walking in the footsteps of mother

a rather longer post for me but I think you might find some of it interesting!!!

While out walking, like many of us, I tend to ponder and reflect. Below is the path I sent into Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness (3-37). I think about all the other dendrophiles who travel or have walked on some of these same roads and paths that I love.  I know that life is a series of journeys; -that life is motion. Even at rest our lungs inhale and exhale, our hearts beat as blood travels through our bodies, subconsciously attending to our bodies’needs.

Our feet propel us down paths and over streams and mountains to find new places to discover and enjoy. I think about how many miles I have walked both literally and metaphorically which brings me to:

The Genetic Quest

Our mothers send us forth to begin our own lives and adventures, and the cycle goes on. The earth travels around the sun at 67000 miles an hour and we are on board. We are all travelers in time and space!  The human journey began long ago, and we are connected to an ancient past by another road, the very long history of our DNA and of our fondness for movement and mating.

elvenpathbest1
the ancient forest of Nidavellir

The Seven Daughters of Eve is the name of a book by Geneticist Bryan Sykes. In his own journey through the mists of time he follows the trail of Mitochrondrial DNA back to the mother of all hunter/gatherers. He symbolically calls this first woman, Eve. Eve’s children slowly migrated out of Africa. In actuality she had far more than seven daughters but his book talks about the Asia minor to European migrations. These females are identified by haplogroups. He names each group by letter designations, K, X, J, V, U, T, H, and then romantically gives them each an identity, Katrine, Xenia, Jasmine, Velda, Ursula, Tara, and Helena. Their migrations through those ancient forests, deserts and mountains began as far back as 45000 years and they left their footprints across the centuries.

tech-090227-footprint
Matthew Bennett, Bournemouth University

Ursula’s clan is the oldest  of the travelers (circa 32000 years) with 11% of Europeans possessing her DNA, especially in Scandinavia and Western Britain. Ursula’s people would have coexisted at the same time as another human genus. As the new Homo Sapiens arose Homo Neanderthalensis was in decline after the ice age.  However, we now know that a neanderthal gene or variant is still present in modern populations.

Mesolithic Cheddar Man, the 9000 year old skeleton found in Somerset was a member of Ursula’s family. Because the cave where he was found showed evidence of cannibalism it is speculated he may have been killed for ritual purposes. DNA testing ( taken from a tooth) found one of his modern day descendants still living in the area.

article-0-03c055f2000005dc-624_306x348
otzi’s feet

Otzi, the 5000 year old iceman is an ancient murder mystery. He was a member of Katrine’s clan. While wandering through the Alps on some unknown quest  he was felled by an arrow to his back and then was probably finished off with a blow to the  head. His unknown assailants left his body on the mountain where it was preserved by the cold. Haplo group K often shows up in Ashkenazim Jews and in the Middle East but some of Katrine’s clan migrated as far north as Norway at the end of the last ice age

I have the distinction of belonging to Helena’s group, She is the most common in Europe and the most successful and prolific, though I must confess I was hoping for something more exotic. Many people in Scotland, Ireland, Norway and down through western Europe owe their existence to Mother Helena and her peripatetic clan. Also many North Africans  are in a subclad of H. I am a true daughter of Helena and a traveler too, whether by foot, car bus or train, I love it all.

1047-9-46
traveling in Ireland with Stephen

When the refined analysis of my saliva was finally tested I was not wanted in any police data bank, instead I was given a list of possible DNA matches, one of whom turned out to be my first cousin on the Highland Scottish and  Irish of course branch of my mother’s family as predicted. Of course I already knew that, but the laboratory  did not.  Another surprise was discovering both a western European percentage and a Norwegian connection in the breakdown. I suppose it’s not surprising, considering that Vikings were the scourge of Scotland and Ireland’s coasts in the ninth century. Apparently they must have been the rock star bad boys of the day because it has been more recently thought that many local women probably paired up with them quite willingly. When they weren’t pillaging and raping mind you,they were farmers.  The Orkneys and the Isle of Skye are rich in Norse history and still have the remains of their settlements. There are many places with Norse names such as Skeabost on Skye (where I had dinner on several occasions) and a whiskey distillery called Taliskers.

P.S.: January, 2019- I have since found that somewhere in that celtic pot there is a dna match to 3 vikings slain in Gr. Britain ( St. Brice Massacre), to Norwegian and Danish Vikings and to Gaelic Viking Iceland. Another strong link is to a Roman Etruscan site at San Ercolano near Ostia. Quite a mix! (mytrueancestry.com)

girl with stylus and tablet
to-asgard2

But it was actually on Dad’s side that the biggest surprise came. Some cousins from his  family live in southern Italy. There is a percentage of Italian Greek but Family Tree also noted a percentage from North Africa and Asia Minor (not unusual in Southern Italians who also have a Greek connection and whose DNA is different from the Northerners). There was my own exotic!

So that is why after years of ballet and violin lessons I had been drawn to the music and dance of distant Moroccan Berber cousins. On the downside, if you are a fair skinned Celt the sultry effect can easily be sabotaged by an unbidden pink flushing of  exposed areas.(Each testing company has it’s own base groups of ethnicity for testing, so a lot  can be “guesstimates” but if you have been able to do some of your own research into family history it can be used to corroborate.  My cousin is the family historian on mom’s side.

any likeness to persons living or dead is strictly coincidental or lost in the mirage of time

Cybele of the dune mouse’s alter ego- once upon a time she emerged from the shadows but only during the madness of the Sirocco winds. She is back to seclusion now.

and here we have a  gathering of the northern clan and the cheeky descendants of Helena

the-clan
road2
the path in colour

subclad: sub group

Ancestry.com

Family Tree  associated with the National Geographic Genographic Project

Ice Man– Nova

Cheddar Man

Haplogroups (Oxford Ancestors- maternal line)

88 Comments Add yours

  1. Fascinating research, Hanna!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Christy B says:

    I wonder sometimes about my ancestral history and now you have all of my thoughts running wild! The DNA test is tempting.. You’ve uncovered many interesting details here and how great you’ve paired them with the images!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. many thanks Christy! It is a fun journey!

      Like

  3. Robyn G says:

    It really is interesting and wow, you’ve done some research!!
    Such an interesting read – thank you… and a journey of discovery for you.
    I’ve been pondering picking up/continuing my own family history again – it’s been almost 27 yrs!
    Lovely lovely images as always – thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. many thanks Robyn!! Family histories are a journey!! Forgive my lateness, I’ve been away from it all for awhile!! So glad to hear from you!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Robyn G says:

        No apologies necessary..ever 🙂
        Great to hear from you too!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Peter Nena says:

    Happy New Year, Cybele!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Nena says:

      I have been reading about haplogroups and I think I may belong to Rb1

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good to hear from you Peter and Happy New Year my friend and many blessings. Hope all is well! I think Rb1 is the male lineage? I’m trying to get my brother to do one so he can find that out from father’s side. Haplogroup H is female and I think only men carry both male and female. You may find all kinds of great surprises when you do the test.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. hope 2017 will bring you all good and creative things!

      Like

  5. Adrian Lewis says:

    Fascinating stuff, Cybele! Much as I’d like to believe it – Cheddar is on my doorstep! – I think there may be doubts about Cheddar Man being related to present day people in the area, I read that some in the scientific community are unsure of the analyses. Adrian

    Liked by 2 people

    1. aww!! too bad – it’s a wonderful idea! Yes they are still figuring it all out and even the genetic info they give each person are to a degree guesstimates. However, knowing some of your own family history also helps with knowing whether the info is on the right track. Ancestry lumps Scots and English together ( my mom was born in Scotland) so it came to us as a percentage of British ancestry but Irish comes up as it’s own! Southern Italians have somewhat different dna from Northern so it comes up as Italian Greek, ( makes sense as southern Italy was a Greek colony at one time) and North African is not unusual to come up for that part of Italy as well! It’s all quite fascinating to the imagination!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’d like to walk the paths in your photos Cybele 🙂 Fascinating facts about ours and your origins, I’d like to take the DNA test to see what I would find!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Andrea, it was a fun adventure!! So many connections and thus we are all related. The book was interesting though strides have been made since it was published. I say go for it. Apparently my ex is related to Ghengis Khan!! lol or at least his hordes.( I think I already knew that!) You find out all kinds of surprises.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. pattimoed says:

    Wonderful post, Cybele. I have been thinking of doing some genetic testing, but haven’t done it yet. You’ve inspired me. Your images are equally inspiring. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. oh many thanks Patti, go ahead! It’s a fun adventure!!

      Like

  8. I really enjoyed this post! I have been thinking about doing the DNA test .. and that book sounds like a special read .. thanks for sharing 😃

    Liked by 2 people

    1. oh thanks Julie!! it’s an adventure!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It sure sounds like one 😃

        Like

      2. 🙂 thanks for popping by Julie!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Sherry Felix says:

    One of my favorite topics beautifully covered. I read that book many years ago. I would love to have my DNA tested someday. I also like the history of languages which parallels our tribal movements. I studied both of these topics at college.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. oh Sherry you must!! it’s quite the adventure! Thanks for your compliment! I’m so glad you had an interest in this. I’m not so educated but I did read up on it!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sherry Felix says:

        On my to do list.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Absolutely fascinating! Your photos are perfect for reflections on the hidden past! I’ve toyed with the idea of testing. I’m sure I’ll break down one of these days! I appreciate the info and all your research. I never knew what the different initials meant. By the way, love the pic of you in your belly dancing outfit! More stuff we have in common — I took violin and I used to belly dance! LOL! 😆 We must be related! Bwahahahaa!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think we must be Linda!! Thanks for reading!! ( hey! I have changed a bit since those days lol) Go for it! It’s a lot of fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. landacrystal says:

    I found this fascinating Cybele! Cheer´s to all Helena´s

    Liked by 2 people

    1. glad you found it so!! Thanks my friend!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. landacrystal says:

        Hugging you tight Cybs!
        xox

        Liked by 2 people

  12. robert87004 says:

    Is good to know Interpol is not looking for you. 😉 how fun this must be for you, and ‘Latin blood’ too. Me, who knows? English, German, Polish, none of which admitted where exactly. Probably wanted by Interpol, I figure. :/

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 😀 I think we are all related!! but hopefully not on Interpol list!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. robert87004 says:

        haha, I hope not. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  13. milliethom says:

    Fabulous post, Cybele! I’ve been intending to trace my ancestry, and your post a while ago ignited the idea yet again. But life seems to keep getting in the way of good intentions… Now I’m filled with renewed enthusiasm. Perhaps Ancestry.com should be the place to start…?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. yes they seem pretty good. I actually began with Nat. Geo genographic some years back and found my haplogroup. I went from there. Family tree is the less expensive test but they are not as specific. You have to remember that each company has it’s own base groups too. Anyway we are all related lol!! So glad you enjoyed the post. ( sometimes I have to go back and tweak it- my finger always presses post button before proof read ! ) 😀

      Like

  14. We all have genetic surprises in us waiting to be discovered.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. we do! and are all connected!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Sue says:

    Fascinating post, Hannah!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Wow, interesting post Cybele and fantastic image too!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Alexa says:

    I’ve been wanting to do this test for a while and you got me all excited again. Great post and pictures Cybele.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. oh do!! it’s great fun! Let me know! Thanks so much Alexa for visiting again!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Anita says:

    Fascinating, Cybele. It’s exciting to learn about one’s roots, isn’t it, especially when there’s an opportunity to go so far back into the past? ☺

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can imagine all the stories Anita!! It seems most of us are a real mix!! I only knew the basic family history but this really opens up another world Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Mark Simms says:

    Another set of great images and another great post Cyb. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. an interesting little research!! Thanks so much Mark and all the best in the new year to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. What a beautiful post o talented one! xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. glad you liked it Shehanne!! It needed a bit of editing and tweaking!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hell, show me something that doesnt’!!!! xxx

        Liked by 2 people

  21. I enjoyed the set, especially the ones that are moody and mysterious.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. So interesting, Cybele, and with glorious photos. I also imagine the peoples who trod the paths I walk (here in the US they are the Native Americans). Love to let the imagination wander with me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. yes, it’s all so wonderful to think of all the stories!! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Amy says:

    So fascinating, Cybele! These photos are stunning. The ancient forest of Nidavellir, really cool!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. paula graham says:

    I so like the symbolism in your interesting and artistic post. Lovely.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Nurul Lubis says:

    Lovely post and stunning pictures, as usual, Cybele..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you Nurul! It seems our dna shows us all to be related indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. aidymcglynn says:

    Fascinating Cybele. It must be really interesting to get the dna testing done. Shows how interconnected we all are.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. yes, that is what I thought too!! thanks Aidy!

      Like

  27. I just learned a new word — “dendrophile.” Thanks, Cybele!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m not sure if I made that up!! Apparently dendrophiliac has a rude connotation lol!

      Like

  28. Suzanne says:

    What a wonderful post. I enjoyed every word of it. I must try and find a copy of that book. It sounds compelling reading.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. it really is a fascinating subject on so many levels! So glad you enjoyed this post Suzanne!

      Like

  29. smilecalm says:

    wonderful having
    this ancestors insight!
    best 2017 to you, david 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you David! all that dna just shows that we are so connected!!

      Like

      1. smilecalm says:

        i’m hesitant to get tested
        then find out that we
        are related 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. awww! we are all related anyway!! 😀

        Like

  30. sedge808 says:

    Excellent post. Love the feet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. oh yes!! Thanks so much Gavin!

      Like

  31. Maverick ~ says:

    Fascinating and wonderful images as well. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you Maverick- it’s quite an interesting subject!

      Like

  32. sheldonk2014 says:

    This very interesting perspective
    Because the path has a story
    you take it to whole other level
    Great post Cybele
    As always Sheldon

    Liked by 2 people

    1. so very pleased you enjoyed it Sheldon! Thank you!

      Like

  33. I’m a mutt. English and Dutch on my Mother’s side, and on my Fathers, English, and Cherokee. My children got Polish and Croatian added to the mix.

    What interesting reading, and wonderful images to accompany it. I love The Path in color, and that Viking ship.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. oh indeed – I never thought I had all that!! But it seems to bring us all together I think!

      Liked by 1 person

  34. curious, I wonder why I fit in? I have mostly English heritage, but I am sure other aspects of heritage have snuck in over the years too

    Liked by 2 people

    1. oh it’s a bit of fun to do it and may contain surprises!! I guess I’m a Heinz 57 now as they used to say lol!

      Liked by 2 people

  35. disperser says:

    Interesting . . . I’ve resisted testing. I don’t want to destroy the illusion that I’m from another planet and that someday “my people” will come and get me off this rock.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. or you might be a neanderthal?! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    2. disperser says:

      If so, I did not inherit the imposing physique . . .

      Like

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