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Feb 18, 201412:07 PMAfter Hours

with Jody Glynn Patrick

Catching up: DNA surprises and a move!

(page 1 of 2)

In a recent blog, I explained how I discovered, via DNA results from a genealogical inquiry, that I likely had two unknown sisters. Inspired by my experience, my husband, Kevin, then submitted his spit for analysis, and we learned the results of his heritage check today, when he was also notified of a second-cousin match filed with Ancestry.com.

Kevin believed his family origins were German, though I managed to trace both of his great-grandparents back to a predominantly Jewish settlement in Russia (Germany was actually a relatively brief stop in its migration pattern). Coincidentally, the family relocated in Germany (Prussia) at a time when Russia clamped down on Jewish inhabitants. Provided this information, Kevin said he was raised as an unchurched, unaffiliated American of German descent. His first exposure to religion had been a yearlong Christian Bible study class, taken at my urging. There had never been a connection mentioned to Russia, though it struck him as ironic that I would raise that flag, given that he’d chosen to become a Russian linguist and translator while in the Navy.

The Patrick family, like most Western European families, is confusing to track. Kevin’s great-grandfather anglicized the family’s foreign-sounding surname when he entered the U.S., fearing immigrant discrimination. Kevin’s own father made sure to bless his children with Irish first names to further “fit in” — naming the sons Michael, Duncan, Sean, and Kevin Patrick. None of the men look even remotely Irish, though Kevin can affect a pretty passable accent on a whim.

Perhaps a fear of persecution ran a little deeper, to the cellular level. The results are in, and even with all of the diluted bloodlines through marriages, Kevin’s heritage remains 25% Jewish. How fascinating is that to learn!? Certainly this open doors to new lines of self-discovery for him, at the same time that I’m still finding my way with new sisters and newly discovered birth family information. He’s about to have a born-again non-Christian experience, while I’m embarking on a born-again-as-a-“Nelson” journey!

Moving on

I mentioned in another blog that we purchased a house in central Illinois last October with the intention of retiring there in five years or so, after rehabbing it to our design and fancy. The relocation delay was due, in part, to Kevin’s desire to fully acclimate before leaving his “real life” behind (I have family in that area, having been raised 12 miles from the new house). Surprise to us all — due to a very skilled contractor cousin and my OCD personality and flair for building, the house has just been completely remodeled! We’ve done everything except for exterior repairs and yard work, which will be undertaken in spring.

(Continued)

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About This Blog

IB Publisher Emeritus Jody Glynn Patrick blends work and life in this very clear departure from her other writing for In Business magazine. Awarded national recognition for both her previous work as a newspaper columnist and her journalistic leadership at IB, she brings us all back "Closer to Home" with her insights and remembrances. A nice place to be "After Hours." Check back often!

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