Some people could care less about what shows up in their family tree. They will just sort of laugh it off with, “Yeah, I’m pretty much a mutt, I guess… A little English, a little Irish, maybe some German- I even heard there’s some Native American Indian in there too.”
But I am not one of those people.
Instead, I am Nick Shell. Therefore, I have always been fascinated by the mystery of my ethnicity.
I suppose I have somewhat of an advantage in that I know for a fact that all my great-grandparents on my mom’s side were born in another country:
Her grandparents on her father’s side were born in Italy and her grandparents on her mother’s side were born in Mexico. It’s just always been taken for granted that my mother is half Italian and half Mexican.
But I can no longer assume that every ancestor on my mom’s side was either 100% Italian or 100% Mexican. Besides, “Mexican” isn’t actually a race; as I understand that Mexicans are ultimately an ethnic mix of Native Americans and Europeans.
Over the years, my mom has reminded me of what she heard as a young girl, when she was around the Italian half of the family: “Just because we have the Metallo name and we’re Italian, that doesn’t mean that’s all we are. There’s other stuff in there too: A little bit of Greek, a little bit of French, and a little bit of Jewish…”
And before my Mexican grandmother passed away last year, she told me something I never heard her say before; that when she was a little girl, she saw family members “who had black skin and tight, curly hair.” I believe it is possible there is actually a few drops of African blood in me.
As for my dad’s side of the family, no one really knows. A few years ago, my dad received a book containing all the family tree records, but the names all seem to be predictably “WASP”: White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.
But I won’t be wondering much longer. Because as of Saturday, July 22nd, I mailed off the DNA test I bought from MyHeritage. The results should be back within 4 to 6 weeks from that day; which would be August 19th be at the soonest, and September 2nd at the latest.
As you can imagine, I am looking forward to finding out the results! No matter what the results reveal, I am sure I will be surprised…
Even though I paid $79 (normally $99) plus shipping, I see there are running a special that ends tonight, on July 31st; for just $69.
And if you’re interested in taking a DNA test like I did, here’s the link to MyHeritage.