I remember the day I found out my Nanna wasn’t really my Nanna…
“Mum, why is our name different to Nannas?” I was just minding my business trying to connect the dots, I must of been about 10 years old sat in my Nannas living room and this thought just randomly came to mind.
My Grandad jumps into our conversation and responds with the following statement which quite literally has scarred me for life.
“Iris isn’t your real grandma”
I’m sorry what? Where the fu*k did that come from? Excuse me? Who said that?!
Like a deer caught in headlights it was at this point my mum had to explain the best she could to a now emotionally unstable 10 year old that her Nanna was infact not her real Nanna. How can this be? From what I can remember the conversation was a mess but it was indeed true and took me a long time to accept…
Long story short, my biological grandmother up and left the face of the earth in the early 1960s, leaving my grandad to raise 3 children aged 10months to 4 years by himself. He subsequently met my Nanna Iris who stepped in and raised them as her own and further went on to be the best Nanna ever to all of her grandchildren born after. Being the youngest grandchild I firmly believe she had a soft spot for me, that and the fact that she’d blatantly tell me I was her fave.
She died in August 2005.
Since the death of my Nanna the question has always been at the back of my mind and I have never been able to get answers. So who was this mysterious woman who up and left? I’ll always know who my Nanna was but who the hell is my Grandmother? We’d searched all the ancestry websites, signed up to free trials, cancelled them just in time and signed up to try again and again but no luck. I’ve been told this woman who went by the name of Patricia Wallace was of Polynesian decent and was infact a Maori. I’ve been told she was a Scottish born woman on the run and I’ve been told she was the equivalent of a crazy bag lady from Ireland. But all of these theories have been proven to of been inaccurate.
She is a myth…She is untraceable…She is possibly make belief.
Regardless, I have decide at the grand age of 25 that i need to know my heritage, my background, my ethnic coding. So I have ordered a DNA kit from ancestry.com in the hope that we can establish just what we’re made of. I have asked my mother to do the spit test purely because she’s the closest match and we should be able to establish just what our other background is. The results can take anywhere from 5-6 weeks to come back so in the meantime we shall wait.
I have since watched the Disney Movie Moana (which btw has an amazing storyline, no word of I lie I cried throughout) but I can’t help but feel there is some connection between myself and the Native Maori folk. I mean, my mum and uncle bare very similar features to the Polynese and it’s visible even through animation.
I have no idea what to expect from the results but no doubt I’ll write about it and share my experience with the whole DNA who do you think you are stuff. I already have bad anxiety and this is just a form of self torture.
If anyone has done the DNA test, comment and let me know how your experience went. Maybe you had a surprise result? Maybe you traced your history back to The Royals like our good ode Danny Dyer…whatever your outcome feel free to share.