DNA Tests: A Hunt For Your Heritage

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Brooke Wood, Staff Writer

We all know where our families come from, right? You’ve most likely grown up listening to stories about your grandparents or great-grandparents, learning about your family’s ethnic heritage. Whether your family’s origin lies in Germany, Pakistan or even right here in O’Fallon, it is special to you. Recently, DNA tests like 23andMe have been giving people a deeper look into the true roots of their family.

For Christmas, my mom got a 23andMe kit to trace her family’s history. I’ve grown up hearing stories of her Native American heritage. My grandpa is a part of the Houma tribe in Louisiana and grew up going to a segregated school. When my mom got her results back, we were all shocked. The highest percentage she had of any one kind of nationality was 14.2% of Iberian. In addition to her Native American and French background we were aware of, we discovered that she also has some Asian and African background as well!

Doing the DNA test not only gives you an interesting story to tell, but it can also lead to new cultural traditions. When you learn more about your background and where you’re from, it may inspire you to branch out and start celebrating new things. Whether it’s trying new foods, celebrating different holidays or incorporating more culture into your everyday life, this test will surely inspire you to make a change!

The results were not at all what we were expecting, but it was so fun to be able to learn more about both my mom and myself through the test. Learning more about your ethnicity and heritage gives you treasured information about your own story. Not only do you get to see where you come from, but you get to dig deeper and better understand your family’s past.