finding your roots

From the Oregon Trail to the DNA Trail

Claudia McGuire April 3, 2012
Arlynn age 5

Arlynn age 5

One of my reasons for DNA testing is a “needle in the haystack” quest for my biological father. I have just about zilch to go on.

I’m hoping to fill in some gaps.

Adopted as an infant, over half a century ago, in a closed record state, and raised as an only child, I’m now a mother of six, grandmother of five. After searching for my biological origins, I’ve recently found out I’m directly descended from at least twelve Oregon Trail travelers.

During my birth family search, I registered with the National Geographic Genographic project…thinking, at the time, that would be all the ancestry information I would ever know. Finally uncovering my maternal heritage has been a rare gift, later in life, to me and to my children. I am still hoping, someday, to find my paternal.
My biological ancestry trivia:

Raised as a Roman Catholic, the religious affiliations of my biological ancestors were Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, and Quaker.

I’m interested in twinning along the family lines, since I gave birth to twins, as did one of my second great grandmothers.

Maternal line has been traced back to Colonial times in the United States of America.

About a dozen ancestors came West on the Oregon Trail (1842, 1852, 1878).

An unsubstantiated family story claims one of my ancestors was a Hessian.

A 2nd Great Grandfather was a Union volunteer drummer in the Battle of Shiloh.

One DNA test lists me as approximately 93% Western European and 7% /Middle Eastern with a 2.6% margin of error.

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  • Laura Anne Moseley Bunyard

    April 26, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I hope you can find what you are looking for. I have many women in my tree that have little or no birth information, nor that of parents. I know I am mostly European, Asian and possibly Middle Eastern.

    Have fun!

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About the Series

The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of the new 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the 12th series from Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Filmed on location across the United States, the series premieres nationally Sundays, March 25 – May 20 at 8 pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

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