Yes, I love to spin a good Genealogical yarn, I’ll tell you. I have been doing this for a lot of years. My interest piked when I ran the Genealogy Department for the Preble County District Library. That was in the mid-1990s. Once I started poking around for our patrons, I became curious about the good stories which might be stored in my past.
I mean, our “clients” would come in and I would find amazing tales of Bank Robbers, and War Heroes. There would be “lost gold” and Indian riffs. The Patriotic folks that helped “forge” our country were in their trees. And then there were those lucky few who came on that prestigious first boat. The Mayflower.
My eyes would go WIDE with the possibilities which I could “find” in MY family’s past. So that is when, and how, it began. It was probably around 1993 or 1994. I got my shovel and I started digging.
Every time I would find another ancestor, on both my Mom’s and my Dad’s side, they would be all of the below:
2. Arriving in the U.S. in the early 1800s.
And that was it. No antics. No war heroes. No Blue Bloods. Just German Dirt Farmers. I did find ONE guy who served in the Civil War. This was great, I thought. The Civil War Pension files in D.C. were loaded with information. So I wrote away for William Kronenberger’s. It turns out, he was discharged from the Union Army for Chronic Diahrrea. Not quite epic for the the next Netflix Miniseries.
So for years, I have since dabbled here and there. It is fun to go back and explore those people who are responsible for my two feet, firmly planted on this Earth.
And then the DNA deal started. I was skeptical and leery at first. But I figured Big Brother knows everything about me already. So. What’s a little bit of my DNA? Plus, if they reproduce me through cloning, they will quickly recognize that they made a serious lapse in judgement.
So I spit in the test tube and away it went. Twice.
I did this at both Ancestry, and 23 and Me.
Well, big surprise. I am German. I have about 9% Scandinavian mixed in, but the rest is German / Northwestern Europe. Yeah. German Catholic Dirt Farmers apparently stick together.
But here is the most interesting thing. In 23 and Me, they let you in on your “Neanderthal Factor.” And it turns out, that I am. Ha! A big honking Neanderthal. NOW, when someone says to me, “Kronenberger, you are just a Freaking Neanderthal!” I can respond with a “He!! YES.”
I have 278 Neaderthal Variants in my make-up. That is more than 53% of the rest of the population surveyed through 23 and Me. So, I had to explore this further.
And here we were. Neanderthals. Archaic humans. Great-great grandma Neanderthal became extinct about 40,000 years ago, according to science. Females were about 5 feet tall as adults, and those girls weighed about 150 pounds. Squatty. Stocky. Probably pretty hairy. But get this big Neanderthal FACT. The fossils were found in a limestone quarry near Düsseldorf in the Neanderthal, Germany.
Does anyone have a Weinerschnitzel handy?
Suddenly, I sense a little Schadenfreude in the air.
So, as sure as there are stars in the sky, there is German in my Genes. As Uber-Boring as it may be, it seems to fit me just right. Ausgezeichnet!
We don’t see things the way they are. We see them the way WE are – Talmud.
How you do one thing, is how you do everything. — Unknown
You’re at the zoo, you have a popsicle, how can you be unhappy? – Dewey, Malcolm in the Middle.