I have always thought of myself as a ‘Borderer’ in the sense of the word originating from the old Border Marches and primarily a Northumbrian one at that. With a proven ‘pedigree’ that includes names of established regional longevity such as Grey, Heron, Hedley, and Carnaby who can blame me.
Then I got to thinking, have I been guilty of over identifying with a certain geographical area, its people, it’s turbulent past and even a certain time frame. A heinous crime indeed for a historian!
Well now I am about to embark on a journey to uncover the facts that lie hidden in my own DNA and I am going to take you with me every step of the way. In this post, as I eagerly await my results, I examine the concept of my own ‘identity’, whilst science does it bit and breaks down my genes into its component parts. The very principle at the heart of post-modernist historical thought. Simply put, deconstruct and then reassemble, so the statement ‘I am Northumbrian’ could equally become ‘Am I Northumbrian’ etc., the same words with a different meaning and context.
It only takes a short read of the daily newspaper to see the amount of conflict that goes on across the world. A large amount of this comes down to political, religious or racial animosity. Yet within our DNA is the fact we are all connected, we are all in essence, one big family. The more people get to appreciate the fact we are one, the less wars and conflicts may possibly occur. Even the way we feel about another person we pass on the street or read about can change, as we start to see everyone as equal and not different. Having seen the change in the children that have taken part in our anti-racism educations programs, it's clear that understanding your own DNA breakdown really does support a change in perception, and helps breakdown the illusion of race.
The family ancestry results can show a breakdown of your recent ancestry going back approximately 5-6 generations, however, we are not able to tell you if these results came from your mother's or father's side, nor can we tell from which generation you inherited certain percentages
If this voyage into my genetic heritage has grabbed your interest, Living DNA have offered one lucky individual the chance to win exactly the same test absolutely free of charge. All you have to do is have a guess at what percentage of my total DNA result falls within Living DNA’s geographical definition of ‘Northumbria’.