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Red Hair - recessive gene from Poland?

Jampat 1 | 11
17 Mar 2009 #1
I have deep red hair , and it has always been a sort of mystery. I am scots-irish and french canadian on my mom's side, so that was obvious. However, on my Dad's side I have one German grandma and my Grandpa was born to two Polish immigrants. My Grandma says there was never any red hair in her family, and my Grandpa is not sure about the Polish side. Is it possible that I got the recessive gene from Poland? I've never heard of there being much in the way of redheads there.
ZIMMY 6 | 1,601
17 Mar 2009 #2
I may be mistaken but I recall reading somewhere that 4% of all Poles are red heads.

Well, Ronald McDonald is a red head and he's doing well...........
Olasz - | 69
17 Mar 2009 #3
how about Irish side? I would have thought it Irish thing...
Bratwurst Boy 9 | 11,677
17 Mar 2009 #4
Very probably from your scots-irish side....

....Redheads constitute approximately four percent of the European population.[7] Scotland has the highest proportion of redheads, as 13 percent of the population has red hair and approximately 40 percent carries the recessive redhead gene.[8]
Seanus 15 | 19,672
17 Mar 2009 #5
I am Scottish-Irish and I have red hair. It seems like the highest concentration of redheads are found there.
OP Jampat 1 | 11
17 Mar 2009 #6
I know it came from the scots-irish side, but due to it being a recessive gene it had to have come from both my Mom's side and my Dad's side, meaning either the German and Polish contributed.
SeanBM 35 | 5,793
17 Mar 2009 #7
I am a red head, no hair just red head.
Randal 1 | 577
17 Mar 2009 #8
I have red hair and it came from my Scottish roots.

You guys ever hear that redheads are more resistant than others to pain relievers? We feel pain more acutely and a normal level of pain-reliever for others doesn’t do it for us. I have found this to be true for me. I always have to take more or stronger pain relievers than others to get the same relief.
Seanus 15 | 19,672
17 Mar 2009 #9
Very true, Randal. I need the hard-hitting treatments. Otherwise, it will only scrape the surface.
Randal 1 | 577
17 Mar 2009 #10
Isn't that odd? I've read about this several times but I've yet to see a real explanation as to why this link between hair color and pain.
Seanus 15 | 19,672
17 Mar 2009 #11
I believe there is stuff on the net on it. I stumbled across it some time ago.
OP Jampat 1 | 11
17 Mar 2009 #12
My stepmom is a nurse anesthesiologist, and she has said that redheads sometimes need more drugs than other people.
szkotja2007 27 | 1,498
17 Mar 2009 #13
redheads sometimes need more drugs than other people.

its a coping mechanism ;-)
ZIMMY 6 | 1,601
17 Mar 2009 #14
redheads sometimes need more drugs than other people.

That's just an excuse. Maybe I 'feel' that ex-blonds need more drugs; well, I did before shaving my head.
OP Jampat 1 | 11
17 Mar 2009 #15
I certainly don't think I feel more pain... but apparently some redheads do.
17 Mar 2009 #16
Red hair did not originate in scotland or ireland it was brought over by the vikings.
Seanus 15 | 19,672
17 Mar 2009 #17
True, they had the original strands and locks. Hail our Danish and Norwegian roots!
Randal 1 | 577
17 Mar 2009 #18
Seanus 15 | 19,672
17 Mar 2009 #19
That seems about right, Randal. This explains only the physical side of pain tho ;)
Randal 1 | 577
17 Mar 2009 #20
I have also heard that redheads are more susceptible to depression but the Wiki didn’t mention that.
Even the thing I posted about physical pain didn't really say a whole lot.
We’re mysterious!
Seanus 15 | 19,672
17 Mar 2009 #21
Some might say :)
Randal 1 | 577
17 Mar 2009 #22
Did you know that the genetic reason behind redheadedness was only discovered as recently as 1997? Crazy!…
Seanus 15 | 19,672
17 Mar 2009 #23
Jumble those figures a bit ;)
Randal 1 | 577
18 Mar 2009 #24
That's what it says...

Biochemistry and genetics

A close-up view of red hairThe pigment pheomelanin gives red hair its distinctive colour. Red hair has far more pheomelanin than other hair colours, but far less of the dark pigment eumelanin.

The genetics of red hair, discovered in 1997, appears to be associated with the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R), which is found on chromosome 16. Red hair is associated with fair skin colour due to low concentrations of eumelanin. This lower melanin-concentration has the advantage that a sufficient concentration of important Vitamin D can be produced under low light conditions.

Other parts reference studies as late as 2000 and 2004.

And this...

Red hair was thought to be a mark of a beastly sexual desire and moral degeneration.
red hair and green eyes were thought to be the sign of a witch, a werewolf or a vampire during the Middle Ages;
szkotja2007 27 | 1,498
18 Mar 2009 #25
Maybe I will have a look on Wikipedia and see what it says there.
Randal 1 | 577
18 Mar 2009 #26

In modern-day UK, despite (or because of) being one of the places with the highest populations of redheads, the words "ginger" or "ginga" are sometimes derogatorily used to describe red-headed people, with terms such as "gingerphobia" (fear of redheads) or "gingerism" (prejudice against redheads)used by the media. Redheads are also sometimes referred to disparagingly as "carrot tops" and "carrot heads". "Gingerism" has been compared to racism, although this is widely disputed, and bodies such as the UK Commission for Racial Equality do not monitor cases of discrimination and hate crimes against redheads.

We're a discriminated minority! I demand special protections!

But this is good...

He goes on to say "redheads are most likely be successful in life."
OP Jampat 1 | 11
18 Mar 2009 #27
The Vikings spreading the gene around makes a lot of sense, as red hair evolved in far north climates to deal with small amounts of Vitamin D, and the Vikings spread their gene pool around northern Europe quite a bit, through simple settlement or raping and pillaging. I know I got part of the recessive gene from my scots-irish side, and the Vikings had quite a bit of red hair too... and they invaded a lot of the baltic, and Poland too. I guess if I go far back enough I'm descended from the Viking invaders. There is red hair in Northwestern Germany (where my Grandma is from), though my Grandma says it wasn't in her family for at least the generation dating back to my great great grandparents. The only other possibility is Polish red hair genes mixing with my scottish or irish genes to give me red hair. I havn't faced much red hair discrimination here in America, maybe due to my physical size or simply because no one thinks anything of it due to the large percentage of scots-irish where I live, easily 75% of the population. (My Polish grandpa is a mountain of a man, and I inherited his genes for that part). I guess I am a werewolf or witch as well, as I have deep green eyes with red hair. I assume that was inherited from my German side, as the only person with green eyes in my family is my German grandma and cousins. Otherwise everyone on both sides of my family has blue eyes. I think I have inherited more of my dad's side of the family, as I am much more similar to the German/Polish side than my mom's irish/scottish side in terms of physical size (I'm already 3 inches taller than anyone on that side, and I'm still growing at a fast clip at 18! i'm around 6'1 right now), and I have a big German nose, and I have a wide eastern European face similar to my Polish Grandpa's. Sorry for the wall of text.. I had a lot of things to respond to.
Randal 1 | 577
18 Mar 2009 #28
The only other possibility is

The mailman? :)

Sorry for the wall of text

It's cool. Good stuff. Did you read the Wiki page?
OP Jampat 1 | 11
18 Mar 2009 #29
I've red the English wiki page, but that doesn't have much info on where red hair is or where it originated in early European groups. It mostly just talks about the gene that was discovered. And I hope it wasn't the mailman, as that mailman would look strikingly similar to my relatives(maybe some family secret I don't know of ; ) ). I am a northern european mutt in terms of my genetics... so I figure the Polish side gave me some Viking genetic recessive gene for read hair to mix with my British isle side. (Though my German side could have carried the gene for A LOT of generations before it actually appeared).
PennBoy 76 | 2,432
21 Mar 2009 #30
Supposedly 30,000 Scottich families settled in Poland back in the 17th century, i havn't met any Scottish Poles, did they evaporate lol ?? of course not, they've gotten completly asimilated into Polish society, therefore if you meet a red headed Pole, he's probably got some Scottish in him. Oh and acording to the latest genetic testing Poles have almost no non-European genes in em'. Our eastern neighbors Latvians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Russians, Estonians, Finns are all at least a 1/4 non white. That idiot Hitler said all that sh*t about us and it got proven wrong.

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