Discover The Story Of You!
Having a genealogy DNA analysis completed can be valuable, educational, interesting, and just downright fun: especially if you and some other family members are having analysis completed as a group. A genealogy DNA analysis can reveal fascinating details about you and your lineage, like: what your DNA says you should physically look like, what sort of illnesses or conditions you’re predisposed to, what type of personality you’re more likely to have, and what sort of environment you might thrive in depending on your biological makeup. While there are a variety of companies that currently offer this sort of testing, Gets even more personalized with those results, and this in-depth combination of insights could allow you to explore the following about yourself:
- Learn about your ancestry at a chromosomal level.
Reviewing your DNA will help you access a global ancestry report, which pulls from your respective genealogy DNA analysis to tell you about your ancestral chromosome pattern throughout several generations. Each of our ancestors received a copy of a chromosome from each parent, and before passing them down, those chromosomes were reshuffled randomly. This is how diversity of origin was born within families, and ancestry research platforms can both break that down and provide predictions based on existing patterns.
- Genealogy DNA can provide you with insights about ancient ancestors.
Another way genealogy DNA analyses work is to trace ancient ancestral history. These results can help you take it back to the beginning: whether your family originated as hunter-gatherers, First farmers, Steppe pastoralists, Indigenous Americans, West African, or East or South Asian people, or – more likely – some diverse combination. This information can help you put you and your family into historical context, relating your heritage to what was happening at the time in the world – and how and where your lineage might have come into play.
Fun facts about genealogy
Knowing your genealogy can bring a lot of value to your life, whether you’re looking to connect with long-lost family, learn more about your health and wellness, or just figure out where your family is from and what sort of traits are common within your lineage. Genealogy isn’t a new concept. People have been fascinated by ancestral lineage and what it explains about us as humans for centuries. Here are some of the most interesting facts from the history of genealogy, and how it’s helped humans understand and connect with one another throughout time:
- Surnames – or “last names” – weren’t used by society until 11th-century Europe, when they were established to help distinguish between growing populations.
The original surnames were categorized by five general groups: occupation (like Baker or Tailor), geography-based features (like Hill or Marsh), those based on the family’s father’s name (like McIntosh originating as “Mac an Tòisich,” meaning “son of leader or chief”), or those based on appearances or nicknames (like White or Big).
- At Ellis Island in the late-1800s, none of the immigrants’ surnames were changed. If your family’s surname has deviated from its original spelling, it was likely one of your ancestor’s doing.
- Genealogy was originally kept track of orally. It wasn’t until the 1500s in Western Europe when people began keeping a documented system of genealogical records. Before then, memorizing your family’s lineage was common practice, and a responsibility that was passed down from family member to family member.
- Confucius’s family tree – or the “Kong Family Tree” – is the most well-documented family tree in history (as verified by the Guinness World of Records).
- Before genealogy was widely and systematically kept track of, some medieval cultures relied on wills or tombstones in lieu of dates of birth or death. Tombstones used to contain symbols that communicated details about the person – like a rosebud meaning the dead person was under the age of 12, or an intertwined rosebud meaning a mother and child died together at the birth.
- The world’s first oral genealogy interviews were conducted in Samoa in 1968.
- Genealogy verified ancient claims to the British throne. After the death of the King, it was common for several people to claim the Crown. For this reason, royal and noble pedigrees were extensively kept track of and consulted when the time came.
- Most English or European descendents can trace their lineage back to William the Conqueror or Charlemagne.
- You and your siblings can have different amounts of ethnicities within your DNA – even twins.
- Genealogy has been used as a powerful tool to uncover family secrets: like second families, half-siblings, and other shocking discoveries you may or may not be ready to learn.
- Genealogy has been used to solve mysteries – like tracking down abandoned next of kin to inherit a fortune, identify the remains of someone killed, or prove the validity of parental lineage.
- Families with more generational wealth are typically easier to research, as they tend to have more paper trails (more property ownership, tax history, etc.).
Fun genealogy projects to take on at home
Beyond learning about your lineage and how your genealogy DNA analysis might inform your health and wellness, you might be wondering what the benefits are to looking into genealogy. For many people, learning about who you are and where you come from is validating and empowering – especially if you were born without a lot of access to your family’s history. Although genealogy DNA analysis might not matter that much to you, it could matter greatly to someone else in your lineage, and honoring it is a great way to contribute to your family’s connection.
Here are some fun genealogy-related projects you can easily work on from home, on your family’s behalf:
- Write out your own history.
When it comes to genetic history, maybe your family doesn’t have a whole lot to go off of. If that’s the case, why not change the mold? Your history might not be that fascinating to you, but one of your descendants might feel otherwise. Write down your history for the future, including tangible, traceable things like birth certificates, confirmation records, marriage certifications, Social Security numbers, and family photos.
- Interview your relatives.
DNA analysis can reveal a lot to you about your family, but what can tell you even more is…well, your family. If you have access to relatives, ask them if they’d be willing to sit down and tell you about their history. This is a powerful anecdotal way to understand who you are, where you come from, and what sort of similarities or differences you might have.
- Take photos – and scrapbook often.
This is both a fun way to connect with family members, and an easy way to document life together. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a collection of pictures can tell an entire history, if you’re intentional and thoughtful about the process.