Thursday, September 06, 2018

Little Dutch Girl

I am of British ancestry.  I was brought up by a mother that identified herself as British.  My grandfather was first generation American of Welsh/English immigrant parents.  I was told I had beautiful, English skin (whatever that is).

Then why would my grandmother refer to my mother as "my little Dutch girl"?  Towheaded, blue eyed, fair complected little child whose hair flipped up all the way around like -- a little dutch girl of advertising fame -- is that what made her a little Dutch girl?

She wasn't Dutch -- or was she?

Let's go  back  about 30 years ago.  The interest in genealogy reared it's ugly head and I was bitten by the bug.  My mother wasn't a whole lot of help, to be honest, although she tried.  Her mom's family was a bit of a mystery.  Her grandfather was really not a part of her life and she only had snippets of info about him.

His name was Banta.  My aunt swore he was Hispanic.  My mother decided he was Basque.  Clearly they didn't know and were playing the guessing game.  This was before I was involved with anything online so I was guessing right along with them.

Grandfather Banta is the tall, slender gentleman in the back seat of this "car".  He doesn't look stereotypically Dutch, does he?  That is probably because he takes after his mother, the Choctaw Indian.

I digress.

So, moving right along to DNA testing.  I had mine done.  It was exactly what I expected and then not so much.

The American Indian never showed up unless you do some really in depth searches.  I was looking for possible Jewish links -- again, not there unless you REALLY look.  So, what did it look like?

Europe West46%
Great Britain28%
Ok, yeah, I got it -- All that British connection -- no surprise there!

But, I was ignoring the elephant on the page.  I had 46% Western European DNA connection.  I knew I had a great-great grandmother from Germany on my dad's side but I didn't believe that connection would account for 46% of my ancestry.

So, I started exploring -- oh, it isn't just Germany -- it is, in large part, the Netherlands.  Hmmm......

The Banta's are from the Netherlands.  How could I possess so much DNA from somebody I only knew of but had no connection to? That is a tad creepy to me.

So, I have been doing some reading on The Netherlands.  While I still think of myself as primarily British ancestry, I am totally engrossed in learning about the lifestyle of my Dutch family, my roots.

Is this why my favorite flower is the tulip?  Is this why my hair flips out in that very annoying way -- like my mother's did?

Is this why my grandmother called my mother "her little Dutch girl"?  While my grandmother never knew her father, she must have known his heritage and she must have seen the genes in her daughter.

Oh, yeah, the DNA test also said I have Viking blood.  Could that explain my temper?  Probably.

So, I am going to continue learning about all things Dutch and figure out how much I identify with it.  I doubt I will ever lose the totally ingrained feeling of being British but how much fun are tulips and wooden shoes -- we are from Friesland.  Need to read up on Friesland.

And maybe I shouldn't mind the flippy hair so much.  It has meaning.