The Unique Sound of My Ancestry

Late last year, I spit into a test tube and submitted my DNA to Ancestry.com, curious to discover the origins of my ancestors. A few weeks later, I got the results back. As more and more people have tracked their ancestry this past year, by submitting their own DNA, the better the company has been able to refine the results.

The Unique Sound of My Ancestry

Updated Ancestry

Recently I received updated results that better define the regions of the world that my ancestors came from. England, Wales and Northwestern Europe comprise my greatest ethnicity, followed by Ireland and Scotland. These regions appeared on my first set of results. However my updated report listed several new regions while eliminating low confidence areas. The newly added regions included Germanic Europe, Sweden and areas in Central Africa that include Cameroon, Congo and the Southern Bantu Peoples.

I am in the process of exploring my heritage through the Ancestry website, creating a detailed family tree. I’m back seven generations and excited to learn more about my diverse background and the many unique individuals that contributed to me being the person I am.

The Unique Sound of My Ancestry

The Sound of Ancestry

Just this past week, a marvelous opportunity was presented, through a partnership between Ancestry and the online music streaming service, Spotify. They create, for free, an eclectic playlist of songs inspired by each participant’s origins.

I could choose up to five regions, which is precisely the number I have, and Spotify selected four representative songs per area. This is such a clever idea…and I adore cleverness.

I immediately accepted this gracious invitation and submitted my regions to Spotify, who then created a playlist that uniquely captures who I am.

The Unique Sound of My Ancestry

Inspired by My Ancestry

I spend quite a lot of time in the car. The last few days I’ve been listening to the Unique Sound of My Ancestry as I drive. From African chants to the English group Duran Duran to German jazz, my car is filled with a blend of music that is indeed as unique as I am.

I am enchanted. My heart beats faster and my eyes fill with tears. I am beyond grateful for such a beautiful gift.

And I am inspired. I’m inspired and moved by music that represents my heritage, and I am inspired and motivated to not only learn all I can about each of my regions, but to visit them as well.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “Music is the universal language of mankind.”

The world is speaking to me through music as well, and it is a siren call, an invitation. My heart and soul are responding.

The Unique Sound of My Ancestry

In My Blood

If you know me well, or visit my home and look at the art on my walls or study my vignettes, one thing you learn about me is this: I feel a strong connection to Scotland. Believe me, I will take opportunities to travel to anywhere in the world, because I love exploring new places. One country though feels like home, every time I visit…Scotland.

I am a Lauderdale by birth, a name that has connections to Clan Maitland in Lauder, Scotland. I have known that part of my ancestry story since childhood. Recently I decided to order a kit through AncestryDNA, spit into the test tube, and see what larger story my DNA told. I got the results back.

Here is the breakdown of my ethnicity:

I am quite a mix of European countries, with a bit of Asian South, which includes the modern day nations of Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, and a smidge of Caucasus, which includes the nations of Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan.

I am primarily of English, Scottish and Irish heritage, with ancestry connected to Spain, Scandinavia, France, Italy, Greece and Wales. It is no surprise that I am strongly Celtic. Ancestry provides pages of information about my story, including maps that show how my family migrated across Europe and then to the Virginia area of the US, before settling in the Midwest.

The maps and pages of text accompanying them helped me to understand my 44% Europe West. That region includes France and Germany. I do have some French ancestry. It is also where the people who became known as the Celts originated. The Celtic People expanded out and eventually settled primarily into the areas known today as Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

My DNA confirms what my heart and soul already knew, instinctively. It explains why the sound of bagpipes makes tears come to my eyes and why Scotland feels like home. It is home. It’s where my roots are. It is the place that calls to me continually, and Edinburgh is my favorite city in all the world.

Thirlestane Castle in Lauder, Scotland, home of Clan Maitland. Pic is from their Instagram page.

I am looking forward to learning more about the rest of my heritage. I’ve only just begun to sort through all the information available and according to Ancestry, I have more than 1,000 DNA matches that are 4th cousins or closer in relationship. That’s a lot of new family members to reach out to and get to know.

I’m excited about visiting as many of these regions as I can, knowing I have ancestors who lived there, loved there, and that some journeyed on to new places. I want to return to Ireland and England. And always, there is my beloved Scotland. I will go home as often as I can. It’s in my blood, after all.

Visit Ancestry.com HERE if you would like to know your DNA story!