Genealogy

US first lady 'slave roots' found

Research into the family of US First Lady Michelle Obama has revealed that her great-great-great-grandmother was a slave given away at the age of six. According to genealogist Megan Smolenyak, the girl was described in papers only as "negro girl Melvinia".

Osama Bin Laden's family tree

As Osama Bin Laden spent years on the run, it appears he kept his family close to him. Although separated and divorced from two wives, three others were living with him in the Abbotabad compound where he died.

DNA study deals blow to theory of European origins

The findings challenge previous research showing that the genetic signature of the farmers displaced that of Europe's indigenous hunters. The latest research leans towards the idea that most of Europe's males trace a line of descent to stone-age hunters.

DNA 'could predict your surname'

Forensic scientists could use DNA retrieved from a crime scene to predict the surname of the suspect, according to a new British study. It is not perfect, but could be an important investigative tool when combined with other intelligence.

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Adoptees use DNA to find surname

Male adoptees are using consumer DNA tests to predict the surnames carried by their biological fathers, the BBC has learned. They are using the fact that men who share a surname sometimes have genetic likenesses too.

Confucian family tree 'triples'

Two million people are now recognised as being descendants of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, more than tripling the number in the last count. The announcement was made as the fifth update to Confucius' family tree was unveiled on the 2,560th anniversary of his birth, say Chinese state media.

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