Dig into family history with North Dakota genealogy research

BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) – Where are you from? That’s a question more people than ever are hoping to answer through genetic testing. More than 26 million people in the U.S. have undergone genetic testing to find family information, seek medical history, or hope to contact unknown relatives.

For many, it is interesting to look back.

“I want to know exactly where my people are from. “I went to a family reunion and after watching the announcement, I found out that my grandmother is part Indian Hopi, which I didn’t know, and also Irish, and I need to know what part of Africa my family is from,” he said. Bruce Austin, Bismarck.

“I know my grandmother is Norwegian, but my father passed away when I was four, so I don’t know that side of my family at all. It would be interesting to find out,” said Derek Daley, Bismarck

Sarah Walker, head of reference services at the State Archives, often helps people with genealogy research. Some, he says, come in with a lot of guidance. Others do not know where to begin.

“One of the things we get a lot of requests for is even trying to find out the names of someone’s parents, which can be really difficult, especially since a lot of people in this area came here from other countries and immigrated to the United States. , and may not have come with their families,” said Sarah Walker, head of information services.

He says obituaries are a good starting point for research.

In recent years, old photos and documents are increasingly coming to life as people undergo DNA testing.

Lori Newgard says through DNA testing of her relatives, she has learned she may be related to someone in Taiwan, but she still has many questions.

“Yeah, how accurate is DNA testing and if we have to rely on it to find this cousin of ours that we didn’t know,” said Lori Newgard, Mandan.

Others worry about skeletons in closets and relatives about woodwork to collect from heirlooms.

“I’m just concerned about the privacy issues,” said Curt Crowe, Bismarck.

However, many people want to pull the strings that bind us together and often dream of a pleasant surprise.

“I hope I find out I’m a descendant of Jesus,” Daley laughed.

When Your News Leader asked people online who discovered history through DNA testing, many people had stories to tell. Someone said they were descended from Anne Boleyn. Another said they were related to King Edward III. More people found surprising living relatives and some even met in person.

Lisa Balkovich says she found her birth father through race testing.

“I’m adopted,” she said as she scrolled through photos on her phone.

She says she expected to learn more about her heritage, but her father’s news came as a surprise. She was finally able to meet him and more relatives before she died.

“That’s the only blood I really had before my kids,” Balkovich said.

He says that the meeting was worth it.

“I shouldn’t be surprised and questioning,” Balkovic said.

What have you learned about your family history through research or genetic testing?

Ancestry statistics show that North Dakota is a state with a large population of German and Norwegian heritage.

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