain forests in Gabon and Congo. Camel caravans once hauled rock salt from desert mines through the legendary city of Timbuktu. And it's the only place on Earth where you can see a lowland gorilla outside of a zoo.

The people of this region trace their ethnic and cultural roots to numerous different sources. The Tuareg Berbers in the predominantly Muslim north are descended from the desert nomads of the Sahara; the sub-Saharan African populations including the Hausa, Mandinka, and Youruba are descendents of the ancient western kingdoms that dominated the region before the arrival of European colonists; the Baka of Cameroon and Gabon, previously referred to as "pygmies," are some of the oldest residents of the area; and the Bantu language group, which originated in Cameroon, is spoken across the entire southern half of the continent.

European colonialism and exploitation, including a centuries-long slave trade, as well as brutal civil wars, despotism, and uncontrolled governmental corruption in the post-colonial era have kept the region mired in poverty. Since the end of Liberia's second civil war in 2003, the region has seen a stretch of relative peace and a decrease in corruption. Hopefully the future will bring prosperity to this region.

Migrations into this region
Western Africa was first occupied by modern humans about 50,000 years ago. More recently, the colonial period saw immigrants from many European countries establish colonies and trading posts throughout Western Africa. However, the genetic impact of these historical Europeans is thought to be very small.

Migrations from this region
The majority of African-Americans ancestry derives from Western Africa. This is mostly because during the Atlantic slave trade of the 18th and 19th centuries, African slaves from the coastal regions of Western Africa were captured and shipped to the Americas. Even groups further inland were sometimes captured and traded out to the coast for slavery.

1 comment:

Joe Thomas said...

I just know that I have some German and African ancestors, but that's all. I'm thinking in starting to search