I don’t know how many times I had to create a Family tree when I was growing up. We could get pretty far on my mom’s side, but my dad’s Family Tree was always a mystery. We were told that my great grandfather was taken in as a baby. You know the story. He was a abandoned, left in a basket on a doorstep of some good Nuns who took him in and raised him, later being adopted by another family. I was always a little suspicious of this story, and as the years went by many of the details often changed.
Well, stories like this don’t need to prevent one from discovering the past any longer. Thanks to a company called Family Tree DNA and the National Geographic Genographic Project you can now submit your own DNA samples and trace your Ancient Family Roots. Men can choose either mt-DNA, on their Mom’s side or Y-DNA identification on their Dad’s side. Women can only trace their mt-DNA, if they want to know something about their father’s side they’ll need a brother, or male relative on their dad’s side of the family to submit samples.
For $99 National Geographic sends you a kit and you take these cheek swaps from the interior of your mouth. They have these little brush like sticks with soft cloth-paper like brushes that you use to scrape the inside cheek for about 60 seconds. You place the paper strips into a little glass tube with a solution and mail the package back to National Geographics. In about 4 weeks you can log onto their website and track the progress of your DNA identification.
When you get your results you can also register your DNA with the Family Tree DNA Website where they will run your markers through their database and you can find any other family’s from your ancestral towns or villages that match your Y-DNA. As more people submit their DNA the tree gets bigger and bigger and eventually everyone should be able to track their family roots to the very beginning of mankind. How’s that for an interesting project !