HERITAGE: Ms Winter
Ms Winter shares a beautiful illustration celebrating the genealogy of her identity, as well as an eye-opening story about ordering a DNA ancestry kit. It's such an inspirational revelation to see how interconnected we really all are!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve asked my Mum… ‘’Where are we really from?’. I always got the same answers. She arrived here at 22 years old from the Caribbean Island of Jamaica. She knows her ancestors are from somewhere in West Africa, but that’s as far as that conversation went. My father is a mix of everything British, but we’ll get back to that! I’ve never been satisfied with these answers. I decided to find out more. I wanted to know exactly what has led me to exist at this very moment in time. So, yes, I bought one of those ancestry kits and decided to take matters into my own hands. But before I got the results, I started with what I did know.
I was born in Tooting, London in the early 90s. My mum is Jamaican, as were her parents and their parents. My Dad is British, and his Dad was a Mancunian folk writer; he even said my name with a slight northern twang. My Grandma is half Welsh, and a bit of something else, but we couldn’t ever pinpoint exactly what it was. The British side of my family was traced back to Scandinavia many centuries ago. Apparently, one of our ancestors was a Swedish man called Cantankerous! I know that much.
Now here’s what I didn’t know.
My email pinged. ‘Your Ethnicity Results are In!’. I couldn’t click fast enough.
Finally! Nigeria is where my mum’s ancestor’s are mostly from, and, wait for it…my white British Dad has Nigerian ancestors too! I guess we found what that ‘little bit of something else’ is in my Grandma. The list went on. Sierra Leonean, Kenyan, Baltic, English, North West European, Iberian, Finnish and South Asian…I am very much a bit of everything!
Knowing where I am from reminded me of how intricately intertwined all of our stories and identities are. I finally answered my own question. I am not one or two things. I am a melting pot of cultures, circumstances and stories. I am the result of my ancestral journey.