'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Friday, December 16, 2005

Gene Blues- Cousins Jim 2

Last week I gave blood. Just a little (not a biscuit rewarding armful) but blood nevertheless. Newcastle Uni are doing a study requiring DNA sampling of people in West Cumbria who can trace their parents being born in Cumbria and their parents and their parents (that's 8 isn't it at 3 gens back 2:4:8? yup). As luck has it the Ren ancestry goes back 13 gens (in Cumbria) which equates to 8,192 possible great great .... grand parents (whatever they would be called). In 1598 the population of West Cumbria can't have been much more than a couple of hundred so is it any wonder we have a few cousins knocking about.
I turned up at the blood letting ceremony to discover my cousin in charge of the sampling needles (haven't seen her for years) and on more than a nodding acquaintance with everybody in the room. As I walked out I overheard cousin Jeff asking cousin Len if there was any chance of finding out who his father really is 'cos he's fairly certain that the bloke my mother lives with (my cousin Jim btw) isn't. ... and another thing my mother looks a lot like the woman taking the blood he said .. but she says she's never met me before!

12 Comments:

Blogger Nick said...

Well that pretty much rules me out (a great-grandfather came down from Clackmannanshire in the 1840s). I'm slightly baffled by this 3-generations thing: the great dislocation in ancestry is the coming of the railways (if you're white - the slave-trade if you're not) which probably means 4 or 5 gens back for most West Cumbrians (the Maryport & Carlisle was very early). Would be interested to hear more about this though . . .

16/12/05 12:44 pm  
Blogger Viking Longship said...

Renman,

Are you sure your not from Broughton Moor???????!!!!

16/12/05 2:01 pm  
Blogger RenMan said...

VL
Good point about BM. Actually my mother was from Broughton Cross and her mother from out Gilcrux (pr: gilcrewss) way. Some of the Johnstons gota as far as Brigham

16/12/05 5:09 pm  
Blogger boudica of suburbia said...

My fathers always talking about getting something similar done. Well more of an ethnicity test really, I don't think anyone in Cumbria will be needing one of those. Was it very isolated?!

So yes, The Test. We are aiming to find out whether my father has Mongolian/Persian blood lurking in his system as my brother and himself are a bit "foreign" looking, not out of the question really as Ghenghis raped and pillaged most of the Eastern Bloc. Should be interesting.

xxB

16/12/05 11:37 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

B: we Cumbrians are a bizarre mix. Scots, Irish, Manx, Vikings, a lot of Cymri (our name's the Romano-British word for 'fellow-countrymen'), a very little Anglo-Saxon & a bit of 16th century German. Probably some bits of Genghis Khan's DNA as well for all I know though there are some parts of my hometown he'd have been well-advised not to even think of invading . . .

17/12/05 1:15 pm  
Anonymous Eric bloodaxe said...

I would guess too some genes from the roman occupation. The Daltons do illustrate the inbreeding, locally.

17/12/05 7:04 pm  
Blogger RenMan said...

The Daltons?? Please explain

18/12/05 11:58 am  
Anonymous Eric bloodaxe said...

John Dalton, and his brother where completely colour blind, a condition now known as "Daltonism", they were born a few miles from aspatria

18/12/05 3:33 pm  
Anonymous Eric bloodaxe said...

Ps This John Dalton, was an early chemist, of some fame,( Not a druggist).

18/12/05 3:35 pm  
Blogger RenMan said...

Ah that Dalton.... cousin from Eaglesfield .. responsible for the Atomic Theory ... and the eventual setting up of the Nuclear Industry in Cumbria

21/12/05 5:20 pm  
Anonymous Eleanor said...

Tracing back to the "old country" is a quite a pastime over here. An it's online industry of some note as well. A company called ancestry.com actually advertises their paid services on television. Not immune, one of my Minnesota cousins tracked my father's folk back to the 1400s in Sweden. It seems many of them were clergy, an amusing factoid for those of you who know me! The other classic American ancestry attitude tracks on my maternal side. No one is talking... many name changes in the 1st and 2nd generations, and reported fires at the state capital even. It's not even clear where exactly they came from, even though my mother was first born generation over here. I'm not color blind though...

23/12/05 1:20 pm  
Blogger RenMan said...

Eleanor: I think most of the reason for most of us not having strange ears and pink eyes is the 'your fathers not your father but your father don't know' thing. Most of the people I think of as REAL cousins probably aren't. My grandmother's mother never married and neither did her mother I can only guess at the father(s) of their children. My father's grandmother also never married and she had 3 sons who had sons who had sons, me being one of them, If she had have married then I wouldn't be a Dawes. Rumour has it either a Walker or Wordsworth. There is a bust of William Wordsworth outside his house in Cockermouth. My grandson thinks it is me.

23/12/05 3:16 pm  

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