Undeniably, my mom’s MyHeritage DNA test results were all over the place: Literally, all over the globe. It took a lot of ancestors from a lot of different places to get my mom here… and me, as well.
So now that we know my mom’s ethnicity mix (as well as half of mine), let’s take a moment to assess the situation by asking this question:
Can you see the following ethnic backgrounds in my mom and me? These are my mom’s MyHeritage DNA test results:
32.9% Central American (Mayan/Aztec)
22% Iberian (Spanish/Portuguese)
15.2% Sephardic Jewish (via Spain)
14% Middle East/West Asia (Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Palestine and Georgia)
2.6% Baltic (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia)
2.0% West African (Benin, Burkina Faso, the island nation of Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the island of Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Príncipe and Togo)
It could be easy to say, “Well, you’re barely African.”
True, I am only 1% African and my mom is 2%. But without that one African ancestor, somewhere in our family history, even if it were nearly 200 years ago that they became part of it, my mom and I would cease to exist.
Granted, I’m not claiming to be an African-American. But at the same time, I can imagine how my 1% and my mom’s 2% would have been a whole different issue back when “The One Drop Rule” was still in effect in America. After all, I have “one drop” of African blood in me.
I am proud of every bit of my DNA.
It’s especially interesting that my mom and I are nearly equal parts Jewish and Middle Eastern.
From the best my mom and I can figure, this is how it happened:
Her Italian grandfather, Giuseppe Metallo, who moved to America from southern Italy, was barely Italian; which explains how he had an Italian name and only spoke Italian, yet why my mom only showed up as 4.5% Italian. Instead, I theorize he was actually mostly Middle Eastern; with a little bit of Italian and Baltic thrown in there.
He married Maria Vite, who was a Sephardic Jew whose family had moved to America from Italy, as well. (Vite is derived from Vitalli; a Sephardic Jewish last name.)
So in theory, my mom had two “Italian” grandparents, one of whom was mainly Middle Eastern and one was mainly Jewish.
I think that’s just fascinating.
Some people could care less about their ethnicity, but I am not one of those people.
Instead, I think it’s one of the coolest things in the world.
And if you’re interested in taking a DNA test like I did, here’s the link to MyHeritage.
One thought on “Mixed Race: What Does a Person Look Like Who is Mayan, Aztec, Spanish, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Greek, Italian, Baltic, and West African?”