Apparently today has been A Day… a day in which I find the names of my direct ancestors until the late 1700s. I cannot express what that has meant. I have been smiling for hours. I have been using openarchieven to find out all my maternal ancestors. These are digitised records. Not word of mouth, but the official records.
Quite overwhelming. I have never, I mean never had any information going back further than my grandparents. Once I had my great grandparents names, that’s when I was able to find them. We are all working class. Plasterers for about 4 generations I think, a few domestic and civil workers, before that typesetters and finally a master wig maker. And we all, I mean all live in Arnhem and Nijmegen! And my wig making ancestor? Active in the late 18thC. So. Really really really intense wig work!
That side of the family ends about there. On my mothers mother’s side we are all over Nord Nederlands and the south.
It really has been incredible. Especially the day after ANZAC Day which I have no family ties to. My family was all in Scotland and the Netherlands. I am connected through living here. This is my home.
But apparentlty today is also National DNA Day USA? Same date (April 25) not day as ANZAC. But this has been a day where DNA has brought a criminal to justice 22 years after his last crime and 42 years since his first.
I started my University days fully intending to become a forensic scientist. So I started with chemistry and physics and then focused on Biology- basically anything a cell produces down to DNA. At the time there were no formal courses. You got your BSc and then applied for a certificate to complete (I think it was a year long?) It wasn’t until later I realised what this would actually mean. Forensics is primarily used to solve crime. No matter the outcome, as a forensic scientist you are either at a crime scene or in a lab dealing with physical evidence. Or involved in a court case. Or writing up findings.
If I were not sick, if I had that chance to have studied and worked in the field I think I would have. I can’t say for sure I would still now be.
So today has been a day of deep introspection. Weirdly enough via the concept of DNA.