DNA - My Story

Author: Robert W. Penry @ 2021

My research into my ancestry revealed that my family was composed of ancestors from many nations in Europe.  I wondered what a DNA test would reveal.  I was skeptical.  I wondered if this would be a scam where some company would tell me information that might be just made up.  So I decided to choose two different services.  I picked National Geographic and Ancestry.com.  I wanted to see if the results matched.  They did!  But what did it reveal about my family? 
I knew that my father’s side had immigrated from Wales, and my mother also had Welsh and Netherlands ancestry. I assumed that Great Britain would be the largest portion of my ancestors.  Wrong!! 
This is the percentage breakdown from National Geographic DNA.
  • 43% Western and Central Europe
  • 31% Great Britain
  • 24% Scandinavia
  • 2% Asia Minor
  • 1.1% Neanderthal
This is the percentage breakdown from Ancestry.com
  • Western Europe (45%)
  • Ireland (24%)
  • Rest of Britain (7%)
  • Scandinavia (13%)
  • Italy/Greece (less than 1%)
  • Middle East (less than 1%)
According to National Geographic, several million years ago, one of my ancestors got tired of swinging in trees and stepped onto the ground (I always wondered why I really like bananas!)
Then about 67,000 years ago, my ancestral group left East Africa and migrated into Europe.  They met some of my relatives, the Neanderthal’s who were already there, and decided that they were really cute and married some of them.  About 55,000 thru 6,500 years ago they intermarried with people from West Asia.  About 14,500 years ago, people from Southeastern Europe were mixed in (Were these the Celts?).
Fascinating information, but it really didn’t tell me more than my racial mix.  I already knew that all Europeans had Neanderthal blood, the average being 2.9%.  Perhaps my ancestors lived in a part with fewer Neanderthals.
I already knew about my ancestors from Ukraine, Holland, France, Germany, British Isles, etc.  In fact, I had ancestors from almost every country in Europe. But I found the 2% of Asia Minor fascinating.  Who were these people?  As I delved deeper and deeper into my ancestors, I discovered an incredible story.  To tell it, I needed to go back into ancient history, actually into the Old Testament of the Bible, and I needed to study the history of Europe following the collapse of the Roman Empire
The Book of Daniel, from the  Old Testament,  tells of the attack by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon against Jerusalem.  This occurred in 597 B.C.  He took a group of Jews captive into Babylon.  Why?  The Jewish architects were renowned throughout the middle east for their skills in building.  There were also intellectuals and skilled laborers.  Nebuchadnezzar was not looking for the common people.  He wanted the cream of the crop for building Babylon.  Were they slaves?  Evidently not.  Historians believe that they were not forced to work.  They integrated into the Babylonian Culture.  They had a separate social society, still practicing their religion.  They elected a leader of the Jews, called an Exilarch. (King in Exile).  King Cyrus defeated the Babylonian empire in 539 B.C., changing the name to Persia, and allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem.  It is believed that there were about one million Jews in Babylon/Persia, but only about fifty thousand returned.  The majority remained in Babylon.  My ancestor was part of the group that remained.
Moving forward, about 64 A.D, aka C.E., my 41st Great-Grandfather, Haninai ben Bustanai of Persia, the Exilarch of the Jews, married Princess Izdundad, the daughter Yazdagird III, the Emperor of Persian.  This is a very significant marriage and will have an effect in Europe.  Why?  What was special about Haninai ben Bustanai?  He was a member of the House of Davidescendant of King David of Judah.  Jesus was also of the House of David.  To be a descendant of the House of David was considered to be the premier descendency of all.  This was the Royal Blood!
Now for the next chapter in the story. In the year 711, Islamic Arabs and Moors of North Africa crossed over the Strait of Gibraltar and invaded and conquered what is now Spain.  They began to move eastward across Europe with the intent of conquering all of Europe and creating a Muslim state.  A Frankish military leader, Charles Martel a Christian, led an army at the Battle of Tours near Poitiers, France, and defeated a large army of Spanish Moors, halting the Muslim advance into Western Europe. The Moors retreated, never to return.  Charles Martel was my 41st Great-Grandfather.
Charles Martel wanted his descendants to be rulers in Europe, but there was a problem.  Martel was of noble blood, not of royal blood.  He needed to introduce royal blood into his line.  Wait!  What about the blood of the House of David.  If he could do this, what a coup!  We don’t know the full details, but somehow he managed to get Count Natonai ben Zabinai aka Machir of Persia to come to Frankish Europe and marry his daughter, Countess Alda of Austrasia.  Natonai ben Azbinai converted to Catholicism,  In fact, their son Guillermo I, my 36th Great-Grandfather is a Catholic saint!  Natonia and Alda were Charlemagne’s Aunt and Uncle. Charlemagne is my 35th Great-Grandfather, the son of King Pepin, the brother of Alda.  Pepin is my 36th Great-Grandfather through another line.
This Natoni/Alda line continued through many generations down to me through my Father’s line.  That means that I have the blood of the House of David, and now I know about the 2% Asia Minor.
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