Bloodlines and Family Trees
Ever wonder about your own bloodline, and what little pieces of your heritage may have yet to be discovered?
My Mother has done quite a bit of tracking on her own family’s genealogy. She’s ran upon a lot of research done that ends up being quite informative and very interesting. Her paternal ancestry, the Jones’, traces all the way back to Wales, England. Her maternal ancestry, the McCorkles, hailed from Ireland. She has names and even pictures of some, as well as documented dates when certain ancestors came to America. I’ve never done research on my Father’s side, as there would be a large gap on one side in which it would be difficult to find certain information. Whatever the case may be, I feel certain there is no pot of gold at the end of my bloodline.
No matter how much information we’ve ‘gathered’ on our ancestors, we would be fools to believe it’s simply that cut-and-dry. Let’s be honest, there’s always going to be that one or more indiscretion that likely was swept under the rug. Sometimes things come out in the wash, sometimes they don’t. Unless one has strictly royal blood running through their veins, and can prove it – one cannot denounce the possibility of mixed bloodlines within their ancestry.
First Lady Michelle Obama even announced recently that she’d discovered caucasian in her bloodline, from the early slavery times. Her maternal third-great-grandfather was a white man, who fathered Melvinia Shields’ (her maternal third-great grandmother’s) son, Dolphus T. Shields, both of who were slaves.
Here’s a cold hard fact: According to population geneticist Mark Shriver at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, a full 58 percent of African-Americans possess at least 12.5 percent European ancestry (which again, is the equivalent of that one great-grandparent).
Bottom line – to anyone still naive enough to believe in the myth of racial purity, this is just one more corroboration that the social categories of ‘white’ and ‘black’ have always been more porous than can be imagined, especially when referring back to that nether world called slavery.
Of course, black and white seems to be the more prevalent bloodline mixture, being as how it was introduced in the days of slavery. But any real case can be made on this when it comes to past migration to the United States. Indian, Latin, English, African, Asian…. it all applies to the same – endless possibilities.
Something to think about this the next time you look in the mirror! This ‘mixed bag’ we have is now what makes up the United States of America. This is us.
Wow, that’s profound.
February 5, 2010 at 8:18 am