Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Only 8% Irish?

As everyone that knows me knows, aside my passion for vintage photography and photography in general, genealogy is absolutely fascinating to me. My genealogy is fairly straight forward, I've been able to trace all branches to my family tree to the 1800s, and some even as far back as the late 1700s, and I am still in Italy. There is no " I am 1/4 this and 1/8 that" for me, I am 100% purebred Italian. There are some mysteries though... like the famous heirloom ring that my cousin has, supposedly my aunt was given this ring who belonged to my great-grandmother, my father's father's mother, and which has been inherited from the 'female' branches, which would mean at one time it belonged to a gal, my great-great-great-grandmother whose name was Lucia Callegari, born in the late 1700s. I did find a Lucia Callegari born at the same time in some castle in Austria but I don't know if it's the same person. That part of Italy at that point in time was part of the Austrian empire, so... hmmm? I would need to head back to Italy to research further and find out more. Another mystery that might take me out of Italy is from my mom's side. This beautiful woman in this picture was my maternal grandmother's mom, her name was Carolina Ariano. Supposedly, either her family or her husband's family was from Montenegro, which is an absolutely breathtaking area on the Adriatic sea, north of Greece, which used to be part of the former Yugoslavia. Of course I have nothing to substantiate this claim by my uncle, who is only retelling stories, but that side of the family is very dark hair/skinned, so it would fit, who knows?

Keeping this in mind, the genealogy of my children is something I am also quite interested in. Nicky's dad genealogy is also simple though, his mom is Italian (born in Italy and all) and his dad's family moved to the US in 1938 from Checkoslovakia, in a village that is now in Slovakia. So... Nicky is 25% Slovakian and 75% Italian. Done. Connor though... holy mamma.... I call Greg my mutt because... well, that's what he is, a mutt. The former wife of one of his cousins did his dad's genealogy and it's quite extensive. I was able to expand on it and find tons of records from censuses, but the results are as muddy as ever. Poland, Germany, Ireland, Spain, and many branches we can't even trace back to Europe, although with last names such as Crabbe, Simmons, Bowen, Medler & Stanley, my guess is that they belong somewhere in the UK or Ireland... no? Greg's mom's genealogy is a little simpler, but only from her mom's side. His mom's parents came to the US from Poland in the early 1900s, so his mom is 50% Polish. His grandpa's side though is probably as American as apple pie, who knows where they all come from originally, I can't trace anything back to any other country. I am 'assuming' Anderson is a Swedish last name, but all the other last names involved seem once again either from the UK or Ireland. We have Aldrich, Whitmore (Jacob Whitmore was a Doctor in the mid 1800s in the New York area!), Culver, Clark... one lonely little branch, which would be Greg's great-great-great-grandmother was born in a little city in Ireland called Waterford. Her name was Eliza O'Rourke and her dad was Michael, born there sometime around 1775.

So, what does this all mean? I broke it down in percentages. Greg is 37.5% Polish, 12.5% German, 8% Irish, 1.6% Spanish and... a whopping 40.6% is 'unaccounted' for! Okay, the most unreal thing to me is that he's only 8% Irish. I don't buy it! Greg is covered in freckles, especially on his shoulders and chest, and that is an Irish or perhaps Scottish trait if I ever saw one, even Connor has little freckles on his nose, so there must be more "Northern Europe" going on which in my view takes up probably a BIG chunk of that 40.6%.

My little Connor, hence, is 50% Italian, 18.75% Polish, 6.25% German, 4% Irish, .8% Spanish, with 20.3% unknown, most likely "all" Northern European.