Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Roots - Native American Indian Blood?

If I could go back in time and know my ancestors, what would I discover? Not having the facts, I've sometimes wondered if I have any Native American Indian blood. And if so, how much?

I know this isn't possible on my father's side of the family. His mother was born in Switzerland, and his father came from England.

But what about on my mother's side? My mom grew up in a large Mormon family in McGill, Nevada. Before her parents passed away, I met them several times. Her mother didn't seem to have any Indian features. But her father.? Maybe. He looked as though he might have some Indian blood in his background.

So I searched Google to see what I could find. Sure enough, my mother's mother had no Indian blood. Her father was born in Bradford, England in 1861. And her mother was born in Logan, Utah in 1863. But that great-grandmother's father was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1835, and her mother was born in Clackmannon, Scotland in 1844.

My only possible link to Indian ancestry had to come from my mother's father. But his father was born in Birmingham, England in 1867, and his mother was born in Tilney, England in 1869.

And so now I know for sure. There's not a trace of Native-American blood in my veins. I'm 1/8 Scottish, 1/4 Swiss, and 5/8 English. Those are "my roots." Which boils down to a great big SO WHAT.

I was born in Wyoming to American parents, which makes me 100% American.

I've been working on creating who I am for more than 60 years now, and that project is still underway. "My roots" contain only mildly interesting information. My mother and father influenced my early development, but my earlier ancestors had nothing to do with it. "Roots" may be a big deal to some people, but they have nothing to do with who I am today.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength . (Permission to use photo purchased from


Sarcastic Bastard said...

My great-grandmother on my dad's side was full-blooded Chippewa/Ojibway. Dad and his brother look Indian, but I look very English--fair-skinned, light haired, with a little touch of red.

You have good roots. Edinburgh is one of my favorite cities of all-time. It comes right after Savannah on my list of places I'd love to live.

Love you tons,


Kathryn said...

Denny, I found your article interesting. I work for a DNA testing company and I just wanted to share a link with you in case you are ever interested in finding out more about your ancestry. At DNA Consultants we analyze your results and compare the results to other populations world wide. Find out more at Kathryn Watkins