Family History and Your DNA
When it comes to your DNA testing, there are 22 pairs of autosomal chromosomes which are the numbered chromosomes as opposed to sex chromosomes. These are recombined with those from the other parent when a child is conceived. When it comes to Ancestry testing, we connect family members through these chromosomes. We suggest when you do your ancestry test, to start with your oldest living generation and work your way down, establishing the connections for future generations. You can keep track of these connections on your own or through an ancestry site profile. Ours is on its way!
However, the generations already passed did not keep track of this electronically. Instead, they used diaries, journals, census, record books, and oral passing of history to communicate relatives to future generations. You might have something like your great grandfather's pocket watch or your great great grandmother's quilt. Or you may have heard the story of how you are related to Johnny Cash by marriage some generations ago. This is the import stuff that knowing our ancestry can bring us.
Estate Planning and Your DNA
So how can DNA Testing help you to plan your estate? DNA testing facilities such as ours have to keep records both written and electronically now. You never know when the web world will fade away. You also cannot keep papers from getting damaged. So both are extremely important. Having your DNA tested is the first step in knowing where you came from, but knowing your genetic make up is so much more than that.
In this day and age, our family structure has changed dramatically. In years past, divorce was uncommon. But let's face it, half of marriage end in divorce these days and many babies are born out of wedlock. Having your DNA tested and the links to your biological family members has become extremely important as families separate and come together. Great Grandparents and Grandparents want to plan their estates to go to people of their blood (typically) and having the documentation is important for continuing blood line documentation.
Future Generations and Your DNA
As the author of this blog, I can tell you that estate planning is not everything. I do not have grandparents with an exorbitant amount of wealth or things. However, I do have a pretty blended family. My biological grandfather passed away in 1966, and my grandmother remarried not long after. She had three children and her new husband had two of his own. Therefore, I grew up with A grandmother, an uncle, an aunt, a step-grandfather, and two step-aunts. They were my family despite not being my blood and the love was not the least bit different.
My uncle has been deceased for 7 years now, and my dad and grandma both passed this year, five months apart. There wasn't stuff to be had in any of these deaths other than small mementos of things that reminded me of their love. However, what does this mean for the myself and future generations? Well, in addition to things and where things go when people pass away, your DNA guarantees you one thing: medical history. Because I know my direct biological relationship to those who passed, I do know I have risks to my health that I need to be cautious about.
My uncle died of sudden-onset kidney complications. My father passed from fighting a seven-year cancer battle. Their mother - my grandmother - passed peacefully in her sleep. However, she struggled with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which both her sons inherited. She was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease (as was my grandmother on my maternal side). And she took tons of medications for other things that I am still learning about! Two replaced knees... Also common on my mother's side of the family. And the list goes on and on. That's just my paternal medical history!
Don't freak out if you don't know Your DNA
Don't know your DNA? Maybe you're adopted. Don't worry. It's not too late. My DNA Paternity can do ancestry DNA. We can do health screenings. We can do biological DNA testing to determine your autosomal genetic markers and what you are at risk for in the future. In addition, this knowledge you can pass on to future generations to help them build a preventative plan and maybe stop the passing of chronic or fatal diseases in years to come. Click here to learn more about Types of Tests or call and talk to a Case Manager.