Submission Date

Winter 2020


Students in the Honors Genetics and Genealogy class―led by Nova Southeastern University faculty members, Dr. James Doan and Dr. Emily F. Schmitt Lavin―were supplied with a DNA test from 23andMe to discover their heritage and ancestral roots. Upon retrieval of the genetic data, some students, like myself, discovered extraordinary surprises. While I was already aware that I was a mixture of Italian from my paternal side, and a mixture of Spaniard, Portuguese and Guatemalan from my maternal side, I never expected my DNA results to appear as they had. I was surprised when the DNA results revealed a considerable portion of my genetic makeup to be East Asian and Native American rather than Spaniard and Portuguese. From my DNA sample, the 23andMe test concluded my main points of origin were Molise, Italy and Mexico-Central America. Using the genealogical data from 23andMe, I interviewed my paternal grandfather (who was born in Molise, Italy) and maternal grandmother (who was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala) to create a personal family narrative to illustrate who I am and how I got here.

Climbing_the_Branches_of_Angelina’s_Family_Tree.mp4 (28992 kB)
Video presentation

Family Tree.pdf (395 kB)
A diagram of my family tree