Category: Ancestry

Finding a Family’s Jewish Ancestry

As the series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. begins its 10-week run on PBS, The Spittoon will feature posts from 23andMe’s Ancestry Ambassadors featuring their own stories about using DNA to dig into ancestry. By Andrea Badger There has been a legend in my family, passed down from ...

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How Many Relatives Do You Have?

This month, 23andMe published a new article in PLoS One entitled “Cryptic Distant Relatives are Common in both Isolated and Cosmopolitan Samples." Authored by former 23andMe scientists, Brenna Henn and Lawrence Hon, along with current 23andMe scientists and 23andMe advisor, Itsik Pe’er, of Columbia ...

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The Missing Pieces in an African American Family History

As the series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. continues its 10-week run on PBS, The Spittoon will feature posts from 23andMe’s Ancestry Ambassadors featuring their own stories about using DNA to dig into ancestry. By Shannon Christmas African American genealogy remains a challenging ...

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Our Redheaded Jewish Grandmother

As the series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. begins its 10-week run on PBS, The Spittoon will feature posts from 23andMe’s Ancestry Ambassadors featuring their own stories about using DNA to dig into ancestry. By Tim Janzen, M.D. My father, Robert Janzen, comes from a long line of ...

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DNA Tests Uncover African Ancestry and Surprising Connection to Thomas Jefferson

As the series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. begins its 10-week run on PBS, The Spittoon will feature posts from 23andMe’s Ancestry Ambassadors featuring their own stories about using DNA to dig into ancestry. By CeCe Moore You never know what a DNA test might reveal! A few months ...

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Did You Know? Ancestry is Not So Black and White

Data from the 2010 census showed that about 13% of people living in the United States self-identify as African American, but from a genetic point of view, ethnicity isn't so black and white. Most African Americans have genetic ancestry tracing back to both Africa and Europe but the exact proportion can vary ...

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Find Your Inner Neanderthal

They had bigger brains and muscles, but for some reason Neanderthals —thick boned humans who thrived for hundreds of thousands of years in Europe and parts of Asia— died out about 30,000 years ago, while we modern humans survived. Why we, Homo sapiens, flourished and our Homo neandertalensis cousins died ...

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Our Hidden African Ancestry

Update: A post at the blog Your Genetic Genealogist just went up with a very similar story to mine. Check it out.   It was just a few thin green segments on my fourth and seventh chromosomes that sent me searching. I wanted to know more about my family history. I pestered my mom with questions ...

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Stories From 23andMe: James Larry Vick and the “Black Dutch” of Newman’s Ridge

It started innocently enough with a simple question from his daughter. “Where did our family come from?” (Image from Larry Vick's blog) For 20 years Larry Vick has been trying to answer that question. His first source was a chart drawn up by an uncle, but since then Vick has turned to old Census files, ...

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Genes, Languages and Artifacts Yield Insights Into African Prehistory

The author during her time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya. As a Peace Corps volunteer teaching in Kenya 25 years ago, I was fascinated by the cultural, linguistic, and physical differences among the people of eastern Africa. One of our Kenyan trainers took us to a "boma" where his tall, ...

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