16 June 2014

How Genetic Testing Can Unlock Mysteries of the Past

Everyone has a family story written by the ancestors that came before them. These ancient people and historic events are a part of each individual’s personal heritage. Many people enjoy unlocking the past, searching tirelessly for the identity of their ancestors. For some, finding information about their heritage may seem impossible. However, there are several methods that can be used to give a person valuable insight into their past. A person who has an uncanny love for the arts may find that their great-great grandmother was an accomplished artist. People who have a hidden connection with Italy may find a distant relationship with the Italians. Family ancestry can answer all of these questions.



Photo not mine


Who can genetic testing benefit?


Whether a person is determined to discover their specific heritage and lineage or they are simply dabbling in their ancestry for fun, there are many ways that genetic testing can help find the secrets that they are looking for. People who may find this helpful include:

  • People who have followed a paper trail that has come to a sudden halt.
  • People who want scientific proof to back up their findings.
  • People who are looking for a quick and affordable way to find out ancestral information.
  • People who are looking to find out if a specific person shares their heritage.
  • People looking to solve an ancestral mystery. Was their great grandfather really a famous performer?
  • People who want to know their geographical area of origin. 

Finally deciding to discover your ancestral origins through genetic testing can answer a multitude of questions for many people seeking to find out their family story.



How does it work?


Genetic testing begins by submitting a swab containing mucosal cells from the inner cheek. The sample is sent to a laboratory where the DNA is extracted and a unique genetic profile is created. There are several types of genetic testing one can use to gain insightful information into their past. During a y-DNA test, several genetic markers from each DNA profile are compared to others in a central genetic database. Those who share a match have a similar genetic profile and share a common ancestor.

Once people find others that share common ancestors, they can exchange genealogy information. People may find themselves paired with another person who has done a great deal of research and can offer a large amount of information about their lineage.


What can DNA testing do?


DNA genetic testing can:

  • Link specific individuals with one another, allowing people to see if they share a common ancestor.
  • Map out the origins of people with a shared genetic profile. People are able to tell if they have African American or European ancestry.
  • Disprove or prove a shared ancestry between people with the same surname.


Genetic testing can unlock a wealth of information, giving people a better sense of self by telling them where they originated from.


Family ancestry means different things to different people. For some people, understanding their ancestry and heredity helps them uncover who they are and what they stand for. For others, it is a direct link to the past. Genetic testing can be an invaluable tool for those who wish to apply scientific technology to the old art of ancestry.


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