How Our Genetic History Shows Where Our Ancestors Have Been

Ever thought about a DNA test? You could find out where your ancient ancestors used to live, giving you amazing insight into your past. Find out more here!

Many people are choosing to indulge in a genetic history test to find out what cultures and nationalities helped to shape them into the people they are today. However, much more can be determined than simply how much of your DNA is Irish or West African.

You can also use it to learn about the migration patterns of your ancestors and how they came to reside in various places around the globe. Does this sound like the sort of thing you are interested in? Keep reading to find out more about what you could learn about your own genetic history.

RELATED: COULD GENETIC ENGINEERING BE THE ANSWER TO STAMPING OUT RACISM?

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Following Ancient Footsteps

To properly understand the migration patterns of our ancestors, we need to head back in time by thousands of years. Back then, the world looked very different and there were areas of the world currently covered by the sea that were exposed. Such areas include the English Channel and a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska.

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This land bridge is crucial for understanding the spread of human ancestors from Asia into the Americas and also helps to show how there are so many genetic similarities between the indigenous people of the Americas and Asians. They ultimately came from the same group of intrepid hominids who ventured across our planet in a process which took thousands of years.

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How Our Genetic History Shows Where Our Ancestors Have Been
Source: javarman3/iStock

How Can I Find Out Where My Ancestors Came From?

The first thing you need to do when attempting to establish where your own ancestors came from, whether you are searching for indigenous or Asian heritage or you are just simply curious about where your ancestors came from! Completing a DNA testing kit which offers a proper breakdown of your genetic history is a must here, especially if the kit offers an analysis of your haplogroups; the key genetic markers needed to examine where your lineage has roots.

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What are the Haplogroups?

Haplogroup information is passed down your familiar lines. Everyone has their own maternal and paternal haplogroups and this genetic information stretches back thousands of years. It is so deeply rooted that you might have different haplogroups than your cousins even if you share other parts of your DNA.

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The haplogroups can be traced back to a singular person who lived in thousands of years ago. Analyzing the haplogroups tells us about where our ancestors migrated from and from that we can establish some hypothesizes about where they were going. It is really quite amazing that we are able to trace our lineages back in this way to a single person who lived so long ago.

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So, returning to the question of indigenous American heritage, if you know that you have such a background then you might have a look at your haplogroups to see where your ancestor lived. It would not be surprising at all to find that your ancestor lived in mainland Asia; supporting the theory that Native Americans migrated across Asia and into the Americas.

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This, of course, does not mean that modern Asians are the same as modern Native Americans. It is thought that the genetic divide occurred some 25,000 years ago; giving both groups plenty of time to evolve and develop into the rich and varied cultures we know today.

How Our Genetic History Shows Where Our Ancestors Have Been
Source: Hydromet/iStock

Why Find Out?

People love to celebrate their heritage and where they come from. Some 35 million Americans claim Irish heritage but they don’t take a further look back to see where those Irish ancestors might have been before they reached the Emerald Isle.

Taking a look at your haplogroups is a super-interesting way to find out more about your family past and it is an area of genetic research which currently does not have a lot of attention. However, by taking a look at your DNA, you can find out all sorts of fun facts.

You might find out that you and your best friend are extremely distantly related because you are both members of the same haplogroup. You could discover that your family lived in a corner of the world which you never imagined visiting; prompting holiday plans so you can see the modern equivalent of the landscape they would have seen.

Finally, you could find out if you are a member of the same haplogroup as a number of interesting historical figures. How would you like to be descended from the same person as Alexander Hamilton or Napoleon? The study of your haplogroups could tell you this!

What are you waiting for? Take a DNA test and learn what your haplogroup is for yourself today. You never know what interesting things you might find out about your heritage. Science has truly allowed us to unlock our family’s past in such a weird and wonderful way and it really needs to be experienced by everyone who wants to know more about where the family used to live.

About the Author: Bernadine Racoma is a senior content writer at Day Translations, a human translation services company. After her long stint as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her interest in writing and research. Like her poetry, she writes everything from the heart, and she treats each written piece a work of art. She loves dogs! You can find Bernadine Racoma on Facebook and Twitter.

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