I'm not much into "ink" but this is a work of art.
My brother-in-law asked me recently whether I thought the services that do DNA testing actually did anything or just made stuff up. (He’s a conspiracy theorist so this did not seem out of character for him). I replied that I was sure that it was really performed.
A few days ago a Facebook “thing” claimed that it could use your facial features to predict your DNA percentages. So, I submitted my cover photo, but accidentally submitted a picture of my shoe. I got a complete breakdown in which I was mostly sub-Saharan African. When I submitted my actual photo I got a much more reasonable mix. We have no record though of any Russian or Native American heritage.
If I had not submitted my shoe picture first I might have lent more credence to the “shocking” revelation.
I began to really wonder about those “swab your cheek and send a DNA specimen” sites. Who checks behind them to see what they are actually doing.
Some questions asked in a scholarly article were; whether the testing is appropriate for the claim, whether the results are accurate, the implications for the results, the legal ramifications, and whether direct to consumer testing is something that should either be highly regulated or stopped.
The conclusion: “The DTC genetic industry currently offers a diverse range of services, which vary widely in quality. Some of these services can be beneficial, but the usefulness of many of these services to consumers is questionable. Many tests for susceptibility to complex diseases are not yet standardized, and this has led to both scholarly and regulatory scrutiny. What has received less attention is that many tests for non-health related purposes cannot perform in the way that their purveyors' websites claim.”
My grandfather claimed to be 93 when he died. Born in Kansas, he was buried in Washington County, Oklahoma near the little town of Ochelata. Many of the headstones in the cemetery bear the name Roe, so it appears that at some point my great-grandfather (born in Michigan) must have relocated from Kansas to Oklahoma.
My middle name is my father’s; my nephew’s and was thought to be my grandfather’s. It turned out that there is no evidence that he had a middle name. We thought it was Allen. Other distant cousins thought it was Jerome.
We think that Allen was my grandmother’s creation. She was odd and readily rewrote history. After she and my grandfather separated and she relocated she went by the title of the Widow Allen. We can’t find any relatives on her side named Allen. We do know that her parents were immigrants, she was born in Wisconsin, her mother was Irish, and her father spoke German. We also know that her family was part of the land rush into Oklahoma in 1889. We think she was 12 or 13 at the time, and though she claimed to have been the little girl who fired the pistol that started the land run, that might have been imagined. I would like to think it was true.
My grandfather spoke of running a general store with his brother in the Indian Territory. That may have been true, but he would have been about twenty when the land rush occurred, considering that his tombstone says that he was 89 and not 93 at the time of his death.
Neither of my paternal grandparents had birth certificates. They were born at home at a time when the census takers merely recorded households as “John Smith, a wife and 4 children.” Given the fact that my grandmother’s father was given to moving farther west every few years, and that they lived in a sod house at one point, it is likely that they were not included in any early census records.
My great-grandfather Roe’s household was included in several census records. My grandfather’s mother died young of some illness and my great-grandfather remarried, so the census records had his second wife’s name on the record by the time the records became more detailed.
What we are left with is family lore, few real records, records that may be unreliable, and a good imagination.
My grandfather and father were estranged so I have little lore about him. My father, when asked about his father’s side of his family would reply, “They were a bunch of horse thieves.” I’s more likey to have been true of my grandmother’s side.
My mother was an avid genealogist, and had extensive records about her family which she cross-checked with relatives, courthouse records, cemeteries, family bibles, and correspondence. Her records go back to the 1700s, but there isn’t much lore before the early 1800s.
When you begin turning over rocks you may find centipedes.
My mother’s father’s father made a living as a horse trader, and may have actually been a horse thief. If so, he was never caught. Centipedes.
A white supremacist had his DNA tested and found that he was 10% African. More centipedes.
A young black woman from the Gulf Coast found that she was mostly white, more Choctaw than African, and had no North African heritage which she imagined accounted for her light complexion. She was dumbstruck, and more importantly, left without a story that she felt she could be proud of. Scorpions.