I got my AncestryDNA results back this week, expecting they would validate what I’ve known: I’m overwhelmingly, undeniably, irrefutably black with some Native American. And that’s pretty much what it showed.
But then I saw another result, and I was literally taken aback:
It was just 1 percent, but enough to show up, and something I was not expecting at all. I had– naively and now I’m finding out, incorrectly– assumed that I didn’t have any white forbears.
I was chatting with a friend about it who wasn’t surprised at all.
“Makes sense to me,” she said. “Alabama has a lot of Scotch-Irish.”
So I looked into it. She was right. Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee– the states where my family is from– have high populations and percentages of people with Scotch-Irish ancestry.
I really don’t know how to begin researching this. But in an effort to shed light into this discovery, I took an inventory of all the surnames in my family tree I’ve been able to find, and looked up the origins:
Brown– English, Scottish and Irish
Barnes– English and Irish
Pinkard– (I’m not really sure… one search said German, another said French, another said English, and yet another said Scottish…)
Hamilton: Scottish and Irish
Going by surnames alone, things seem to add up. But there are a lot of theories and what-ifs to consider. There might not be a document I can connect this to. I also don’t have pictures of anyone in my family who was born before 1865. (On my mom’s side, I only have a few pictures of my grandparents, but no one earlier than that).
It’s all very interesting, but I’m really not quite sure what to do with it.