I believe everyone has the right to know their biological heritage. I have a special spot in my heart for adoptees, for birth parents searching for their now-adult offspring, and for those with unknown parentage. While contact is not always sought or desirable, much healing happens when the holes in the first chapter of someone’s life are filled in. Knowledge is power!
I have roots. You have roots. We are all connected, just some more distantly and some more closely. When I started watching “Who Do You Think You Are” on TV and “Finding Your Roots, with Dr. Henry Louis Gates,” I realized that DNA testing can be used to help people with much more than ethnicity estimates. The beauty of DNA testing is your DNA match list, which can verify your paper trail, or send you on a new quest to straighten out a slightly crooked branch of your tree or build a tree from scratch.
Mckell went back to college as a non-traditional student. She graduated from Arizona State University in December 2013 with a degree in Communication and a Small Business minor.
She is a member of the International Society of Genetic Genealogists (ISOGG), National Genealogical Society (NGS), Family History Society of Arizona – Tempe Chapter, Utah Genealogical Association, Pima County Genealogical Society and the Southern California Genealogical Society.
As a search angel (volunteer) for adult adoptees and those with unknown parentage, she has experience solving cases from Texas, California, Washington, Utah, Arizona, Oklahoma, Illinois, Missouri, Idaho, Hawaii and other states, and cases involving Filipino ancestry and Azores islands ancestry.
The first case she solved using DNA results was for her own brother, adopted into her family when he was a baby. She found out his birth mother was also adopted at birth, in Dallas, Texas in 1933. So Mckell continued on to find the identity of those birth parents with her brother’s results so her brother’s biological tree could be extended. Please check the early blog posts on this site for three posts sharing how this was done.
She founded the Phoenix East Valley DNA Special Interest Group in August 2017 to help others learn how to use their DNA match lists to extend their family trees and build their family history. That group usually meets on the first Thursday each month at 7 pm in the FamilySearch classrooms of the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center, 455 E Main Street, Mesa. Discussions and presentations are usually on the Intermediate and Advanced level, as this is an established interest group. There is no charge to attend and everyone is welcome!
Genealogist experienced in using DNA results
Mckell loves to build family trees, and loves connecting family members.
Email Mckell with your story, and get more information!