DNA results is a sure fire way to confirm your paper trail results.
Sometimes no matter how hard I try, with so little time to research, I just cant come up with a good DNA-related story angle for certain guests. That is pretty much the case for last weeks episode. This typically happens when the DNA supports the genealogical research well and there are no real surprises or mysteries to explore.
This isnt entirely unexpected for people who have primarily British and/or Colonial roots like Sting and Sally Field where there is a very good genealogical paper trail to follow. Sometimes, with people like Deepak Chopra, whose ancestral origins come from regions that are not as well represented in the databases, it can also be a challenge because we just dont have as much information about the genetics from those regions and there are generally less DNA cousins with whom to compare family histories. Testing additional family members can sometimes help to reveal interesting information, but we dont always have that opportunity, which was the case for the three guests from last week.
When that happens, I fall back on the traditional Finding Your Roots formula. In the script, I lay out their admixture first at the global level, looking at the broad overview, meaning how much of their DNA traces back to major population groups like Africans, Europeans, Asians and Native Americans. Then we break it down into the sub-regional categories for each guest, detailing the more specific areas or populations groups from which the testing companies predict their ancestors originated over the last 500-1000 years. If there is some diversity there, we will often show it to the guest mapped out across their chromosomes like we did with Sally in this episode.
For the complete article click here for Finding Your Roots | PBS