Leiden, Netherlands: Pilgrims’ Base For 20 Years Before Boarding Mayflower

Americans rarely think of their personal fates tied to ancient history, but DNA reports and access to new databases tracing ancestry far into the past can change perceptions of who Americans are. Fourteen generations before me, one of my oldest known ancestors was Simon Symonson, born in Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands in 1510, according to Ancestry.com. He died... Continue Reading →


How Accurate Are Genealogical Records?

My DNA analysis suggests Swedes, Vikings, Northern and Southern European, including from the Iberian Peninsula in my ancient past. And about one percent of my DNA comes from sub-Saharan Africa. My oldest recorded Buie ancestor, Archibald Buie, was born on Jura in 1640. But according to Ancestry.com records, he died in Midlothia (Edinburgh, rather far... Continue Reading →

Descendant of Divine Hags?

In the Gaelic mythology of ancient Ireland, Wales and Scotland, a cailleach was "a divine hag, a creator deity and weather deity, and an ancestor deity." More. My sister, Ann Buie Loomis, has discovered that one of the caelleach's local names was Bui, and she was associated with the great passage tomb Knowth (Cnoc Bui).... Continue Reading →

Invisible History of the Human Race

"The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures," by Christine Kenneally. NYT Review by David Dobbs:"...The book would stand strong on its weird factoids alone. For instance: In Europe, the inheritance of surnames became common in the last 200 to 900 years, depending on country and culture,... Continue Reading →

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