Genealogy 101

It's not that I think my parents are filthy liars.

I'm just interested in knowing the facts behind the stories. 


My mother once told me that her mother was Jamaican and her father was Panamanian, but I don't think she ever met him. My father once told me that his mother is from Pennsylvania and that his father was in the Air Force--I know his name, but it's not mine, because my grandmother remarried and my step-grandfather adopted my dad. He did meet him. The last update (some 20+ years ago) was that he had remarried and settled in southern New Jersey. My dad's mother, when asked simply said, "We're a little bit of everything. Except for Polish. We're definitely not Polish." The fact that she grew up in a heavily Polish community does not play any role in that statement, I'm sure. My mother's sister adamantly insisted that my father was Italian. But I'm guessing that was based on looks. 

Upon pressing, I received details on some ancestors who were from Africa, and others who were most likely indians from the Caribbean (although, again a curious case here when I stated that the Caribs were cannibals and my mother said, "We weren't those. We were some other kind of Indian then."), and some who were Dutch, and others who were Native Americans, but most of whom were by and large from the British Isles. 

These are the stories. They're an intricate part of who I am, but I want to know the facts too. 

With the advent of DNA testing and genealogy, I can, so I sent for a kit from and two nights ago I spit into a little plastic vial and then I sent it off to be processed. Can you believe it might be that simple? I'm looking forward to the day when I'm a man of a certain age and I get to say, "When I was younger I had to spit into a test tube to find out about my past; now all you have to do is sigh kinda heavy at a breathalyzer and they know everything right down to the kind of food your grandparents ate on the regular."

It'll be about a month before I receive the results. It's pins and needles till then!