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Old 06-30-2011, 09:13 AM
93 posts, read 294,780 times
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Okay, so I am so annoyed everyday of my life, being asked what ethnicity I am (why i look the way that i do) and then having difficulty explaining it. First of all, i am from an appalachian region. Most people in appalachia are pale, green/blue eyed, normal irish/english or german looking ancestry. I am pale, green eyed, obviously white/scottish/german/whatever. HOWEVER, my grandmother looks mongolian, or hawaiian yet with higher cheekbones /more slanted eyes, or even maybe half korean. She is not asian in any way, we do not even have many asians in appalachia from what I have seen. My grandmother has 7 children, half of them look completely asian mixed (very slanted eyes), the other half look slavic....(like me)....half mongolian with very light eyes. I was so annoyed that I took a blood test which determined me to be 90% european, with a window of 5-10% indigneous tribe(native american). Obviously 5% is not alot, so why do i have asian/indian features...but white/green eyed? What could explain this very strong mongolian look that has persisted in such a low percentage of native american?
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:31 AM
Location: DFW
6,716 posts, read 11,162,972 times
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There were Asians living in the Appalachians in the 1800s.. very few but they were there.

Most notably, Chang and Eng Bunker, the famous Siamese Twins:

Chang and Eng Bunker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:50 AM
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,041 posts, read 22,775,493 times
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That can be due to Native American ancestry. Natives who populated the Americas came from Asia originally.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:50 AM
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Who knows why a recessive trait sometimes comes out strong? Hubs parents -- Blonde, blue eyes and brunette, brown eyes. Son #1 is blonde blue, son#2 brunette, brown son#3 red hair green eyes.


They had to go back three generations to find a red haired green eyed relative, but there he was.... it the grandmother's uncle from Ireland.... and he was himself an aberration -- as the red hair was from 3-4 generations back on him.

It was so weird the in laws joked the third one was the milk man's son. They stopped that joke when the milk man was late and he showed up with flaming red hair!
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:05 PM
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Yeah I get the asian thing a lot, mostly when I'm away from my traditional stomping grounds. I think I look pretty average for the rural southern Appalachian area I'm from, the mountain people anyway, the families in the lowland areas tend to be a lot blonder and paler, and, um, their heads look square to me. Not sure if that means anything or not, just sayin'. I don't know what their ancestry is, they haven't been in the area as many generations as the mountain families and the two groups don't socialize much. They think we're weird. Lol.

It sounds like my family is a little darker than yours, we range mostly from olive to light brown with muddy green to black eyes and very straight brown to black hair usually with asian-esque facial features. Part of my native ancestry is close enough to remember, 3/16 Cherokee that I can document and I also have ancestors from southwest Virginia and southeast Kentucky that were reputed to be "part indian" but I don't know what tribe or if they were covering for something else. The European bits that I can trace are Scottish and French, both crossing the big water in the mid 1600s.

Genetics is funny stuff. The bits that code for visible features that are associated with race are only a tiny fraction of the total genetic code. And while you get half of your nuclear DNA from each parent after that it's a game of chance. Statistically you get 25% of your DNA from each grandparent and 12.5% from each g-grandparent and that works with large population studies but the reality at an individual level is that you get anywhere from nothing to 50% of your genetics from each grandparent and also from all of your ancestors beyond that. That's one of the reasons I haven't had DNA done (yet), it's expensive I'm not sure how reliable it would be for someone with a background as swirled as mine. I have to go back four generations before I get to someone who even *might* be pureblood something or other.

As far as what I say when someone asks my ethnicity - I usually go with "southern Appalachian mutt". It's short and quick and if they want a more detailed answer they can ask.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:21 PM
2,179 posts, read 2,811,905 times
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Originally Posted by bjh View Post
That can be due to Native American ancestry. Natives who populated the Americas came from Asia originally.
This is what I was going to say.. probably a good bet..
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:30 PM
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I am pretty sure it is Native American blood. Many Native Americans can pass for some Asian ethnicity whether East Asian or SE Asian. Native Americans originated from the plains of Mongolia and Siberia. So I'm pretty sure that's where you got your traits from.
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:29 PM
93 posts, read 294,780 times
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Yeh, but someone who is 5% indian....the rest european, should not look asian at all (??) And its the whole family! Everyone has light skin!, yet half the family will have brown eyes, with the other half having a very pale green color. What we ALL have in common is this huge fryin' pan face and extremely high cheek bones! (they look like implants or ant shaped faces, with slanted or almond slanted eyes). I know native american is asian, but it should not come out this strong!

I heard something about mongolian tribes in west virginia, i wonder what percentage it is, but can not seem to find statistics. My grandmother looks like a mix between Charles Bronson and Geronimo...surely she can not look like that from 5% Shawnee indian!
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:35 PM
Location: Pacific NW
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You cannot do genealogy by using physical appearance. Leave that to the Nazis.
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:37 PM
93 posts, read 294,780 times
Reputation: 103
Yard Dog, in your appalachian region do you see any traditional families who look very mongolian? I do not mean looking spanish or possibly indian, but with a dominantly asian look?

It seems every appalachian person I speak with have a couple families in their towns who have that Mongolian/Charles Bronson look, with the high fireheads, flat faces and really high cheek bones.

Maybe this is a mengulean gene?....I am not sure of the spelling, but it was a tribe of mongolians in Appalachia, i think.
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