DNA Testing: In Our Blood
It is connecting lost cousins and giving families surprising glimpses into their pasts. Now scientists are using it to answer the oldest question of all: where did we come from?
By Claudia Kalb
Feb. 6, 2006 issue - Brian Hamman had always wondered: what was up with his great-grandfather Lester? Hamman, an avid genealogist, could trace his patrilineal line back to 19th-century rural Indiana, but there was a glitch in the family records. Great-Grandpa Lester, the documents showed, was born before his parents were married. So was Lester really a Hamman? Was Brian? Three years ago DNA tests confirmed the lineage and a simple family mystery was solved: Lester's parents had hooked up before they walked down the aisle on July 25, 1898. Lester was indeed a Hamman, and so is Brian. "I'm delighted," he says.
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