Archiver > BLACK-IRISH > 2005-07 > 1120602286

Subject: BLACK IRISH & Native American Phenotypes
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2005 18:24:46 EDT

Dear Ramona & Laurie (& list),

Ramona... being a Genetics major, you ought to be able to explain how
DNA is used to trace ancestry a lot better than I did!

Laurie... the Anthropology teacher I spoke of earlier said that my
"Mongolian eyelids" (lid has an extra fold) AND "shovel-shaped incisors" are
commonly found in people of Irish and German extract due to the Mongolian
hoards invading & interbreeding with Europeans. So these, and some of the other
traits you listed, aren't found strictly in Native American people. In fact,
this teacher never even asked me if I had any Native American blood.

I also have some of the other traits you list. I grew up hearing that a
longer 2nd toe means one is descended from royalty! I also have "a wider
space between the big toe and second one" and a slightly "crooked pinky finger."
My mother had type 2 Diabetes, Osteoarthritis, and Thyroid problems.

Here's my mom's geneology:
Maternal grandfather = Scot-Irish (Magee)
Maternal grandmother = pure Irish (Lally). This is the branch I'm
researching now.
Paternal grandfather = pure German (Mock)
Paternal grandmother = we assume English (Martin), although I discovered in
my recent research on Ireland that there's a Martin Clan there too.

JUST FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT, there WAS a slight suspicion that this Martin
gal, named Rebecca, had some Native American blood. I found Rebecca's parents
in the 1860 and 1870 census. They were Wilson and Lydia (or Lidian) Martin,
born in Maryland and Ohio, respectively. Then I hit a brickwall. My mom
remembers Rebecca taking her and the other grandchildren for walks in the Ohio
woods (about 1920) to gather berries. Rebecca, with her bare hands, would rip
out the poison ivy in the path so the kids wouldn't get into it. It never
bothered her. My mom attributed this to Rebecca's Indian blood (unsubstantiated).
She was one tough farm gal, I understand, and she did have a bit of an
Indian-look of the sharp-featured-high-bony-cheekbones-and large-nose variety. But
that's highly debatable.

ON THE OTHER HAND, regarding earlobes...
I have a good picture of Rebecca and she had small earlobes (like me). This
makes me think that she did NOT, in fact, have any Native American blood.

I also learned in Anthopology class that earlobe size is what's called a
"single factor trait" meaning it takes only one gene from one's father and one
gene from one's mother to determine whether one has big or small earlobes.
Single-factor traits (blood type is another one) is a good way to trace heredity.
Small earlobes are recessive, meaning both parents have to pass on that gene
for the child to get them. Big earlobes are dominant, meaning only one parent
has to pass on the gene.

I'm in Texas now, and my step-daughter married a man who is a registered
Cherokee Indian in Oklahoma. According to his Indian card, he is "1/128 degree
Indian blood." This fellow and his daughter, my step-granddaughter (registed as
"1/256 degree"), both "look Indian" with round faces, nearly-black hair, high
cheekbones, dark almond-shaped eyes, and a space between their (large) two
front teeth (corrected with braces in my granddaughter) that you mention. In
fact, when my granddaughter was born, my first thought was that she looked just
like a little papoose like I'd seen in pictures. At the same time, both she
and her father have fair skin. In fact, my step-granddaughter's pink-white
complexion is fairer than my own light-olive skin which, frankly, amazes me since
she's the registered Indian and I'm supposedly of pure white European stock.

This granddaughter, age 17, is at my house and I just now thoroughly examined
her, with much laughter all around especially when trying to find the bony
nodes under her tongue! (result: inconclusive). She has the shovel-shaped
incisors (like me). She does not, however, have the Mongolian eyelids (which I
have), a crooked pinky finger or inverted breastbone. Her second toe is longer
and there's a wider space between the big toe and the next one, but her
little toes don't "lie under the next one" (all the same as me).

And, finally, she and her father DO both have the large, fleshy earlobes.

There surely must be European groups that also have the big earlobes. I know
I've seen them on people...


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