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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Genealogy and Immigration - Republicans and Their Own Ancestry

Before creating daunting immigration policies intended to undermine the political influence of America's newest citizens, US Republicans might consider figuring their own individual genealogical ancestry.  As individuals and as a group, they will undoubtedly find surprises in their ancestral DNA, the genetic building block of life.  Genetic discoveries should be a reality check to mitigate onerous immigration policies.

Human migrations with racial mixing has overcome eons of taboos and societal norms, now documented through DNA testing.  

In other words, immigration regulations that Republicans are debating, designed to suppress Democratic voters who might be immigrants, is a waste of time, especially considering the surprising diversity of our own origins.  

Genealogy research is becoming increasingly fascinating, as biologists determine the particular origins of certain human genetic markers in our DNA, known as the building block of life.
Although genealogy is typically traced via a series of often complicated charts, saliva testing now determines evidence of ancestral migrations going back thousands of years. 

Two prominent world leaders have fascinating genealogies atypical of their apparent racial status.  

Prince William of England is Caucasian, but he is now reported to have a genetic marker relating him to a Southeast Asian woman.  

President Barack Obama is an African American whose mother was an American Caucasian and father was a citizen of Ghana; yet, Mr. Obama's  genealogy includes an ancestor who was born in Ireland.  

England's Prince William has Asian ancestry.  

Genetic testing from Prince Williams's mother's lineage, a male cousin of Princess Diana, shows the second in line to the British throne and, therefore, future King of England, has a genetic marker from an Asian woman in India.

London (CNN) -- Britain's royal family has long been taunted for its German roots, but now a more exotic lineage can be revealed after evidence emerged indicating that Prince William is the direct descendant of an Indian woman.

The Duke of Cambridge's maternal lineage was revealed on Friday by a genetic ancestry testing company, BritainsDNA, which carried out tests on the DNA of Princess Diana's two matrilineal cousins and compared them to a global database of samples.

Genetic tests reveal that the prince's fourth great-grandmother was the daughter of Eliza Kewark and Theodore Forbes (1788-1820), a Scottish merchant who worked in Surat, north of what is now Mumbai, India.  


Kewark's mitochondrial DNA -- which is only passed on from mother to child -- was then passed down, the company says, through the couple's daughter and female descendants, one of whom, Frances Roche (1936-2004), married Earl Spencer and bore a daughter, Lady Diana Spencer, the prince's mother.

Jim Wilson, chief scientist at Britains DNA, told CNN the discovery means "William probably has a very small amount (of Indian DNA), maybe half a percent will be of South Asian heritage."



President Obama has even more than a genetic marker, as his family tree in Ireland is well researched and his ancestry is documented.

Barack Obama's Irish family tree is traced to the 17th century. Shedding light on his earliest known relatives, researchers from Trinity College Dublin and Irish Origins traced Obama's family history much further back than ever before. Obama's earliest known relative, his 6th great grandfather, was a member of a family of wealthy wig makers who included an Irish politician, Michael Kearney. (It was said that 'no man alive was equally fired with ambition'.) 

A wonderfully entertaining literary example, describing the futility of protecting ancestral purity, is in the writings of American novelist James Michner.  His novels about the American experience are entertaining and historic, while the basis of his 1948 Pulitzer Prize winning Tales of the South Pacific and, much later "Texas: A Novel" emphasized the ridiculous practice of limiting racial (eventually, therefore, political) diversity.  A reader can consume thousands of pages of Michner's novels and come away with one succinct message - ie, diversity happens!

Although genealogy is fascinating and fun, the political reality is that, who we are today, is the result of ancestors who overcame eons of taboos against racial mixing.

Logically concluding, the intention of creating daunting anti immigration policies into the United States, with the purpose of deterring migrations from South America, Latin America and Mexico, are wasted efforts. In fact, if all geo-political systems were equal, it would make sense for Americans to be migrating into the Southern Hemisphere countries.  It's almost counter intuitive to see migrations moving north, rather than south, but Latin American countries have centuries of unstable political histories.

Since economics drives a good deal of human migrations, in every direction, it's a fact that human diversity will follow.  Therefore, Republicans should find the origins of their own genetic tree before creating cruel laws to try and change human nature.

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