My sister has red hair, my two kids have red hair and my husband used to have red hair. So did my Mom and Grandmother. My father in law too!
Red hair is the rarest natural hair color in humans (1-2% of the population) but you wouldn’t know it in our family. Redheads are found most commonly in northern and western Europeans and their descendents. The colour ranges from deep coppery tones to bright oranges and is the product of two copies of a recessive gene that has been associated with the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R), a protein associated with fair skin, red hair and ultra violet sensitivity.*
It shouldn’t come as any surprise to know that our family, are of northern European extraction. Our IRVINEs are from Ireland and so were the KERRs, most likely via Scotland originally. One of my grandmothers was a WILSON from Scotland. The other, a WOODLAND, also with northern European roots.
My husband’s AUMACK side of the family has been traced back to Dutch settlers on the Isle of Amager, in Denmark. His father, a MILLER and also a redhead is thought to have English ancestry.
With all those redheads in the gene pool it wasn’t a surprise that our two children turned out to be redheads.
How many of YOU have redheads in your family? Are they of northern European extraction? I’d love to hear your comments.