Genealogy

I was thinking about names just now, as one does when one is 37 weeks pregnant and has no idea who the little person inside might be, and observed that nearly all of my favorites are English in origin. And I thought to myself, well, the children are more English/Scots than anything else. And then I sat down to work out whether that is true.

They are unquestionably 1/4 Sicilian, my father being full-blooded and only second generation American. (Sadly, his grandparents settled in Pittsburgh and all culture from the homeland was lost in a single generation. It is on my life list to reclaim a little of that culture by learning to cook in Sicily. But that is another story.)

Another 1/4 is completely unknown, because Will’s father is adopted and knows very little about his biological parents.

My mother is a European mutt, mostly Dutch on Grammy’s side and lots of English/Scots on Grandpa’s side. I know there is a little French in there as well, but no clue how much.

Will’s mother is mostly English/Scots and I think Irish as well (don’t quote me on that). I am not aware of any non-island heritage on her side of the family.

Not counting the unknown, we have approximately 3/8 British, compared to 1/4 Sicilian and <1/8 Dutch. Will’s dad could easily knock the Brits to second place if he is at all Sicilian (or Dutch for that matter, if he is at least half). He could, however, easily be black Irish, which would obviously make the children like 400% British.

But considering Sam’s favorite meal of sausage, apple, and bread (not to mention Grandad’s preferred beverage of vodka), it seems likely that they are also 1/4 Russian.

16 thoughts on “Genealogy

  1. Mary

    December 14, 2009 at 9:23am

    37 weeks?! Already? This has went fast from this side. I’m sure that has something to do with the fact that I didn’t have the morning sickness, fatigue and have to chase a toddler while pregnant.

    You’re going to leave the name choices a secret, aren’t you?

  2. nova

    December 14, 2009 at 9:23am

    I think the Sicilian should get a few extra points and be in the running for name choices. ‘Course, I’m biased. Where in Sicily is your dad’s family from?

  3. Lars

    December 14, 2009 at 9:35am

    Who cares? What does country of origin have to do with anything, unless you think acquired traits are inheritable? And British doesn’t mean anything–they could be English, they could be Welsh, they could be Germans who moved to England.

  4. Annika

    December 14, 2009 at 9:39am

    Mary–yes, but I was thinking I’d post some of the names we won’t be using. (Also, it went fast for me too.)

    Nova–we wanted to name Sam Giancarlo but it just sounds silly with Klein. I think they’re from a village just outside Palermo, but of course pretty much all of Sicily is just outside of Palermo.

  5. Annika

    December 14, 2009 at 10:01am

    Lars–I care, you jackass. Because it is interesting. You only get one asinine comment approved, so if you feel the need to speak up again try being polite.

  6. Jessica

    December 14, 2009 at 10:02am

    My daughter’s last name is Scottish. But, as far as we know, she doesn’t actually have any Scots blood–my husband knows nothing about his biological father and our last name is his adoptive father’s name. Daughter’s first name is English/French which, again, we are not.

    It’s funny to see how the ancestry comes through, though. Her favorite foods appear to be pizza, pasta, kielbasa, and pierogi. Funny, as my husband’s mother is Italian and Basque and I’m half Slavic-mix (Ukranian, Lithuanian, Russian, probably some Polish for good measure). We live in fear of this child’s future temperament…

  7. uccellina

    December 14, 2009 at 10:09am

    At least you know the baby isn’t mostly Scandinavian. Judging by a sample size of Lars, those folks are jerks.

  8. JulieFrick

    December 14, 2009 at 10:18am

    Um, judging from the millions of people who fly flags, cook dishes from the old country, raise their children to be bi (or tri-)lingual, live in neighborhoods close to people from their original national heritage…

    Oh, Lars, you are so silly and wrong.

  9. Nana

    December 14, 2009 at 10:29am

    And your name is Swedish, so what does that say??? Woof.

  10. Nana

    December 14, 2009 at 10:31am

    Oh, I didn’t see Lars’ comments, so I wasn’t thinking of what he said, just that the European Mutt and Sicilian liked a Swedish name (though it is also Dutch if you spell it Anneke…)

  11. Ellen B.

    December 14, 2009 at 12:12pm

    I’m almost 100% Ukranian/Russian combo. We have lots of good ol’ Russian names in our family. Here are some excellent female ones: Natasha, Luba, Aleksandra, Galina, Katya, Vera, Zina, Zoya.

    I suppose my Mom and Dad wanted to veer away from ethnicity when they named me and my brother….typical baby boomer names: Kenneth and Ellen!

  12. Katherine

    December 14, 2009 at 3:26pm

    I think it’s fun to figure this stuff out – my family is fairly homogeneous, Norwegian on my mom’s side and Pennsylvania Dutch on my dad’s. It’s only in my parent’s generation that they married outside of the ethnic groups, so we’re all mutts now. Our names kind of reflect that, too.

    My grandmothers always insisted that we’re just “a bunch of (damn) Yankees.” I suppose they are mostly right.

  13. Amy

    December 14, 2009 at 4:49pm

    Most of my Italian relatives have Irish names. Most of my Irish relatives have French names.

  14. Shelby

    December 14, 2009 at 7:40pm

    There was so much movement through the British Isles that you can end up quite a mutt just being from there. I have Italian in me from the English side of the family!

    Would you consider a traditional naming convention? Following the same pattern you used to name Sam?

  15. Annika

    December 15, 2009 at 5:15am

    Shelby–I’m not sure what naming pattern you mean! Waiting two full days? Naming him after his great-great-grandfathers?

    Incidentally, to everyone who has pointed out how little British means, I know a lot more details than I’ve posted here. My mom’s side of the family I can trace back to at least 1066. (OK, my sister can trace it back and I can bug her for details.)

  16. Gwen

    December 18, 2009 at 2:46pm

    Sausage, apple, and bread would not be an unfamiliar meal in Holland, either. Although there would probably be cheese as well. :)

    I’m half Dutch (technically there is German/French on that side as well, but my mom and her siblings really are just Dutch), 1/4 Austrian, and 1/4 English/Scottish/French/Swedish mutt. I got the English/French first name (my sister got a Dutch one), the Austrian last name, and what appears to be 100% of the Scottish genes. Nobody else in my family has freckles or reddish hair. I love this stuff. :)

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