I’ve been reading more about the DNA testing the Genographic project is doing. Apparently my own DNA swab will only tell me about my mother’s mother’s migratory history. Which kind of sucks because I want to know the aboriginal history, and my maternal Grandmother is totally white!!! So if I want to test my three other recent ancestors, I have to coax DNA samples out of my Dad, my Aunt or Grandmother on his side, and my Grampa or Uncle on my mum’s side.
But Gramma’s side is interesting too. She’s a Lennan, by way of Scotland, she was a first generation Canadian. Lennan is not a misspelling by the way, and apparently one of the reasons the name is dying out is because government officials and teachers keep trying to replace it with a more English sounding variation, like Lennon. John Lennon, incidentally, might also be related to my Dublin ancestors.
Dublin. I was surprised. But there you have it, the name comes from Ireland, and there was a Scots-Irish marriage in our history. We also have an Orangeman way in the past. The irony of that is that my Gramma’s Anglican, which is also known as the Church of England, or could also be called Catholicism Lite.
My contemporary Scots relatives live in the small town of Wick in Northern Scotland.
Lennan, in the original Gaelic spelling, was Ó’Leannáin. And then, well you know, the English wanted something they could say. Kind of like my real Cree family name, which was actually just one individuals name, is Kiskicici, but got turned into Cuthand. Cuthand is a mistranslation, because the literal translation of Kiskicici is Frozen Fingers. We didn’t even have last names normally, that was a product of colonialism. And Frozen Fingers wasn’t my great grandfather’s adult name, that was his baby name, which normally got changed into something else later on depending on his individual personal history.
Genetic ethics. Did you know some of your genetic material is patented? Some of the controversy around projects like the Genographic project is bioprospecting. Currently the gene pools of Iceland and Estonia are patented. Here’s a clip from the Corporation on gene patents.
My favorite scene from Trainspotting, on Scottish Nationalism.