BY RAUL HERNANDEZ
In Solvang, California, a few years ago, I found out that I could be related to the Vikings. Later, I learned that I could also be Italian, African and maybe, Siberian, through Google research.
There is this place in Solvang that sells family coat of arms plaques. I bought the Hernandez family coat of arms, decades ago and gave it to my mom and dad.
First of all, trying to find out about my ancestors was like draining an alligator swamp with a bucket and covered with A-1 Steak Sauce: “Where did my great grandparents come from?” I’d ask relatives on my mother’s side. “You know, we don’t know because we never asked,” was the resounding reply. My father was an orphan when he was five, and he and his siblings were raised by an aunt. So that went nowhere fast.
Recently, I saw a commercial for Ancestry.com where a woman says she has Spanish ancestors and now through DNA testing offered by Ancestry.com she found out she was French or Scottish or something like that. After doing the research, I laughed at the DNA offer because it seemed bogus.
I’ll explain later.
Anyway, I walked into that store in Solvang and did some research on my mother’s maiden name: Carreon. I got some information, and learned that this name came from Normandy. Carreon is also derived from when the family having lived at Cairon in Calvados in Medieval times in Normandy, France.
I got this from these links: House of Names along with Geni — https://www.houseofnames.com/carreon-family-crest and https://www.geni.com/surnames/carreon.
Then, I did more research and found out that the Celtics inhabited Normandy, which was invaded by Romans and Franks, and endured Raids by the Vikings and other tribes. By the way, the Romans who founded the cities of London, Vienna and Paris were in 32 modern-day countries for about 600 years.
So I could also be Italian, and my ancestors were probably slaves because the Romans made slavery into a lucrative business.
“Julius Caesar, having captured a town in Gaul, sold on the spot the entire population of a district of the place to the salve traders who accompanied his army. Once all were counted the slavers walked away with no less than 53,000 people,” according to Roman-Empire.net.
In those days, there was a lot of pillaging, plundering and so on and so forth.
Click Here to Learn About Roman Empire: Roman History
Also I might be African since the Moors, who were from Northern Africa, settled in Spain, Portugal and Sicily for hundreds of years, according to All Empires.com. The Moors were also hired by the Romans as mercenaries.
It gets more complicated.
There were other empires in Europe. They were: Celtic, Viking, Spanish, Portuguese, French Colonial, Byzantine, Russian, Third Reich, and British.
In addition on my father’s side of the family, anthropologists say indigenous people could have walked from one continent to another.
This is the Bering Straight Theory, which says some Native Americans could have migrated from Siberia, which is in Northern Asia, to Alaska across a land bridge about 20,000 years ago and eventually, these tribes ended up in South America while, through the centuries, tracking large animal herds.
So on my father’s side, I am Mexican Indian (Aztec, Mayan or some other indigenous people) with Spanish roots as far as I know.
DNA Monkey Wrench
In the U.S., we check off boxes to indicate race: Hispanic, African-American, Asian or Native America, and of course, Pacific Islander.
It is argued, however, that even these races are not accurate classifications of individuals, according to Reference.com
But, bam, check out this DNA monkey wrench:
“Traditionally, people have been racially classified based on their appearance. It was assumed that people with similar physical features shared a common ancestor. Human genome testing, however, has established this is not necessarily true. Scientists point out that the DNA of many Europeans is no more similar to each other than is the DNA of Europeans and Africans. Additionally, the American Anthropological Association asserts that of the three currently accepted races, European and Asian are actually subsets of African, as human beings have inhabited the African continent for the longest amount of time,” according to reference.
Africa, Not Me
Apparently, some people take the news that their ancestors might have come from Africa real hard
This month, students at Texas State University walked out during an anthropology class because the professor said “all living people are descendants from Africa,” according to Snopes.com in a story published this month.
Back to Square One
It’s back to square one for me.
After more research, I finally was able to traced one of my ancestors (see photo on the right).
This I know from the photo and archeological findings. I probably would not have posted my early, early, early ancestors’ mugs on Facebook. Also I found out to my dismay that I might have been related to — wait for it, prehistorical cannibals.
Wooow. It was disturbing.
Seriously, check this out:
(NEWSER/Published July 2016) – Neanderthals appear to have had quite the appetite for, well, one another, at least according to findings by researchers at the University of Tübingen in Germany.
Reporting in the journal Scientific Reports, they say that an analysis of 99 new Neanderthal remains from a cavern in Belgium that date back roughly 40,000 to 45,000 years “provide unambiguous evidence of Neanderthal cannibalism in Northern Europe.”
What’s more, they add that in the period immediately before they died out, there was “considerable diversity in mortuary behavior.”
In other words, for reasons that can only be guessed, Neanderthals of the not-too-distant past skinned one another, sliced into their bones, and even extracted bone marrow, reports UPI.
I could live with my ancestors eating frog legs, horse meat, rodents and even grasshopper enchiladas. But barbecuing someone else’s loved one, now that is a real a game changer.
Now, I know why my relatives never really kept track of our ancestors – you really don’t know what is out there unless you go back far enough.