In yesterday's Sue's News, I referred to an acquaintance who had claimed to be a descendent of Abraham Lincoln. The following article from Sue's News in 2013, is my favorite of all the genealogical references I have heard.
"TODAY WE CALL THAT RAPE"
At the Genealogical Society meeting this month, one member told how she had been surprised by the DNA testing she'd had performed by The National Geographic Society (see information below) which showed she had a great amount of Middle Eastern ancestry.
I said, "You'll probably be put on a Watch List soon and not be able to board an airplane!"
She said she was shocked to learn that she had Middle Eastern ancestors because her family surname was from Alsace-Lorraine and all of her life she'd been told that they were "French".
When the earlier ancestors came from the Ottoman Empire they had the surname "de Turk" which meant they were from Turkey. She had a chart that showed her ancestors in the 1400's and one of them was Murad II and in her presentation she mentioned that each time Murad would conquer a new territory, he would "add another wife". I screaked, "Today we call that RAPE."
She said that her particular Middle Eastern female link was to a woman--an "added wife"--which she pronounced as "Fa-teem-uh". A friend asked if it was supposed to be pronounced "Fat-uh-muh" like Our Lady of Fatima. I said, "They were probably Islamic; Mohammed's daughter was named Fatimah; hers is spelled with an "h" on the end and Fatima is the town in Portugal of Our Lady Of Fatima."
It seems somehow comforting to reflect on our ancestors and our little link with history, but we oftentimes forget that some of own ancestors were probably NOT the heroes/heroines we would like to imagine or believe them to be. I always say that I want to find miscreants, scoundrels, scalawags, caitiffs, and rapscallions in my tree, but alas, I've found a bunch of teachers, men of the cloth, and farmers.
From the Encyclopedia Britannica:
Murad II, (born June 1404, Amasya, Ottoman Empire [now in Turkey]—died February 3, 1451, Edirne), Ottoman sultan (1421–44 and 1446–51) who expanded and consolidated Ottoman rule in the Balkans, pursued a policy of restraint in Anatolia, and helped lead the empire to recovery after its near demise at the hands of Timur following the Battle of Ankara (1402).
Early in his reign, Murad had to overcome several claimants to the Ottoman throne who were supported by the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus and by many of the Turkmen principalities in Anatolia. By 1425 Murad had eliminated his rivals, had reestablished Ottoman rule over the Turkmen principalities of western Anatolia, and had once again forced Byzantium to pay tribute. He then turned his attention to the Balkans. In 1430, after a five-year struggle, he captured Salonika (modern Thessaloníki), in northern Greece, which had been under Venetian control. At first the Ottoman armies were successful against a Hungarian-Serbian-Karaman alliance; but after 1441, when the alliance expanded to include German, Polish, and Albanian forces, the Ottomans lost Niš and Sofia (1443) and were soundly defeated at Jalowaz (1444). After signing a peace treaty at Edirne (June 12, 1444), Murad abdicated in favour of his 12-year-old son, Mehmed II.
European powers, under the auspices of Pope Eugenius IV, soon broke the truce; and Murad, leading the Ottoman army, inflicted a severe defeat on the Christian forces at the Battle of Varna in November 1444. Under pressure from court notables and faced with external threats, Murad reassumed control of the state in 1446. In 1448 he defeated the Hungarians at the second Battle of Kosovo (October 17).
In Anatolia, Murad pursued a policy of caution because of the westward advance of the Timurid Shah Rokh, who posed as protector of the Turkmen principalities. The Ottomans gained suzerainty over the Turkmen rulers in the Çorum-Amasya region and in western Anatolia, but the principality of Karaman, which through its alliances with the Balkan Christian rulers was a major threat to the Ottomans, was left autonomous.
During Murad’s reign the office of Grand Vizier (chief minister) came to be dominated by the Çandarlı family. The Janissary Corps (elite forces) gained in prominence, and the hereditary Turkish frontier rulers in the Balkans often acted independently of the sultan.
From The National Geographic:
Join a real-time, landmark research project! Learn something about your deep ancestry while contributing to the overall success of the Project.
The Genographic Project is a global research partnership of National Geographic and IBM. With support for field research from the Waitt Family Foundation, Dr. Spencer Wells and a group of the world's leading scientists will attempt to collect and analyze more than 100,000 DNA samples from indigenous people all over the world. The goal of the Genographic Project is to learn about the migratory paths our ancestors took and how humankind populated the planet. Find more detailed information on the Genographic Project, at www.nationalgeographic.com/genographic.
The general public can actually take an active part in this remarkable effort by purchasing a Genographic Project Public Participation Kit and by submitting an anonymous sample of their DNA using an easy and painless cheek swab. By participating, you will not only contribute to this great endeavor, but you may discover something fascinating about your own genetic past as well. Furthermore, the proceeds from the sales of the Kits will be channeled back into the Project to support additional research and to fund education, cultural conservation, and language revitalization efforts for indigenous and traditional communities around the world.