That’s not an existential question. At least, not entirely. I’ve long since been curious about the world of DNA testing. Being able to get a general sampling of where you came from. Being able to find relatives you didn’t even know you had down the street or halfway across the world.

So I got tested. The results were about what I expected; 35% African, 11% Native American, 50% European, and 4% West Asian/Caucasian. In that 50% European though, the test found a possible 9% Ireland DNA. Not completely unexpected, but somewhat of a pleasant surprise.

The real interesting part began once I started receiving messages from DNA matches. I got a message from someone in Philadelphia, ecstatic that she had finally found someone with definite Puerto Rican family on both sides and that lived in the New Orleans area. She told me about an ancestors who was Puerto Rican and lived in New Orleans.

This blew my mind. I had to explain that I only moved to New Orleans a few years prior. I wasn’t aware of any family that had moved to New Orleans. Most of my family outside of Puerto Rico lives in the usual places; Florida, New York, Philadelphia, etc.

To know that I had an ancestor that settled in the area over a century ago was eye opening. To find out that I was related through to this person to someone who had a typical English name, someone who I probably wouldn’t have thought twice of had I not known this, was truly mind-blowing.

I have one coworker who’s wife is Puerto Rican. She even lived in my same neighborhood for a time.

We’re all so much more closely connected than we realize.

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