When I took my first DNA test, it was not because I expected or wanted this hobby to become a passion. I was merely somewhat interested to see whether my ethnic breakdown percentages matched what I expected and whether or not I should change my diet based on genetic predispositions.
When I learned about my male line ancestors through Y chromosome testing, I became more intrigued because the path of my ancestors did not seem obvious based on the data at hand.
At the time it seemed like that J-M241 in general was less understood than other haplogroups, many of which had been broadly associated with the expansions of certain ancient technologies, such as agriculture, horse domestication and metallurgy. I wanted to help solve the mystery behind my lineage. Where did they go and what were they doing?
Now I have come to realize that many of these associations were oversimplifications. The story of an entire haplogroup over 30,000 years cannot be boiled down to a 1:1 association with a particular ethnic group that formed 1000 years ago. Even so, people have a hard time unlearning that I1 means Anglo Saxon or Norse because it has been the dominant narrative for so long.
A few years ago, I decided that the distribution of modern samples pointed to a possible Celtic origin of my lineage, J-Z1043. I became interested to learn more about these people. I did a pilgrimage by bicycle to Celtic sites in Germany, culminating in Celtoi 2017 at Ringwall Otzenhausen. The following year I saw the Golden Hats in Berlin, remnants of a possible early continental Celtic rite.
I feel excited about my link to the ancient world, even though it is not for certain that my paternal ancestor was a Celt - the picture could change as we get analyze more living and ancient samples.
I am asked a lot about what the purpose of my website is. Its purpose is to satisfy the curiosity of those interested in who our ancient male line ancestors may have been. In the process I have met many interesting people around the world that share my interest.
Together we have learned the countless interesting ways in which people all over the world, despite outward appearances, are deeply connected.
You can take part in this discovery.
We are lucky to live in a time when a $58 test can forge a link between you and the ancient world via the path of your ancient ancestors.