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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

What am I?

My Rook grandparents, probably mid-1920s
Given my lifelong interest in all things historical, I've been gobbling up information from one of my cousins who did a geneology DNA test. We share my maternal and her paternal grandparents, and the main name, Rook, dead stops in early 1800s Kentucky. Did someone reinvent themselves under a new name? Anything is possible. It certainly happened. Or are there records out there waiting to be found? Time may tell.

Anyway, like everyone, we like to think of being related to someone important, don't we? I mean, my maiden name is Spencer. I figured if there were any big names to be found, it would be on that side of the tree, but so far, no one that I know of has gotten that far with any research. My Rook cousin, however is going at it like mad, and I'm so glad she's sharing it with me, just because I find it, well, interesting. Not to mention the zillion plot bunnies it's got running around through my head.

While the Rook line disappears, one of the maternal lines off of that takes us way, way back. There's a connection to the Adams family of Boston (Presidents would be my many-many-times cousins.) from there we go back to England and tie in with the rather famous Cromwell clan. Oliver (mostly remembered as a bad guy) would have been a cousin, but going back to the time of Henry VIII, his advisor Thomas Cromwell, (who like so many people close to Henry wound up headless) is a fascinating character. He's my 18th generation direct ancestor. What does that mean statisically? Basically 1 in (2 to the 18th power), or 1/262144 of  my genes could come from him. Hardly significant. Just--interesting.

Going even further back, I'm apparently a descendent of Emperor Charlemagne of France, meaning, even more amusing to my sense of humor, his father Pepin the Short. I'm 5'0". Seems appropriate.

me and my mom, 1990s
Also, we'd always been told there was some Native American in the family. Well, it seems not. Romany and Jewish, yes. No idea where the Romany ties in, but the Jewish names pop up in the 17 and 1800s. So that's cool, though I'm kind of disappointed about the (assumed) Cherokee. No Irish, which I always thought was a big component, but a bunch of German and Dutch and Scottish I had no idea about, and way more French. Parlez-vous francais? Oui, mais un peu, seulement. (I speak French but only a little.) Frankly I can't wait to get a test run myself. I'm sure about English, Irish and French on the Spencer side, but we'll have to wait and see. Oh, the plot bunnies! Better than the one who brings chocolate eggs!


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Paris said...

Oh what an interesting journey! I love researching and being able to share with a cousin would be fabulous. Once again, you started me on my love of steampunk with Steam and Sorcery. I absolutely loved your Gaslight Chronicles :)

Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction, blogger at Handbags, Books...Whatever said...

I have a dna test on my desk, a Christmas present, and I haven't even opened it. I find your journey fascinating.

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