Genetic Testing and Sami Heritage

I grew up in a family that identified as "Norwegian". I always thought it was odd that most of my family looked very little like the stereotype of Scandinavians.  A great Aunt told me that the great Grandmother I resembled may have been a "Finn".  I didn't really learn much more until one of my uncles gave a blood sample-and was told that his heritage was that of a "Lapplander".

Two of my great grandparents were from Finnmark-the far north of Norway. I'm not sure about the third.

nomoreh1b nomoreh1b
2 Responses Feb 24, 2009

There is a book "We Stopped Forgetting". I haven't read it, but I already know it is a great book and it is about the emigration of Sami from Lapland from 1880s-1940s. There was a great rush of people coming here who were Sami to escape oppression from Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish people. When they came here, they often hid their Sami heritage in order to fit in with the Scandinavian people here and not be oppressed here on this side of the big pond.

I recently found out my own Sami ancestry. I realized I might be Sami when I saw the dates of the great migration and I also remembered my grandma talking about Lapland a lot as a child. I always thought Lapland and Finland were one in the same, I didn't quite understand the dynamics...

But sure enough, I found my great great grandma was Sami, and I talked to my grandma's brother about her, and she described her traditional clothes, her hairstyle and wearing a knife everywhere.

To be honest, I am going to investigate to find out if my other Finn/Norwegian ancestry has any ties to Sami, because there were many people who hid it as I said. My great great grandma didn't, but it could be that she didn't care about the oppression. (Something tells me her husband was also Sami, but I am not sure... I think he died before any living relatives could remember him)

Anyways, I am glad to meet another Sami. Welcome to the tribe.

Our family had a similar experience. DNA testing came back as a maternal line that was haplogroup V - Sami. My grandmother identified as Swedish so the maternal line being Finnish was quite a surprise. I am proud of my Sami heritage but know so little about it.

Its never to late to learn. I have been searching my roots online and trying to read about what it really means to be Sami. I hope we can all reconnect to our relatives.

I am fortunate to have a living cousin living in Finland and he said he would try to search my heritage on the Finland side when he has free time. Its easier to search an area when you know the language.