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Helping you understand your Ethnic Background

How We Got Started

Mark Strauss has been keenly interested in Ethnic DNA, and the Ethnic makeup and background of people, for nearly a decade.  He began to ask questions that many people ask: where am I from?  Why do I look the way I do?  Is there a part of me that originated in country X?  How can it be that some people within a population don’t look the same as the majority of the population?

These questions, that many of us wonder about, are the driving force that caused Mark Strauss to pursue an education and career in Cultural and Ethnic Anthropology, the study of people, and their origins.  His interest initially brought him to DNA research, and information that can be obtained by submitting a sample of one’s DNA to an Ethnic DNA testing lab, such as DNA Tribes or 23andMe.  However, although the results (Genetic Ancestry Analysis) that one gains are accurate and informative, they also sometimes leave many questions unanswered.  People are sometimes left with more questions than answers, as they ponder how it is possible that their DNA background doesn’t match their expectations.  The answer to this puzzle is that there is a lot of background information, such as the migration of human populations, and conquests/wars that occurred hundreds and thousands of years ago, that shape who we are.  It is this information that, given the proper research and knowledge, can help to explain in much clearer detail what DNA tests really reveal about a person’s background.

Sometimes, even without taking a DNA test, the information that a person knows about his/her background can be confusing.  Historic information can clear up a lot of confusion, but this information is very difficult to find.  For example, did you know that many babies have been stolen and sold for adoption, to adoptive parents in other countries, even in the last fifty years?  Or, did you ever think about what effect a conquering army could have on the population makeup of a country?  Knowing about such historic events could help to clear up many unknowns.  There are many such historic occurrences that can affect who you really are, depending on your roots.

This is where Beyond DNA comes in.  Mark Strauss, our head researcher, is currently studying Cultural Anthropology at York University in Toronto, Canada.  He enjoys researching historic facts, trends, migrations and population movements that have occurred.   It is his vast knowledge, research ability and access to information that allows him to paint a clear picture of your personal past, based on any information that you can provide us with and his additional research of your information.  He will fill in any historic factors that may have occurred in your past and have influenced your DNA results and/or family tree.

To start the process, you will send Beyond DNA (via e-mail) information that you know about yourself (preferably your DNA test results, or if you have any other information, we will use this information) and Mark Strauss will study your information, and correlate it with historical data, in easy to understand language, that explains so much more about you and your background.

You will treasure the fascinating information that will be revealed about you and your true ancestry.