Who Are You ?

I have collected the updates for my DNA autosomal test. I still find it screamingly hilarious that I have 1% Andean DNA, from South America. The other 5% North American Indian not too surprising since my grandmother’s family was Metis. It is also great fun to compare with other members of your family. In my case that would be my brother who is a year and a half younger than I. For part of the year we are only 1 year apart. The initial test showed us to have about 5 nationalities in common but now it has been refined down to only 3. He has more English DNA, more native and less French than I and no Scandinavian. So, in effect we are getting to know each other even better than before .

I recently reunited with a long lost cousin. We found that we had much more in common than one would have thought. She was from my father’s side of the family and it was a great comfort to at last find someone who had so much in common with me. You can imagine a childhood where one side of the family is from the opposite culture, French and British. Thank heavens people are more culturally aware now. When I was a child, I was constantly pushed between the standards of the two, particularly where religion was concerned. I believe I am among the many people who were glad when there parents finally separated, just to escape their families!

I have had some communication with people who have DNA matches with me but we don’t seem to be able to find the common ancestor. Hopefully one of them will do that because I don’t really have the interest in it. I just like to read and write history.

I am still thinking about my family and the American War of Independence and whether any were involved in it. I listened to the podcast on Maple Stars and Stripes about finding that out but didn’t find it too helpful. One could just go through to find out where your ancestors were living at the time.

I enjoyed the series “Turn” about Washington’s Spies but found the book quite dull so I decided to watch “John Adams” , the story of the second president of the United States. Paul Giamatti was absolutely amazing in his portrayal of the man who would eventually become president after Washington. It is one of the few movies in which the trials and disappointments of a person were so palpable.

It is sad that two neighbouring countries know so little about each other and even perhaps share a certain animosity bred out of that ignorance. I suppose Canada maintaining close ties with Britain did not help. We are still a young country after all.

Journal May 9

I thought some may like to know “my other life”.  I am an ESL tutor who works with Korean children and also a volunteer tutor to a young Cambodian woman and her 8 year old son. I learn from these experiences every day.  There is so much to learn about people from other countries. Some may know the horrible history of Cambodia’s genocidal war.  For my student, life goes on and  her attitude belies the grim realities she has faced. Somehow, she retains a type of innocence and finds joy in the simple things. She is raising her son strictly and he is a joy to teach. I in turn, find my own kind of joy in helping them navigate this “strange new land”.

I have become hooked on the history of the American Revolution thanks to the series “Turn” and am now trying to navigate the book, Washington’s Spies, The Story of America’s First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose. Somehow the books are seldom as entertaining as the series but you get more insight into character and circumstance. My interest naturally turns to my Beauchamp ancestors again and whether any of them were involved in the war. I listened to a podcast at maplestarsandstipes.com, a French Canadian Genealogy resource for Americans which gave me some ideas on how to track possible connections. I will be looking into that.

I decided that it would be more expedient to upload the information I have on my family to ancestry.ca in lieu of writing a book about it for the time being, so that I can get onto what I want to do, write historical fiction with my family as a base. That is just a little harder than I had thought simply because I am not the most organized person in the world and have 10 years of files in hidden places on my computer. It has had a cathartic effect on me simply because it is bringing some order to my records. Ancestry will also make a simple story for you about your ancestor though not a good as Family Tree Maker.

I have had some inquiries and notices related to the DNA test I did last year, a few of which I have no idea what the person is talking about. I suppose I could do something about transferring data to gedmatch but somehow distant cousins aren’t as fascinating to me as they should be. Can you tell I am not a science geek? I do however appreciate that “with age comes wisdom” and many things in my life are beginning to piece together and gel, though I am not sure I will ever completely understand my relatives!

There will be more updates to come just so you know I am still alive… Cheers, Yolanda