Who's Your Daddy?

Track your true identity along a DNA trail left behind by your ancestors

The Arizona genetics professor is Michael Hammer, who made waves in the '90s by discovering the Cohanim gene in Jews. By tradition, Cohanim are Judaism's priestly caste, said to be descended from Moses's brother Aaron. Hammer conducted a study and proved that a statistically significant percentage of Jewish men who claimed to be Cohanim did in fact share a genetic signature. Today, Hammer's lab does FTDNA's tests on a for-profit basis, and Greenspan's Houston office runs the operations.

And the business is doing well. The first anthrogenealogy conference, held in Houston late last year, was a success. Greenspan was treated as a rock star by the mostly aging genealogists who attended. The future of this young hybrid science was a hot topic. Greenspan believes his company will do nothing less than help to revolutionize the whole concept of the family tree. "Think of it this way: Think of the anthropological side as the branches and the limbs of a tree. Think of the genealogical side as the leaves. Right now we're probably missing the twigs -- in other words, I can tell a man by looking at his leaves what branch of the tree and maybe even what limb of the tree, but I can't tell him what twig he is on. Yet at the same time I can look at the leaves and make a comparison of them and get an idea of who is related. I think in the next few years many of those branches are gonna get fleshed out in such a way that we'll be able to do the whole branch-limb-twig-leaf deal.

"In the next ten years, every single surname is going to have a DNA surname project," he says. "That is literally inevitable."

Family Tree DNA helped Danny Villarreal 
uncover the truth about his crypto-Jewish ancestry.
Christy Espinosa
Family Tree DNA helped Danny Villarreal uncover the truth about his crypto-Jewish ancestry.
Bennett Greenspan: Always "undersell and 
overdeliver."
Daniel Kramer
Bennett Greenspan: Always "undersell and overdeliver."

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