My Baby Steps In The Wonderful World Of DNA


Bat spotting again… this particular individual is my Christmas greeting to family and friends. A Very Merry Christmas to you too! 

I took a Y-DNA test and found out about my ancestry. My haplogroup is represented in Western Siberia and Finland but I was surprised to see red dots also in Turkey and in the Caucasus. The dots on the map represent the earliest known forefathers of other people who took the test and with whom I share snippets of DNA. Perhaps it’s time to plan a haplo tour to Kazan? Or follow a trail down to the Black Sea and to the medieval slave markets of Feodosia? In those days it was common to snatch people and either bargain for their release or sell them as slaves. That happened also on the shores of the Baltic.

I researched my grandmother’s lineage and was able to connect with the Geni family tree. Her side of the family stayed in the same region in Ostrobothnia for several centuries and their family names were tied to farms and places. With Geni, suddenly I have over one thousand ancestors all the way back to my 16th great grandfathers, who were born around 1450.

I remember my great grandmother very well. At the time she was already very old and would just sit quietly and wrap herself in that secret historicity of hers. Her grandfather had been a sniper who died in mysterious circumstances in St. Petersburg after 1889. Who was he? Why was he there? I am now very keen on finding out more about single stories among those one thousand relatives.

In the coming year, be prepared, my dear reader, to more stories about my ancestry and about writing in general, as I am in the middle of writing a novel. I might also babble something about fictional autobiography, the genre that intrigued me already in the 90’s when I was working on my master’s degree in Marseille. Now it’s timely again, with all the potential of my going back in time and finding myself in the footsteps of my unknown father and his forefathers somewhere in the Crimea or Siberia. Add to that some of the more usual glimpses of my life between the Senegal river and the Atlantic Ocean and voilà: welcome a brand-new year 2022. 

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