I gave my parents each a genetics test for their birthdays, which revealed – not surprisingly – that our maternal ancestors on either side came out of Africa, through the Middle-East, and then respectively journeyed through Central Europe and Eastern Europe, and eventually into Scandinavia.
I also recently joined Geni, a social media/family tree site, mostly to help my father with his genealogy research.
In either case, whether it is historical or genetic genealogy, it reveals how hugely interconnected we are as soon as we go back just a few generations. It is our collective history that is revealed. Going back a few hundred thousand, or one or two million of years, it gets even more collective, including other species and eventually all of earth’s life. And going back some billion of years, it includes stars, galaxies, and all of the universe.
It’s funny how something that is traditionally viewed as a personal and family matter – genealogy – turns out to be that which reveals how interconnected we are, and that our history is shared and collective.