Can DNA Really Solve Family Mysteries?

In an article on MSNBC called “DNA Solves a Family Mystery”, author Matt Crenson tells of how modern DNA testing has helped to solve the mysteries about his great-grandfather’s history.

It also includes some rather stunning information on what DNA testing has uncovered.

The news often reports amazing tales of how genetic analysis proves that a few ancient Adams and Eves living in Africa tens of thousands of years ago gave rise to the entire human race. Genetic testing demonstrates that 3.5 million of today’s Ashkenazi — Jews with roots in Central and Eastern Europe — descend from just four women who lived in Europe less than 2,000 years ago. It shows that most of Ireland descends from a legendary king named Niall of the Nine Hostages.

I’m not sure where this information comes from, but it does sound a little far fetched. More than four women were part of the Jewish Diaspora who were in Europe less than 2,000 years ago, so where are all their children? Only time, more research, and more participants will help decode more of these mysteries.

The articles goes on to tell of how Crenson discovered that his great-grandfather was probably Jewish or of Jewish descent. As a reminder, to be recognized as truly “Jewish”, the mother is the conduit, not the father, but that doesn’t matter when it comes to DNA.

His story is fascinating and shows us how DNA research can be combined with facts on the ground to help fill in the missing pieces on our family’s history.

Most Recent Articles by Lorelle VanFossen


About Lorelle VanFossen

Lorelle VanFossen hosts Family History Blog covering her ancestors and related family members. She is one of the top bloggers in the world, and host of the Lorelle on WordPress, providing WordPress and blogging tips for bloggers of all levels. A popular keynote speaker and trainer, she is also editor, producer, contributor, and official disruptive thinker for Bitwire Media which includes WordCast, Making My Life Network, Stories of Our Journeys, Life on the Road, WordCast Conversations, and the very popular WordCast Podcast.
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