The Interconnectedness of the Human Family


I am taking part in the DNA test from Ancestry because it is going to be super exciting just to find out my ethnicity. Is there anything I can do that would help me locate possible living relatives? Thanks for your time! –Thomas


Dear Thomas,

It used to be that the only way to find long-lost relatives on our family tree was to follow the paper trail. And unless your ancestry connected to early American colonists or to European royalty, it was very difficult to find paper documents older than the last few centuries. And what about your relatives who didn’t leave a paper trail? In the past, these ancestors were doomed to disappear. But not any longer. Now we can locate both ancestors you never even dreamed that you had, plus cousins of yours who are alive today–all by taking a simple and inexpensive DNA test!

Some of us were born into large nuclear families. And some of us could hold a family reunion around a kitchen table without even adding any extra leaves. But regardless of how many brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, and first cousins you might have, your extended family–the people with whom you share recent ancestors over just the last few hundred years–is enormous, far larger than most of us realize.

This is where genetic testing is so valuable. By identifying your distant cousins who are alive today, genetic genealogy tests can dramatically lengthen your dining table–and enable you to invite to your family reunion some surprising and totally unexpected relatives. Simply by taking a test, odds are very good that you will find additional family members, especially as genetic databases grow. Here’s why.

You have a lot of distant cousins

Let’s start with a little, simple arithmetic. —> Read More