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Assorted flavors of cracker

My dad recently has taken an interest in ancestry and genealogy. I think it has something to do with my mother’s death and a desire to preserve family history. He has made an elaborate chart of our family, both his side and my mother’s side, on Ancestry.com, partially thanks to other people who have listed our family members and allowed us to connected them to our tree. It’s been interesting; though most of my great-grandparents were peasant immigrants who arrived in America around the turn of the century whose ancestors we know little about, my one grandmother was a descendant of a family that can be traced back twelve generations to Ireland in the 1700s. And we learned those people existed because my dad found them on the site.

The site also offers genetic testing to tell you what your genetic pedigree is. It maps your genes and tells you where in the world those genes were thought to originate going back thousands of years. We decided to do that after we saw the results of a test my paternal grandfather took. He’s a first-generation Italian-American and conforms rather strongly to the stereotypical look. We were astonished to find that though he is mostly genetically of the Italian-Greek strain we’d expect, he was many other things we didn’t realize— he was about twenty percent North and Sub-Saharan African, for example, as well as a small fraction of Iberian, Persian, and Caucasian. (This makes me laugh to think of my racist British-American great-grandfather, who didn’t want my grandmother marrying my granddad because he didn’t like Italians. HOW’D YOU LIKE THAT HE’S ONE-FIFTH BLACK TOO SO SUCK IT.)

Mine and my dad’s tests came in too now. This is me:


And this is my dad:


Look at me. I am NINETY-THREE PERCENT WHITE EUROPEAN. Whiter than my dad, although interestingly more Italian than he is, when he visibly conforms to the visual stereotype of one. People tend to think I look WASPy, which is funny because despite my dad’s big chunk of British I got almost none. And of my mother’s family, who was Italian on one side and white and Asiatic Russian on the other, it seems I only got the Italian! We were making jokes about me being found in a space pod in a field until Ancestry.com confirmed the genetic relationship. I’m weirdly disappointed. I have a Mongolian great-grandfather! My dad’s dad is twenty percent African! And I end up assorted flavors of cracker.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 15th, 2014 01:43 pm (UTC)
Did your paternal grandfather Anglicize his name in the US to avoid anti-Italian stereotypes?

(Between the name and the looks, I read you as very WASPy, indeed.)
Sep. 15th, 2014 02:17 pm (UTC)
My great-grandfather, his dad, did! His birth name was Francesco Misovano, which he Anglicized to Frank Roberts. We are fairly certain he did a favor for a gangster back in the south of Italy-- may have even killed a man --in exchange for passage to America. So the name change may have been in part so he couldn't be connected to that crime.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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April 2017

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