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Susan Williamson – Ancestry

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My grandfather had a new story of our family origin every time he came to visit. The last and most famous was his claim that we were descended from blue-eyed Sioux Indians, a result of intermarriage with Vikings. My mother thought this was great fun and told everyone she was a Norwegian Indian. That was usually a conversation stopper.

My father, a Sullivan, identified as Irish although he admitted his mother was of German descent.  She was born in America but would speak German to her sisters so that the children (eight of them) couldn’t understand what she was saying.

My husband and I both did our Ancestry.com searches this spring. So my results say I am only 7 % Irish so that means the Sullivan part of my heritage wasn’t pure Irish. My DNA is 52% from England, Wales and Northwestern Europe, 12% from Sweden, 4% from Norway,  5% from France with 20%  from Germany. The Northwestern Europe oval does also include Germany.

So the Native American connection is nonexistent, but I didn’t really believe that anyway. So with a German grandmother (her mother was born in Bavaria and her father in Prussia), I should be at least 25% German. According to my brother, my mother’s maternal grandparents were Amish, which I would assume would also be German. But no. So who were the Northwestern Europeans? Dutch, Flemish, Danish, Swiss? I could be all of the above.

My aunt on my mother’s side liked to fool around with genealogy and showed me we were descended from Ethelred the Unready. That seems likely.

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