Retracing Our Roots: 23 and Me

Luke Lacey, Staff Writer

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ,we are all encouraged to do family history work and grow our family tree by completing temple work for our ancestors. Most of us engage in family history through indexing and finding new names in Family Search. However, for people who are adopted or don’t know who their parents are, doing their biological family’s work can be challenging. With new technology in DNA testing, and with 23 and Me we can more easily find our relatives and where we are from so we can start our family tree. This service can be useful to anyone, not just members of our church, but also for people who may want to know more about their DNA, where they are from, and health traits. There are multiple DNA testing companies but and 23 and Me own most of the market and most people use those companies.

For Christmas last year, my parents got our family the Ancestry DNA kits mostly for my brother-in-law who is adopted and doesn’t know who his biological parents are. Once he got his results back he saw what countries/regions he’s from and he found his biological sister which he connected with through the Ancestry site. Now he has been able to meet his parents and – by doing that – answer a lot of his questions. On the other hand, though when my grandma and her sister took the test they didn’t have the same DNA and they showed up on the website as half siblings that meant that the person that they thought was their dad actually wasn’t and they never actually knew their real father this has led to questioning and sadness for my grandma.

A lot of people have learned information similar to my grandma when they didn’t really want to know about that and they could have gone the rest of their lives without having to deal with that. For the most part though, the DNA testing is a really enjoyable experience and you get to learn a lot about yourself where you came from and about your ancestors and relatives.