This week the media is reporting on the “anniversary” of the COVID pandemic. Reporters are interviewing people, asking how they survived, if they’ve had a dose or two of the vaccine, what they expect from the future. I felt a thump in my chest and tears came to my eyes. I wasn’t feeling sorry for the strangers, I was feeling sorry for myself – not that I’ve had it hard compared to many. We have food, shelter, security, but I miss my life from before the distancing, before the masks, before the shutdowns came and went and came again. You too?

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A while back, a friend shared her DNA testing results.

“The results were full of surprises! You should do it.”

She’d sent her sample into Ancestry. I decided on 23andme.When I received my results, I was disappointed as there was not much of a surprise. The results indicated 99.8% Irish and British ancestry.

As new DNA research results are available, they update the web site. This week, I logged on and there is more specific data based on the last 200 years of my ancestry.

For me, there’s a map of Ireland which shows the Cork region having the strongest evidence of my ancestry. This is no surprise as I know the Harrigan family immigrated from there, my photo The Harrigans of Bangor Maine includes my great-grandfather George who was a son of Michael of Cork whose first steps in the new world were in New Brunswick. I found the family in the Canadian census – for his father, in the “race” column, it says “Irish.” I don’t know what race it would list for people arriving from Ireland these days.

As for Great Britain, it’s the Greater London area the ancestors hail from. Which ancestors were there within the last 200 years? They would be on mom’s side – a Clark or Maddock ancestor.

I did finally receive my surprise. The latest results show a probability of DNA that is 0.1% Coptic Egyptian. A tiny percentage, but it’s there. I don’t know which side that is from but now it’s time to dive into researching the Copts.

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