Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Celebrating My Neanderthal Heritage

According to 23andMe, my DNA test results show that I am 3% Neanderthal.

The common perception of Neanderthals is of a brutish, warlike culture. People with very rugged features and a posture that was not quite erect. Because they never developed a cohesive society, we think of them as wild and savage.

So why celebrate?

New research has taken a new look at their attributes and culture. They were creative, innovative, and loved music. They simply loved to fight – even among themselves. They were curious and inventive. They traveled. “Think of a tribe that was 100% ADHD and bipolar — no stability — complete and utter madness.”[1]

At the same time Neanderthals were in Europe, the group called “Modern Humans” were living in Africa. They were the original hunter-gatherers. Physically they were more modern looking than the Neanderthal and had a more erect posture. What they were not was creative and innovative. They were very stable. Change came very slowly to their society

Apparently it was the interbreeding between Modern Humans and Neanderthals that gave us the best of both cultures that we enjoy today.

This article: Surprising Way Your Neanderthal Genes May Affect You is what inspired this post.

The DRD4 7R gene has been thought for some time to have a Neanderthal origin. This gene is also known as the Wanderlust Gene or the Adventurer’s Gene. About 20% of people carry DRD4 7R. It has been tied to curiosity and restlessness[2]. People with this gene like to explore new places and things, to take risks, to create and innovate. I love it!

On the other hand, research has also linked this gene to ADHD and to bi-polar disorder. Well, you can’t have everything.

As for me, I’m curious about everything. I want to know how everything works and see what’s beyond the horizon. Am I inventive or innovative or creative? I’d like to think so.

So I am celebrating and loving my 3% Neanderthal.

Other References

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A couple of very useful blog posts

Since I have no new content of my own this week, here are links to some useful posts.

Here's some help for preserving our digitized photos and documents:
Future Proofing Digital Photos and Documents

Links to maps.  (I love maps)
5 Types of Maps Every Genealogist Should Know

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A to Z Challenge – What I learned

  •         It is possible to blog every day. (But it may not be practical)

  •        Having a prompt like the Challenge does make it easier to come up with a topic.

  •        It is not necessary for every blog post to be deep and pithy. Sometimes little snippets are all you need to let folks know that you’re still around – as long as they are pertinent to your blog theme.

 This has been an interesting and enjoyable exercise. Even when I struggled to come up with a topic, I managed to post something.  As a master procrastinator, I find it all too easy to put off writing when I’m short on inspiration. 

I won’t continue posting daily, but hope to keep up the momentum to post more frequently as long as I can stay on topic.

Friday, April 29, 2016

A to Z Challenge – Z is for Zero

Zero is the number of ideas that I have for a topic for the letter Z.

I like to visit the zoo. Zebras are fascinating animals. I’ve never been to Zanzibar so I can’t write about it.

Z (or zed, if you prefer) is just the end of the line – at least for this A to Z Challenge. It has been a worthwhile exercise.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A to Z Challenge - Y is for You

You have encouraged me to complete the A to Z challenge. Without readership, I might have given up when I had to think hard to find a topic to match the letter. You kept me going.

Thank you all.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A to Z Challenge – X Marks the Spot

Where did your ancestors live?  What do you know about it? What does it look like today?

Using Google Earth with Street View and Google Maps, you can visit your ancestral villages.  Here are some my Xs in Poland as shown by the yellow push pins in this Google Earth image.

In an earlier blog post I discussed using both Google Earth and Wikipedia to explore your geographic roots.  Here's the link.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A to Z Challenge – V is for Verify

It is so exciting to find a family member in a database!  Perhaps you find a gem in someone else’s online family tree, or an ancestor’s name pops up on a passenger list, or birth or death record.  WOW!

However tempting it may be to take what you find at face value, it is important to verify all information. Check everything you can check.




Do your best to make sure that you’re not following a false positive.