Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nerds and DNA

I'll admit it.  I'm a nerd.  And in some eyes maybe a little weird because one of my interests has been in genealogy and my family history.  It's not something I've spent a lot of time writing about here but for a number of years it was a consuming passion.  Without going into a lot of detail I am descended from four Roamn Catholic Irish convicts on my paternal Grandfathers side, from a bunch of orangemen on dad's Mum's side, and on my Mum's side a mxture of English, Scot, Irish and Australian Aborigine.

A few weeks ago I read in one of the local papers about the DNA Ancestry Project.    For a fee anyone can have their DNA examined and linked to various genetypes and the related places of origin.   For example did you know that in 5th Century Ireland there was a King called Niall of the Nine Hostages, who had 12 sons and from whom as many as three million people alive today are descended.   In fact one in every five men in north western Ireland and one in ten men in Scotland carry the same Y chromosone DNA as Niall.

For men there are two types of tests that can be done - the Y chromosone is passed down the male line from father to son, and that of the mitochondrial DNA we all inherit from our mothers and their mothers.  Women of course can only do the second test because they don't carry the y chromosone.

So at some stage in the next few months I think I will order a participation kit.  Tracing my female line should finally confirm my aboriginality on mothers side, and given Michael Joyce,my great great Grandfather, came from County Galway it will be interesting to see if I am descended from Niall of the 9 hostages.

9 comments:

Romany Angel said...

That sounds fascinating Loz. Don't forget to let us know how it all pans out.

Real Live Lesbian said...

Ok, now you have me wishin' I was a boy!

That's just damned cool.

Loz said...

I will of course dear Gypsy

Loz said...

HI RLL - if you have a brother or a male cousin on your fathers side you can still track your paternal ancestry :)

paisley said...

do let us know if you decide to go for it.. i wonder about doing something similar myself some day.....

Just telling it like it is said...

Nothing wrong with being a nerd. Very interesting...
Did you know that some men have an xyy chromosome that is usually men that are tall, most men that are professional athletes and of coarse prisoners. Hey I don't make this stuff up!

Loz said...

Gives a whole new meaning to the term "2 Dads" I guess.

Just telling it like it is said...

thehehhh...
Sure does doesn't it!

Lady Penelope said...

After researching both my and my husbands Family Tree for many - I am quite scared to see who our DNA matched!!!