by Thomas Shawker Paperback
National Genealogical Society Guides
A Step-by-Step Guide to Discovering Your Family's Medical and Genetic Heritage From the Publisher
If Gilda Radner, one of the original cast of Saturday Night Live, had known of her family's medical pedigree and her ethnic heritage, she possibly could have prevented her death from ovarian cancer, the silent killer that tragically took her life at the age of 42. Cancer, mental illness, diabetes, and heart disease all have a hereditary component. Unlocking Your Genetic History explains how to integrate a family health history into your genealogy, how to get the appropriate medical information and analyze it, and how to design a medical pedigree in order to detect the genetic influence on your family's health. Early awareness, identification, and treatment can mean the difference between life and death.
The second part of the book discusses the exciting new field of using genetic testing to link you to your ancestors and verify your genealogy. Genetic testing was used to show that Thomas Jefferson fathered children with his slave Sally Hemings and has direct male descendents living today. It has shown that Jews retained their genetic identity despite the Jewish Diasporsa. DNA testing can help identify Native American ancestry, determine who settled Polynesia, and track the march of Genghis Khan as he swept out of Mongolia. Today DNA testing is being used in court and to identify human remains.