This is something I have been thinking about lately and thought I would throw it out here and get some opinions. How much of our personalities, motivations, drives and urges are genetically encoded in our DNA? Do we posses traits from our ancestors that effects how we are today? Two things set me to thinking on this. One was when my oldest daughter and I reconnected a few years ago. Her mother and I divorced when she was only 9 months old. I had very little contact with her during her formative years. Her mother was always running off with the latest meal ticket she could latch onto. I would go for years at a time with no idea where she was. When she became an adult she moved back with her husband and kids. We reconnected and starting building a relationship. What amazed me was that she is more like me than my children that I raised. We share the same personality, same sense of humor, likes, dislikes, interests. We both like and dislike the same foods, we like the same movies etc. Yet I had very little contact with her growing up. So where did these traits come from? It could only be genetic. I got into genealogy a few years ago and started tracing my families lineage. I have always had a severe wanderlust. I always want to see what's over the next hill. I have never been able to settle in one place for long. And this is a trait that all my uncles, my dad and grandfather have (on both sides of my family) to varying degrees, but it is there. Much of it was following the oilfields but that doesn't explain it entirely. Many people when the wells dried up would simply switch to farming or ranching or some trade to support their families. Mine would pack up and head out looking for greener pastures. I had a lot of success tracing my maternal family line. I traced them all the way back to the Norman invasion of Britain in the 900 to 1100 AD period. They were vikings. I watched a show recently about the vikings and it said they they were unique in their time. The majority of cultures never ventured far from their homelands. Yet, puzzling to scholars, the vikings journeyed far and wide. Never content to stay in one place. They have found viking settlements from the Middle East to North America. Then my family made it's way around England and eventually came to the new world in the early 1700's. One of my ancestors was a famous explorer. He worked as a guide, a trailblazer and explored far into the new continent. He ended up in Mississippi where he was adopted by the Choctaw tribe and married the two daughters of the chief. My family is a direct line from one of those sisters. They were forcefully moved to the indian territory of what would become Oklahoma in the trail of tears march in the 1830's. I was not so successful with my paternal side. I traced them to Ellis Island in the mid 1800's when they emigrated from Germany. But I was unable to find them before that. They made their way from New York to Chicago and ran a small store there until the great land run of 1889 that opened up the Indian Territory to settlement. So from both genetic lines of my ancestry I have wanderers and explorers. People who were not content to remain in one place and were always seeking greener pastures and looking to see what was over the horizon. Now I know that most people in the U.S. descend from emigrants but most settled in one place and have remained there. My family even today is scattered all around the country and even the world. So is this wanderlust, this sense of adventure, of being willing and eager to pack up and head out for new lands just a result of circumstances or could it be embedded in our DNA and handed down from our ancestors for hundreds and even thousands of years? An interesting thought.