Happy Mysteries Solved By Saliva

The mystery books I write always involve something nefarious. A crime, a cover-up, or, at the very least, suspicious characters are always elements of the story.

Mysteries

But not all mysteries are tragic. A mystery can be a question. Like: Who are my biological parents?

That’s where services like ancestry.com come in.

Sometimes, those services aren’t enough. In which case heir hunters like Michael Flint may be hired. But sometimes you get lucky, and the research you can do online, possibly in conjunction with DNA tests, will give sleuths what they need to solve mysteries of ancestry. Many readers have written to ask me about this. So I’ve put together a few more interesting options.

Online genealogy programs are more popular than ever, thanks in part to several TV showsHere are some of the sources out there:

  • Helix sends customers a DNA collection kit. Their lab then uses saliva to gather tons of pieces of genetic data. One of the products Helix offers is National Geographic’s Geno 2.0 Next Generation which works with indigenous communities to dig deep into questions like, “What migration routes did my ancestors take?” and “What percent Neanderthal am I?”
  • MyHeritage is a genealogy research company based in Israel, with offices in Israel, Utah, and California. They have family tree-building services and a database with billions of historical records.
  • 23andMe is another company that uses saliva samples to provide customers with genetic information. They can tell you not only where in the world your ancestors likely came from, but they also have an emphasis on health-related services. They might be able to tell you if you’re a carrier for certain inherited conditions. And you can opt in to network with people who have similar DNA as you.

As you can imagine, the possibility of using a genealogy service to connect with people with similar DNA is especially attractive to adopted people seeking their biological parents, and vice versa. It was the service Ancestry.com that led Kimberly Sebeck to find her birth mother. Because her adoption in the 1970’s was a closed adoption, it was difficult for Kimberly to track down information about her parents in the traditional ways. Knowing she had an interest in genealogy, one of her clients gave Kimberly the DNA test kit as a gift. Through Ancestry’s DNA database, she was able to connect with a man who turned out to be her brother, which then led Kimberly to her mother, Cheri DeSalvo.

Photo: Carol Lee Stephens/Wild Blossom Photography via USA Today

Photo: Carol Lee Stephens/Wild Blossom Photography via USA Today

This holiday season, Kimberly and Cheri list, among the many things they are thankful for, DNA testing. It can often provide more information than we’d ever imagined was possible.

For those times when DNA tests aren’t enough, Michael Flint is on the job. You can learn more about him HERE.

Meanwhile --

Caffeinate and Carry On!

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