We live in a big melting pot – a land of immigrants from all corners of the world. If you’ve ever wondered about your family tree’s true origins and where you fit in, it might be time to consider taking a DNA test.
DNA testing can give you a vast array of answers to questions you may have about parentage and ethnicity. For instance, after DNA testing, you could find out that you’re more, or less, European than you thought.
The first route on your genealogy journey is through mitochondrial DNA testing, also known as mtDNA. This type of test traces ancestry through the female ancestral lines of your family. Mitochondria are passed from a mother to her children. Since all people have mitochondria, both men and women can take this type of test. What is particularly interesting about this test is that it can shed light on women in your family tree that you may not have heard of, due to the loss of surnames through marriage.
You’ve got your results, now what? How does having your ethnic breakdown benefit you? Understanding your ethnicity can lead to rewarding opportunities, such as reconnecting with long lost family members or traveling abroad. Beyond personal use and curiosity, genetic testing can help put to rest a variety of legal issues. Specific DNA tests can help settle topics such as right to inheritance, social security, and other benefits, as well as issues of paternity and the confirmation of biological family members. DNA is a wonderfully useful tool that establishes a scientific context for personal relationships.
By Annmarie Dallao
ARCpoint Labs of Reading