2021.10.20 – The Genetic Detective


The Genetic Detective
By Dale E. Lee


  • About the The Genetic Detective
  • Locations
  • Activities
  • Wrap up


  • About the The Genetic Detective

Every once in a while Seekerz writes articles about shows that have a Family History bent. Not everything in Family History has to be cut and dried. Entertainment can be an important part of increasing people’s interest and ability in Family History. As you watch to be entertained, you can pick up tips and clues you may be able to incorporate in your own research.

The Genetic Detective is a show put on by ABC which features a newer part of Family History research, the use of DNA. DNA, along with genealogical research is used to solve many Family History mysteries. The show takes participants mainly from New Zealand, asks them for information about their family, and with that and DNA evidence, helps them discover interesting and unique things about their family lines. In some instances haplogroups help show them where their ancestors could have come from thousands of years ago.

  • Locations

Since the participants are mainly from New Zealand, most of them have genetic influences coming from other parts of the world. It is interesting to find where in the world their ancestors came from. However, the show not only talks about the locations their ancestors came from, it actually sends them to those locations, wherever they are in the world. By visiting the places their ancestors came from or went to, they gain a better appreciation for those that came before them. The following are some of the places the participants were sent:

  1. Holland where a participant found he had ancestry from Norway
  2. San Francisco
  3. Amsterdam
  4. China
  5. Wales
  6. Argentina
  7. Suriname
  8. Spain
  9. The Himalayas
  10. Etc.
  • Activities

DNA is becoming more and more important in genealogical studies. The very first episode of The Genetic Detective show demonstrates the use of DNA to solve a couple of criminal cases. The first was the very first cold case where DNA was used in court and the next was a hot case where the police were able to catch a rapist within a short period of time.

But criminal detection is not all that the show is about, they also demonstrate other aspects of using DNA to solve family mysteries, and some of them are more than a little surprising. One participant found that he had ancestry that not only had slave owners, but also slaves. Another man, a Samoan, thought he did not have any ancestry but Samoan, but found out differently. Another thought that she descended from the Basques in Spain because of her olive complexion, but her DNA did not show any traces of it. And yet another was happy to find that the family myth that she was related to Royalty was actually true.

  • Wrap up

Many surprising twists and turns can occur when tracing your family history. Don’t be surprised, as many of The Genetic Detective participants were, if things turn out a bit different than expected, or even a lot differently than you supposed. Not all family myths are true. And remember that, as one of the participants stated “We are who we are for a reason.”

To view the show, go to “https://abc.com/shows/the-genetic-detective” on the internet.

Seekerz, © 2021

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