So far I’ve read quite a few responses to today’s daily prompt and learned a lot about my fellow bloggers’ detailed family lineages and quite frankly, I know almost nothing of my own.
I barely know my grandparents let alone my great-grandparents even though mom managed to divulge a little now and then. So far, all I’ve learn is my mom’s grandparents used to own a soy sauce factory in my town. Still, I don’t know anything about my dad’s side of the family and sadly, mom barely got along with her in-laws and my dad’s parents were always so incredibly stubborn.
I’ve been meaning to go to Family Research Center in downtown Salt Lake to find out more about my family lineage because I’ve tried ancestry.com and landed on a dead end. I’ve heard the Family Research Center have unimaginable resources that can help me even if I am the first generation immigrant. But with mom watching like a hawk and constantly delegating tasks for me to do at home while she’s away, I haven’t had the chance.
Early last year, I got a shock when mom told me I might have Japanese DNA. She seemed to believe I am the descendant of Zheng He, the famous Chinese explorer. Zheng He’s mother is Japanese and his father’s Chinese or so I’ve been told. I was like “and I’ve been telling people I’m Chinese all this time?” But it’s only a theory but Japanese? It feels somewhat off. I’ve been mistaken for a Korean before but never Japanese. So you can see why this is a surprise and shock. I also wonder if I do a DNA test, I can find out just which part of Asia I was originated because I’ve also been told I don’t look Chinese due to my semi-pale skin.
From everything I’ve ever read on genealogy, the first thing is to trace using one’s surname. That does not work in my case or maybe it does, I don’t know. My surname was ranked 22 in the top 100 most common surname in China. It makes up 10% of Chinese population (that’s a lot) and it can be traced back to the B.C. era. That is a mighty long time and back then, it was the emperor who assigned the last name or so I’ve heard. So you can sort of see my dilemma.
I did a Wikipedia search on Zheng He and he’s all over the place. It said he was Muslim, his great-great-great-grandfather was Persian who served under the Mongol Empire, and that his original surname wasn’t even Zheng but Ma and was later changed by the emperor. So what am I, really, if Zheng He is really my ancestor? A mixture of Asian and European?
Maybe I am just different. I’ve always seen myself as different, as a mixture of Caucasian and Asian. Also I don’t look like either one of my parents nor any of my relatives. My mom’s told me many times the doctors might have swapped me at the hospital. So the only person I can really see coming to dinner is my dad and the first thing I would ask him, “What am I?” and he better have a good answer for me.
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