In 1996, at a national meeting of genealogists, I met Dr. Thomas H. Roderick, eminent genealogist and geneticist. He introduced me to the potential of DNA as a tool for family history. Roderick told me he was seeking a person willing to undergo DNA testing who believed he or she was descended from indigenous Native American people, but who lacked documentation to back up the claim. He wanted to test specifically for genetic markers in Mitochondrial Deoxyribonucleic acid (mtDNA), genetic material only women pass to their children.
“Adventures in Genealogy” is a regular department in Alabama Heritage magazine that spotlights the many ways people are uncovering their roots in Alabama.