Monday, March 13, 2017

DNA, Sicilians, and Circadian Rhythms.

Morning Person. So Right.


This blog is about the 1910 era, for the most part. Or it got started that way.  It is about my husband's mother's Hebridean Scottish ancestors.

These people, crofters or farmers,  were cleared from the land in the 1800's so that the owners could raise sheep.

They came (often reluctantly) to Canada, the US and Australia.

My husband's Isle of Lewis ancestors, the Macleods and the Nicholsons, arrived in 1838 and 1851 respectively. It has been well chronicled. Well, the Nicholsons went to Skye first.

It's also well understand the Lewisman were pretty pure people, their genes unsullied since 800 years before, when the Norse landed on that outpost of an island. They were hardy people, these Lewismen, famous for good health and extraordinary longevity among the women. (I guess that's about natural selection. They lived on fish "haddie" and oatmeal and blistering sermons, these people, in harsh, treeless conditions.)

I write this because I lately got my DNA tested, for fun, and I am not sure of the results. I am supposed to be half French Canadian half North of England, but according to my charts I have a lot of West Asian and Aegean Islander, either Cyprus, Malta or Sicily. (I think it's a Sicilian great great grandmother. Name Maria Savaria.)

These algorithms don't know what to do with French Canadians, apparently, who are almost entirely from France.

I've sent for a kit for my husband. He's half Scots and has English/Irish (maybe Welsh) on his dad's side.  His ancestry should be clearer, although it's all a bit of pioneering exercise. Just for fun. (See my last post.)

 I just  learned you could upload your file to other platforms. I did a couple of medical ones today and it came out polarized, some things so right and some things so wrong.

One site was running a very preliminary program that measures circadian rhythm. I was asked if I was a morning or night person. I am famous for being a morning person. In the past, I wrote my best essays at 5 am.

Well, the chart came out (see graphic above) bang on. I am more morning than almost any others in their database.

I did the test for eye colour and it came out probably blue. I have dark green hazel eyes.

That was fun. I entered my info into another medical database that links a person's info with articles.

It came out that I was 99% likely to be blue eyed. Wrong again.

But, my genescape does tell me I have straight brown hair. Right. And a gene I have suggests I can metabolize caffeine. No kidding. I drink pots a day and sleep like a baby.

Apparently, I have multiple genes that may guard against Alzheimer's, the disease my blue-eyed father died from, the disease that ran in his family, through his mother's Cumberland side.

But, I have a heightened risk of breast cancer.   Well, my aged mother died of  breast cancer, as did her sister at 50, a much younger age, but in the 1950's.

It's early days for this influx of very intimate info. Sometimes I wonder what use it will be put to, good or bad, commercial or ideological.

Myself, I'm just trying to get through this long, cold winter and I don't like cellphone Majong.

Remember the line, "Technology is neither good nor bad." Well, I wonder what  1910 eugenicists, mostly Protestant Scottish types in Canada like my husband's ancestors, would have done with all this DNA.

How confused they would have been to learn that a gene for good  long term memory is also associated with schizophrenia. I have that 'worrier' gene.

It served me well at exam time many decades ago.

Well, I can guess what they might have done. They might have tried to find defects in the darker races, like Sicilians, many who settled in Montreal - which is why I have this Sicilian blood.  (Maybe.)

FEAR OF IMMIGRANTS: Ontario's 1911 Hygiene Text had a final chapter on Eugenics, or 'choosing your mate.' This was likely Carrie Derick's doing. She was Education Chair of the National Council of Women.


Here's everything on my blog I've written about eugenics - and Carrie Derick, McGill Botanist who was all for this Jukes Edwards studies that proved that 'goodness' was inherited.