Now that DNA testing companies have succeeded in getting millions of us to swab our cheeks, do we still need to “talk” and “research” about our ancestry? Of course we do. In fact, after having taken DNA tests through both 23andMe and Ancestry.com, I appreciate even more, the research I’ve done through the years. Research and family gossip are valuable, maybe the most valuable information that we have. Don’t discredit oral history that speaks of your Native American ancestry, just because your DNA test shows nothing. As the science progresses and more people share their DNA with the public, who and what classifies as a Native American will change. And don’t think that less than one or two percent of an “ethnicity” is insignificant. It’s not. If your grandmother told you that you have Native American ancestry, don’t give up the faith. DNA science needs more time to evolve. In the meantime, keep asking questions and keep digging.
Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here: