It is believed over 100 million Americans can show that, at least one President of these United States resides in their family tree and about 20 million can claim an ancestor who arrived on the Mayflower. It amazes me that I fall into both of these groups of Americans. One interest that can keep me away from my coin collecting addiction is researching my family tree that shows our DNA's journey from Europe to North America to Hawaii, that side being the Caucasian blood of my family. My Hawaiian ancestry dates back to pre Captain Cook, to King Kamehameha the Great and the rulers of Maui according to mitochondrial DNA testing my family had done some years ago. That Maternal DNA test proved our Hawaiian lineage dates to pre 1778 or before Captain Cook discovered Hawaii.
I am getting ready to send off my Paternal Y-DNA test to the research project co-sponsored by IBM and the National Geographic Society called The Genographic Project. Some of you may remember the National Geographic program from a couple years ago about a geneticist's research into human migration using the male Y-DNA test that showed a central African man's DNA matched an Indian man's and his DNA matched a native Chukchi tribesman from Siberia. I can't wait to get back the test results that I hope will give me some needed information on my Father's side of the family, that I know almost nothing about and to add my Paternal DNA profile to the project in hopes of a match.
You might be asking what all this DNA stuff has to do with US Presidential coins. Well, when I'm in the middle of tracking down a military service pension or looking over census records nothing can pry me away from my computer but a coin auction alert or dinner! Recently while researching Franklin Delano Roosevelt, I discovered we share 6 ancestors that arrived on the Mayflower and that discovery led me to Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Zachary Taylor, George H W Bush, George W Bush, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Barack Obama. I had removed the Presidential Dollars set from my registry recently not sure if I wanted to continue collecting them. As it turns out, the last scheduled coin to be released is for Gerald Ford in 2016 and as he is a newly discovered distant relation and since I will be two years past eligibility for a full retirement in 2016 I decided to reinstate the set as my personal retirement calculator. When Gerald hits the mailbox and unless fate or another President messes up that plan, I'll be retiring after 32 years with the same employer!
Last year, as a way of combining my two favorite pastimes Genealogy and Numismatics, I came up with a custom set to dedicate coins in my collection to my heritage which has proven to be an informative and rewarding set to work on. The coin auction alert that pulled me away from this fascinating research was for a MS66 1945 S Micro S Mercury Dime that would complete my 1941-1945 Mercury Dime short set. I have attached a composite photo of the obverse and reverse of that coin. After winning that auction and enjoying that milestone for a couple of days I realized I have a complete Presidential Dollar set that I could use as dedications to these newly found ancestors as part of my custom set titled My Heritage Set. I have had a few coins on my want list for this custom set mainly the 1920 Pilgrim half dollar for my Mayflower ancestors, a 1883 Hawaiian coin and a 1832 Capped Bust coin to dedicate the birth of my first Caucasian ancestor, who immigrated from Yarmouth, Chebogue, Nova Scotia, Canada to Hilo, Hawaii in 1845. One interesting bit of information I discovered about my first Caucasian immigrant ancestor to Hawaii is that he was an Arborist who had a plantation in Hilo and hybridized some varieties of Mango trees that are still present in Hawaii too this day. As a coincidence I am a Biological Forestry Technician involved in the genetics program developing a disease resistant seed supply for Sugar Pine which is a native coniferous tree of the Cascade Mountain Range in the Pacific Northwest. I came upon this information just last month that I have been enjoying the same work for the last 24 years that my ancestor enjoyed for a lifetime over 167 years ago; I know it just boggles the mind!
Loc: FL NJ & PERU or wherever thing...
Regarding his lineage, Malcolm-X once said "We didn't land on Plymouth Rock~Plymouth Rock landed on us!" Yeah he wasn't western european. As yourself, my ancestors are also European decent, although it's more along the line of my mothers Uncle Vito Genovese, and my 3rd cousin Dino Crocetti(Dean Martin). Welcome to the "Melting Pot".
Melting Pot for sure, its a small world and getting smaller all the time. I've heard that quote from Malcolm X before and as a Native Hawaiian with Mayflower ancestry it gives me a unique perspective. On one side my people displaced a native population for land and freedom from religious persecution and one the other my people lost their land and cultural heritage to those very same people, it's an irony that is not lost on me, only in America!