Mystery Author Autumn Doerr Says: Invite the Neanderthals This Holiday!

December 7, 2018

It’s the holidays and that means spending time with family. And, based on my DNA, if this were 1.8 million or so years ago give or take a few thousands years I’d be sitting with my Neanderthal kin munching on bones. I found this fun fact out after taking a DNA test. This was a surprise, but there was a greater surprise to come.

 

I was curious enough about my ancient past to send a vile of spittle to a lab because I was 100% sure I was German, French and Scottish because my mother is German and French and my father was Scottish. That was the story.

 

Why did I think that? Well the origin story of my father—a man I was not raised with—was that he was second generation Scottish. His father’s father, ostensibly my grandfather, had run away to join the circus and, Voila!, ended up in the U.S. of A. I know this sounds silly now but when I was a kid I bought it.

 

Excited to see my roots, I get the kit, spit into the vile and send off my past to the lab.

Unsurprisingly, I’m British + Irish and German + French, but *drum roll please* I’m zero percent Scottish BUT have Neanderthal! (Ok, I have variants of Neanderthal but it’s 80% more variants than other folks tested.)

 

Now that I’m over the whole Scottish thing and read more about how Scottish lands under the DNA of British + Irish, I’m embracing Neanderthal! How they can trace Neanderthal but not pinpoint Scottish from British and Irish is a mystery. But, Neanderthal makes for a better story.

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