I was reading an article the other day which talked about how eye colour can determine where about in the world your ancestors came to and I it got me thinking.
Well in full the article was discussing how everyone who has blue eyes is descended from one person who was born near the Black Sea in Europe during the Neolithic era and how the decedents of the original blue eyed person moved north throughout Europe to what we know as Scandinavia now and thus became the Vikings. This is why there is a belief that everyone with blue eyes is of Viking decent.
Well although this is possibly true I want to raise a point. People with blue eyes can have children with other coloured eyes so those of us who don’t have blue eyes can still be descended from the original blue eyed person. I have hazel eyes from my Dad’s side but my Mum’s side is predominantly blue eyed so although I’m not blue eyed I can still claim a Viking heritage to our mutual black sea ancestor.
So how’s this work?
So as you can see the colour of your parent’s eyes doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get the same colour. So if you take the second row as hazel and blue I had a 50/50 chance of getting blue or hazel eyes. So even if 2 people with brown eyes have a child it may have blue eyes after their eye colour has established (most children in the west are born with blue eyes but they may change colour by the time they are 4 years old). So the statement that began this entire thinking process is correct but flawed.
From here I got on to thinking what else we have inherited form our ancestors. Well I would like to start by thanking my Mum’s side of the family for my hair. I have silly hair that thinks it’s funny to be curly. Now I don’t mind that, I like it when it’s nice curly but it likes to be messy curly once it’s been brushed so I look like I’ve been pulled through a hedge backwards.
Hair colour can also be inherited. My grandpa had black hair which he inherited from his father but his mother had ginger hair. This ginger can be seen in her descendants. This hair colour inheritance doesn’t always follow though especially with my paternal Grandma as she had blue hair amongst others when I was little!
Inherited traits don’t have to be visible though, they can be in the form off illnesses. There is much evidence of disease such as cancer can be more prevalent in some families and rare in others. Also conditions such as sickle cell anaemia are hereditary. There is much evidence to suggest conditions such as depression runs in families can be passed from generation to generation.
So you do inherit part of who you are from your ancestors be it health or eye colour but in the end you are uniquely you and these days if you don’t like what you inherit you can change it. Hair dye, hair straighter/curlers and coloured contact lens are all available so you can make yourself look how you want. If everyone in your family has brown hair and you want blue go for it, just make sure you have photos of you with your natural hair colour so future generations don’t think you descended from a rare hair coloured species.
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings on genealogy and history in general. I hope you find it informative and hopefully funny!