I am fascinated by the exploration of who I am, both in a cultural sense and in a spiritual medium. This has already given birth to the ‘Who am I?’ section of my Replug YOU book and the creation of our family logo. In the last couple of months I have been researching further into my physical cultural roots by way of talking with family members, using ancestry.co.uk, and doing a DNA test.
I feel this is important because I want my children to know their cultural history and background and know of and be proud of who they are, and where their ancestors have come from. It helps to create stories of those who have passed before us.
My surname Crisp itself can be first found in Oxfordshire where the Crisp’s had been granted the lands of Cowley by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. But that is just the Crisp name. Through other surnames (maiden names, etc) related to the family I can trace roots back to before the Norman Conquest, into Ireland, and across the Atlantic ocean to America and the Caribbean. I can’t trace names directly back to Africa due to slaves having been given English names.
However, through my DNA results I have learned that my strongest ethnicity estimate and trace rests in the Ivory Coast/Ghana region, Great Britain (England, Scotland ,Wales) and Ireland. Apparently, I am 43% African and 57% European. Other minor traces include Nigeria, Benin/Togo, Cameroon/Congo, Senegal, Mali, Africa Southeastern Bantu, Western Europe, Scandinavia, Finland/Northwest Russia, which is a clear indication of the migration movement and cultural mixing of my ancestors.
Truly we do not originate just from one place (one country, one locality). On earth we are truly world citizens and beyond that we are elements of the cosmos. I believe it is important to identify yourself with something beyond and greater than just your immediate name and locality. For me, so many historical cultural backgrounds, stories, and spiritual influences make up and mold who I am. It is important that we don’t allow our local social and environmental conditioning (although this is a great challenge in itself) to define our unique and precious existence. There will always only be one YOU.
I’m currently collating all the information (which includes my wife’s background and family history) and will make a short PDF to pass on to my children and other family members. This will include historical information about each country and possible links to peoples like the Ashanti, and so forth. It is proving to be an exciting project so far!