I recently celebrated a V.I.B. — a very important birthday. 😉 In celebration of the event, I asked for one gift: A DNA kit from Ancestry.com to determine the lineage of the person that I am.
It’s not that I don’t know the probable ancestry of most of my bloodlines. Lots of English, Irish, some German, and French Canadian. But there is a lingering question that birthed years ago when my grandfather shared that one of our “great-greats” was the first white child born in Indian territory.
Whenever a family member brought up our heritage, I mentally grabbed the words and stored them in my memory banks. Something about family history has always intrigued me.
That piece of information from Grandpa Mueller was re-ignited when I worked nights at the hospital. It was my custom to drive home after a busy shift and have some oatmeal at the dining table before settling down to rest. This one day proved different: As I switched on the TV with sleepy fingers, the Today show was playing. I sat down to eat, barely paying attention to my comfort food when I heard it: My father’s voice.
Suddenly wide awake, I focused on the television to watch an interview with the chief of the Winnebago tribe in Wisconsin. You may have already guessed that this was the homeland where my father grew up, where he was a descendent of a white child born in Indian territory, according to my grandpa. Was this a half-caucasian child?
To look at photos of my dad and his two brothers, there are many traits that seem to shine with Native American features. To look at me, I very much resemble my mother’s side of the family with my light hair and skin.
But I could not get the memory of hearing my dad’s voice coming from that Indian chief. The deep resonate quality was unforgettable. I have wondered about my heritage ever since.
On this birthday, I decided to put my questions to the DNA test. So I spent my birthday morning spitting into a test tube and mailing the solution to the lab in Utah where they examine the DNA of countless curious citizens who wonder where their cells had their beginnings.
I can’t wait to get the results.