I think I finally figured it out

Published 12:36 pm Saturday, March 13, 2010

I’ve been asked the question dozens of times, and I’ve always answered the same way.

“I’m a mut,” I tell people, when I’m asked the origins of my ancestors.

I think I’m part German with a hint of Norwegian and perhaps a little bit of Irish and maybe some Scottish thrown in.

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All I know is I’ve lived in the United States all my life, and I enjoy learning about the cultures of other nations, sampling their foods and visiting their cities when I can.

St. Patrick’s Day is this week, and I’m ready for my annual binge of corned beef and cabbage. Perhaps I’ll even order a Guinness or two and see if they still make a Shamrock Shake at McDonalds.

And now, for some reason, I am more interested than ever in finding out the origins of my ancestry. Maybe it’s because the Olympics were a few weeks ago, and I was fascinated with all the different countries — from Slovenia to Belarus to Denmark.

Or maybe it’s because my girlfriend knows without a doubt that she is half Irish, and one quarter each Norwegian and German, and I feel a little left out not knowing what I am.

It’s not that I can’t know; I simply don’t know.

I know the conversation has come up from time to time and that my parents have discussed it.

But for whatever reason, I don’t remember, and I think that now that I’m in my 30s, I should find out for certain, for me and perhaps so I can tell me kids some day.

The easiest way for me to find out is by making a simple phone call, of course.

“Hi dad, it’s David.”

“Hello David,” he says. “How are you?”

“I’m doing well, but I have a question.”

“What’s that?” he says.

“What’s the origin of my ancestry?”

“We’ll I don’t know what part, necessarily,” he says.

“But on my side, your great grandparents came from Norway and Germany. On your mother’s side, your great grandparents were from Scotland and England.

I also learned that some of my relatives came from Wales, and that despite what I first had thought, I’m not Irish at all.

So after more than 30 years of not really knowing for sure what I am, I have finally figured it out.

I’m a mut.