I am a participant in National Geographic’s Genographic Project, an ongoing study which is collecting samples of DNA worldwide. National Geographic shares the results of the study with Ancestry.com, and is compiling a huge data base of material. Mitochondrial DNA is passed down from mother to daughter and all modern Europeans are classified into seven groups, each of which is named for a different “clan mother”. “The Seven Daughters of Eve” is a good, informative book on the subject. After a simple saliva test, you get results and — if you choose to supply your email — you can contact others who share the same DNA. One of my “DNA cousins” lives in France and has made a point of connecting with everyone who shares our genetic line. Five years ago she organized a meeting for as many of us that could come together, in Chicago. People showed up from different cities in this country and a few even from other parts of the world. One sunny morning in August of 2010, I sat on the front steps of a hotel in a city a long way from my home, waiting to be picked up by people I knew only through email. “What if they’re not who you think they are, who they portrayed themselves to be?” was the question I was asked often before I made the trip. It turns out they were even more wonderful than I had imagined. We’ve stayed in touch and I’ve visited with them since, and I feel as though I have the best extended family of all time. Thank you, DNA testing, for enriching my life so greatly.