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Are You My Cousin?

How DNA technology can help solve mysteries in your family tree.

I recently received an e-mail from a cousin of mine out on Long Island—we’ll call him Harry—who was writing to invite me to a family reunion. It was an offer I couldn’t resist, even though, as family reunions go, this one is a bit unusual. For one thing, Harry and I have never met. I didn’t even know he existed before he e-mailed me. In fact, though I know for certain that he and I are related, I don’t know exactly how. Neither does he. For that matter, the entire family gathering is composed of people who know we are related, but little else. The guest list isn’t set—actually, it’s growing all the time—but that’s okay, because we don’t have to rent a space, or figure out how much potato salad to make. This reunion, you see, is happening online. It’s virtual. And perpetual. … Back to Article

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