The journey of DNA testing

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Marissa Woolard
Contributor

Growing up, I was always jealous of people with big families. I would go to my friend’s parties and see their 20 cousins running around the place and I started to question why I didn’t have that.

All of my grandparents immigrated to the Unites States in the early to mid 1900’s from their respected countries. They left their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents for a better life in America. Growing up, I was oblivious to this thought and was just angry my family was so small.

The last few years, I kept hearing about ancestry trees you can make online but I never gave into the gimmick…until now.

I have found out so many things myself and others in my family never knew. I didn’t know who my great grandfather really was growing up. All I knew was that he was a lead in the creation of crime scene investigation. He was also the police chief of my hometown, Las Vegas. Now, I have learned about his early life in Germany with his parents who were authors.

I have found out that the government messed up my great grandmother’s birth date when she came to America which ultimately made her younger that what she really was, which she didn’t mind. These are all facts not even my mother knew.

Ancestry trees are great but now I want to dive into DNA genetic testing. I think many can agree with me though that it can be a scary thing. I grew up knowing I was Czech, Sicilian, Irish and Swedish. That’s all I’ve known and it can be a tad heart wrenching to find out you may not be one or any of the cultures you grew up knowing. I know people who grew up knowing they were Italian but ended up being only a half percent.

A company called 23 and Me has paved the way for people to finally find out who they are. There are two options available; one just for ancestry and the other will give you your health as well including your chance for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s as well as your muscle composition and traits you may have such as snoring or food types.

If you’re brave; I would highly recommend DNA testing, I believe it’s a great way to find out where you actually come from, so when people ask, you’ve got the answer.

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