With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, you’ve probably seen some sales and deals online from the companies that sell DNA kits so you can confirm your heritage, particularly if some of it comes from the Emerald Isle. Well, I received one of those kits for Christmas, and recently received the results. I won’t go into all of my background, but the test says that I’m 8% Irish and Scottish. It was part of my background that I already knew.  So while I love corned beef and cabbage as the next person, I’ll pass on the haggis, thank you.

Some people have wondered about the legitimacy of these tests, so I’ll tell you two things. First, as part of the results, I received a list of people who matched my DNA. And this was before I started work on my family tree. At the top of the list were two of my 2nd cousins. One was a name I recognized from my mother’s side of the family, the other was a cousin from Florida on my father’s side that I met when I was much younger. It’s like Jimmy Buffett said, everybody’s got a cousin in Miami! Also, I received an e-mail from a 4th cousin on the list, who had my family line right, and gave me the names of two great-great grandparents that weren’t in my records.

This gave me the push I needed to start working on my family tree, with my main source being a flow chart, or pedigree chart I did back in the 90’s with my mother’s help. It's a chart showing parents, grandparents, etc. But, it looks like the other bracket a lot of folks will be filling out this week, for the college basketball tournament, which for those of us in New Jersey takes on the added dimension of being able to wager at the tracks and casinos, along with the office pools and contests being offered by the various sports networks. I’ll be one of them, hoping my Seton Hall Pirates will progress from last years’ one win. So I’ll be getting my head out of one bracket (the family tree) where I added those two great-great grandparents to my own “sweet sixteen” and into another for a few weeks. I just hope I don’t confuse the two. Although I heard that my one of my great-grandfathers had a pretty good jumper from downtown.

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