Thursday, March 30, 2017

Border Reivers and Wall Builders

Maybe it wasn't the Normans in 1150. Maybe it was the Romans, the soldiers posted in Northumberland, building Hadrian's Wall, about 2000 years ago.

When I got my 'ethnicity' estimate from Ancestry about a month ago, to learn I was, perhaps, 18 percent Italian, (some Tuscany, some Sicily) I was very perplexed.

But, I soon learned these 'estimates' are from thousands of years ago.

Since my mother is 100 percent French Canadian, I soon figured out that, maybe, those Italian genes come from the Normans.

Most female French Canadian pioneers came from Normandy and the Normans ruled over most of Britain, Northern France, Southern Italy and Sicily and a bit of Turkey.

See this pic.

I am following up and doing my mother's MT DNA, following my maternal line back in time. I already know that my 10 times great grandmother is one Francoise Boivin from Haute Normandy, a Fille de Roi, who took a 1668 boat to Quebec to marry and have 10 kids.

If I'm right, her grandmother was a Rodrigue and that's a surname from Brittany - by way of Spain -as in Rodriguez.

Well, who knows.

So, if my Italian genes don't come from my mother,where to do they come from?

My father, whose ancestors, the Forsters and Nixons, were Border Reivers, the people who guarded the English/Scottish border way back when.

When I was young, I recall asking my father why he didn't pick a few rocks from Hadrian's Wall, which was right near where he lived as a school kid.

He only laughed. "Why would I?"

My father's ancestral stomping grounds, from the Pennines to the coast. I have yet to find a sure cousin connection on Ancestry. I have plenty of French Canadian connections, though

There were Nixons in Carlisle in the 1500's, where my dad lived in the summers. A stretch of Hadrian's Wall is nearby.

Now, I've read that many British men have Italian DNA... I've also read the opposite... Apparently, the Romans who came to Britian to build the wall (and they stayed a long time) thought the Britons were less than human, like monkeys or something.

But, I guess that didn't stop them from inseminating some of them.