Friday, December 25, 2015 - DNA Testing - The Importance of Testing your Oldest Relatives

Grandma Annette's baby bootie hand-stitched by her mother, circa 1928

About a week ago, I sent out my grandmother's saliva (or spit, gosh, no matter how you write it, it still doesn't sound good) to I realize that with the onslaught of Thanksgiving and Christmas DNA purchases, hers will be one of 100's, if not 1000's, of tests that will have to weed through. However, I am very excited what this one particular test will show us!

There may be nothing new that the DNA test will reveal or there may be only more questions than answers - either way, testing my oldest living grandparent was something I wanted to accomplish before she may leave this world (She had many close calls this last year, so I know it's only a matter of time). 

My grandma Annette will be 87 this upcoming January 3rd, and she is not going without a fight. If anything, she's even stronger now that she was a year ago. It's amazing to watch her pick up things off the floor easier than I can. She can still give a strong hug, walk without very little assistance, and if you ask her opinion, you may just wish you hadn't - but she's an old-school dame and still has a lot of spunk! 

Back to topic, I am excited to share her results with her when they come in and hope to bring to light some interesting twists regarding her DNA, which will go back 4-5 generations, which means, her results can go back 2 more generations than my own! 

I cannot stress the emphasis on getting your oldest relatives tested. Test them even before testing yourself. You can always get another for yourself, but your grandparent or great grandparent may only have so long to offer you a deeper glimpse into their past; your past. Especially if this relative is a male - males may provide more information on the surname that he carries. 

I am also getting my father's DNA tested. There are some parts of my Dad's side of the family that are still a bit of mystery for me (such as his link to Native American lineage that did not show up on my DNA test - I actually had more African lineage show up on me than Native American - hmmmm....) 

So, again, please get your older relatives tested. In the grand scheme of things, it will be way worth it!