I am your typical looking Aussie girl: a blonde, blue-eyed, surfer who grew up in the Eastern Suburbs. My difference to the majority of my friends was that I grew up with a Nanna and a Nonna.
My family story and the surprises I found in my AncestryDNA test:
My father’s side was English, traced back to the Norman Conquest and Lady Godiva (can’t say I have ever felt inclined to ride a horse naked but proud another strong female is in my bloodline!).
My mother’s side of the family is of Italian and Maltese descent. As people learnt more about me they would hear stories of my Nonna, my huge family and numerous cousins, not to mention our very loud family gatherings.
The food I would bring to school reflected this heritage, with dishes such as the Arabic dish Molokai (Google it) and my Mum’s creative antipasto choices could be found in my lunchbox.
It became clear to all that knew me I was proud of my heritage and this has always been something I wanted to explore further.
Once I decided to do the DNA test, I waited eagerly for my results, discussing it with my family, my co-workers and even my clients who worked on Ancestry.
I even sat my parents down to give them the opportunity to tell me whether I was adopted, as this test was about to reveal it all!
When I received my results, I was very surprised. My initial thought was, ‘Wow my family must have been a promiscuous bunch who really got around, my ethnicity is a serious mix!’
The biggest shock to me was the fact that I was 1% North African.
It was also very interesting to find out that the strongest part of my ethnicity is from Western Europe, which answered the question about the Clemesha name coming from either Italy or France – a question I am CONSTANTLY asked!
West Asian was something I certainly did not expect either, honestly they were all a big surprise.
I truly believed I was made up of only Italian, Maltese and British blood but seems there is a lot more to it which has really raised a number of questions for me.
I think the best part of my findings is that now I can throw a spanner in the works by telling people I am 1% African.