EDITORIAL

One’s religious history is just as important as their genetic makeup

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Ever since scientists have started mapping the human genome, a new field of research has opened up for people to search their genetic history. Companies like Ancestry.com, 23andMe, and MyHeritage have made searching for a person’s genealogical history a lot easier and much more interesting. A small sample of DNA, which is usually acquired by a person’s saliva, is sent to these one of these companies for genetic testing. These companies have been building their own DNA database in which the genetic sample is compared to others that have been cataloged.

As more and more people use these services, the larger the database becomes and thus the more precise the results of the tests can be determined. Once a person receives their results, their DNA profile can be adjusted according to updates from more samples being collected. Using this information, along with the help from a substantial historical document database, many people have traced back their family ancestors for a least a few centuries. We all have an interest in discovering where we came from, and thus using tools such as those provided by the genetic testing companies have opened up a new appreciation for history.

One’s religious history is another area that can be researched through the review of documents that the Catholic Church has collected through the centuries. Oftentimes, baptismal registers contain a bounty of information such as the children’s and parents’ names, addresses, dates of birth and other various notations that could be a useful resource to search for historical information. Discovering our ancestors’ faith journey is just as important as doing the genetic research, because they have handed down the Catholic Faith to us, which is the greatest gift that we have received from them.