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Concept: The Wanderer Gene

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  • Concept: The Wanderer Gene

    So, my family was living in Poland with me and always eager to travel. And they have always been very mysterious about their origins. With father, the Third Reich gives a lot of sense, but with my mother it is all complicated.

    With DNA, I get a lot of matches all over the world. With Family Finder it reaches really everywhere in Europe and America. From Y-DNA though, it seems mostly in Scandinavia and Arabia. Weird enough, right?

    Right. My father continues to travel, while my mother is planning her second relocation within the last 10 years. We used to live together with Poland, but I did not really feel myself in Poland. Other people were too... well, in terms of culture, too Polish for me, while I was to Nordic for them. Even our house was the only one built in traditional Icelandic style.

    All I managed to collect about my mother is that her ancestors were Polish Kievians and she is related to the "Elsner" surname, which is present all over the world, but mostly active in Greenland.

    So, good question. Maybe there is some "elite wanderer gene" which increases the chances of migration, and also reduces the chances of marriage with someone who doesn't have that gene? Like, international elites or something? What makes different royal houses always related to each other in some way, for example?

  • #2
    On the west coast of the US, we sometimes speculate that our ancestors who migrated over the course of at least a century, beginning at the Atlantic coast and then through the Mississippi Valley, across the Great Plains, across the Rocky Mountains, and then to California, Oregon, and Washington, must have had a "gene" that conditioned them always to seek new lands, while their brethren who remained behind on the Atlantic coast must have lacked this "gene" and were content to remain where they were born. But I don't think there is any evidence for this supposed "gene"!


    • #3
      There may be something to the "wandering" hypothesis. Years ago I was in a discussion with a physician who specialized in attention deficient/hyperactivity disorders. She noted that such disorders may be more common in the US on the basis of genetics. She (and some other colleagues/researchers she said) believed that those that immigrated to US years ago may have had more of a sense of adventure/restlessness/risk-taking verses other family members who said "No thanks - I'm staying here in the little village, etc." and that there may be more stock in America that carries these traits.


      • #4
        And sometimes, it is the survival instinct in play. If there is no, or limited, opportunity where you are, you recognize that, and move on. Survival of the fittest, intellectually and physically.


        • #5
          However logical it is that such a "gene" could exist and would be subjected to natural selection in exactly the ways that have been discussed in this thread, I am not aware of any evidence that it actually exists -- or, indeed, that anyone has actually looked for it! Remember, the absence of evidence is not the absence of speculation!