This is not my gig. I’m not endorsing it or not endorsing it, just passing it along.
Karen Spencer writes-
To my Sicilian cousins:
For the past few years, I’ve been digging into my family genealogy in a big way. Through a combination of luck, elbow grease and the generosity of other family genealogists, I’ve come up with a pretty good picture of my Sicilian family. I know we lived in Terrasini or Cinisi since at least 1500. However, the more I find out, the more I want to know:
- Do we really have Phoenician ancestors?
- Is the blood of ancient Trojans refugees coursing through our veins?
- Those blue eyes and blonde hair, did they come from the Vikings or the Caucasus mountains by the Black Sea?
- What is the origin of my green eyes and RH negative blood?
We’ll never know it all, but there is an intriguing way to reach back 10,000 years to at least one or two direct ancestors.
A few of my Sicilian cousins and I are having our DNA tested for genealogy purposes. To really get a good picture of a tribe, it takes a bunch of people who know their heritages interlock. Here is why:
Female Testing: Can only trace the direct maternal line. Essentially, the mitochondrial DNA we received from our mothers remains unchanged through the millennium. So our cousins with the same maternal line have exactly the same DNA print as we do.
Male Testing: Traces both the direct mitochondrial/maternal line and the direct paternal line. Obviously, the paternal line is tested by using the Y chromosome.
There are several organizations doing this, but two stand out. They both have very large databases, are well funded and have clearly articulated missions, albeit different ones. They are also both backed by international experts in the field, and endorsed by reputable scientists. Both allow willing participants to connect with other willing participants who share the same DNA, distant cousins. All that is required is a little vial of spit.
- The testing I am using is the Deep Roots package from 23 and Me. This company claims to have the largest database with 750 maternal and 500 paternal Halogroups. The reviews are that the Deep Roots results are not only good, but also the most user friendly. They are used by PBS. Their primary mission is medical – genetic research. Additionally, they have reduced their price to $99. https://www.23andme.com/ancestry/
- The National Geographic Genome Project costs $200. It’s mission is preserving anthropological history and supporting indigenous revitalization projects. https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/
The question you need to ask yourself is, would you like to find out more about your:
- Mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s…..
- Father’s father’s father’s father’s…..
If yes – now is the time! Together we’ll be able to paint a picture of our Sicilian roots for all our families, from the Aiello to the Zerilli. Whether you are a Favaloro, Favazza or Frontiero; a Lovasco, LoChirco, Loiacano; a Randazza, Ragusa or Russo; or any of the other dozens of wonderful Italian families in town, join us!
For more on what I’ve found out using traditional genealogical research, I invite you to explore my website: http://www.karenfavazzaspencer.com/Karen_Favazza_Spencer/Favazza_History.html
Karen Favazza Spencer