Jan 4, 2022

Scientists Settled a Century-Old Family Drama Using DNA From Postcards

Did you inherit old postcards or letters from the family? If so, you have another source of genealogy information that perhaps you have not considered: DNA extracted from saliva used to attach stamps.

NOTE: This isn’t terribly unusual. I know at least two people who frequently purchase old letters written and presumably mailed by famous historical individuals. They purchase these letters for the sole purpose of extracting DNA information from the postage stamps and from the glue on the envelopes left when the original person licked the envelope to seal it.

The Wired web site has published a new article showing how one family solved a mystery in the family tree by using DNA information from an old postcard. The family found the information when they found an old postcard sent by the ancestor when he was fighting in World War I and apparently was on postwar trips. You can find the article at:

Now, go to your attic and look again at old love letters and other correspondence from your ancestors. You may have the solution to family mysteries already in your possession.