Past-Forward: A Three-Decade and Three-Thousand Mile Journey Home...
I am a DNA dead-end. The journey of a genetic signature that originated tens of thousands of years ago and wound its way through the ages, the eras, the centuries and generations of my maternal ancestors to fuse into my being at the moment of my own conception ends with me. Maternal DNA, called... show more
I am a DNA dead-end. The journey of a genetic signature that originated tens of thousands of years ago and wound its way through the ages, the eras, the centuries and generations of my maternal ancestors to fuse into my being at the moment of my own conception ends with me. Maternal DNA, called mitochondrial DNA or MtDNA, is passed by mothers to all their children, male or female, but only daughters can pass it on to the next generation. That means that the MtDNA passed on by mother to daughter for thousands of years remains the very same MtDNA. Mine is the same as that of my great-great-great-grandmother, Delia Merryman Hough who lived and died in Ireland in the early-mid 1800s and it is the same as that of her great-great-great-grandmother. The river of MtDNA that originated in some ancient time tens of thousands of years ago flowed forth down the generations thrusting off tributaries that spawned streams, those streams giving birth to delicate rivulets, each carrying the seeds of MtDNA to succeeding generations. Whenever a woman does not give birth to a daughter, she becomes a DNA dam, a DNA dead-end....like me. The universe is full of twinkling MtDNA stars and every day some of them burn out. My maternal DNA was one of many hereditary gifts given to me by my ancestors including my dear grandmother Kate. Kate survived a sad and turbulent childhood at the turn of the twentieth century in order to make that gift which resulted in my safe, secure childhood, starkly different from her own. The eighteenth century German writer Jean Paul Richter wrote: "Memories are the only paradise from which we can never be expelled" but there is another side to that coin: memories can also be a prison that we must escape.For more than thirty years during Kate's life and after her death, I struggled to research her family lineage and history, piecing together tiny fragments, chasing elusive clues, determined to discover her "story" and dilute her painful
Publish date: January 22nd 2010
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Pages no: 156
Edition language: English