Table of Contents
- 1 How Do Physical and Personality Traits Pass from One Generation to The Next?
- 2 Physical Traits You May Inherit from Your Ancestors
- 3 How Your Personality Traits Connect with Your Ancestry
- 4 How To Uncover Inherited Traits with DNA Testing
Your physical and personality traits reflect not just you but generations of your ancestors.
Those dimples or emerald eyes you share with your grandmother could be the tip of the iceberg.
Moreover, research suggests that our genetic makeup contributes to about 40-60% of the variation in personality traits like extroversion, introversion, and conscientiousness.
So, the next time you hear someone say, “stubbornness runs in our family,” take their word for it.
But how do you know what traits run in your family? Does it really matter?
Read on to find out.
- Inherited traits are the unique characteristics and features you get from your family background.
- The gene combination can present different possibilities for physical and personality traits.
- To find common traits in your family, conduct an accurate genealogy and seek professional assistance when necessary.
How Do Physical and Personality Traits Pass from One Generation to The Next?
The concept of generational physical and personality traits can be explained through Gregor Mendel’s Law, which explains how human genetics convey traits across generations. Mendel initially focused on peas but later proved the concept true to humans, helping scientists unlock genetic secrets.
Mendel noticed that traits like shape or flower color in his peas followed a predictable pattern down generations. He however noted that some traits were dominant and others recessive after a few generations down the line.
In the same way, your generations down a family have a mix-and-match of genes that can combine differently and create endless possibilities. So, if your dad has curly hair and your mom has straight hair, you might end up somewhere in between
Physical Traits You May Inherit from Your Ancestors
While genes can create endless possibilities, some common physical traits inherited in a family include height, hair texture, eye color, and dimples.
Let’s look at the 7 common physical traits inherited from ancestors.
- Freckles and Dimples: If an ancestor had those charming indentations and delightful specks of pigmentation, there’s a good chance that they run down the family line.
- Eye Color: The genes you inherit from your parents can also determine the color of your eyes. However, this may not always be true, so be content with those brown eyes even if your mom’s are blue: there may be a brown-eyed ancestor in your family tree.
- Hitchhiker’s Thumb: The ability to bend the tip of your thumb backward at a sharp angle is another common physical trait shared among relatives.
- Hair Texture: Thick, thin, straight, or curly hair is also influenced by genetics and is likely to pass down familial generations. Genes from your parents form the hair shaft that determines whether your hair is curly, wavy, or straight.
- Left-handedness: Left-handedness also runs down family lines with high chances of having the traits in future generations if ancestors had the trait.
- Height: Genetic interplay is also a key determinant of family members’ height. A person’s final height can be influenced by genes from the paternal or maternal sides of their family tree. So, if you find yourself taller than anyone in your nuclear family, check your family tree for clues.
- Hair Curl Pattern: Hair curl depends on the shape of the hair follicle, which in turn depends on whether ancestors had waves or ringlets. If so, the captivating curl patterns may cascade down the family tree.
How Your Personality Traits Connect with Your Ancestry
The connection between your ancestry and personality traits is based on the intriguing nurture vs. nature factors. It is a fact that the environment can be an essential determinant of your personality, as is your genes.
In this case, genetics is the nature that forms the biological foundation upon which you build your characteristics and traits. The DNA you inherit from your parents conveys the instructions on physical traits and disease susceptibility.
On the other hand, nurture comprises life experiences, education, cultural influences, family dynamics, and upbringing. Despite being external, these factors also affect how your personality manifests.
Nonetheless, the Minnesota Jim Twins study is a popular and compelling piece of evidence that underscores the influential role of genetics in shaping who we are.
Despite separating two identical twins at birth, the study found striking similarities in intelligence, political beliefs, and personality when reunited at age 30.
Such studies confirm that sharing genes can lead to similar personality traits even when nurtured differently.
While pinpointing a single “personality gene” would be hard, certain variations can influence common traits. For example, any alterations in the serotonin transporter have been shown to influence emotional stability and mood.
Other patterns of personality traits are also readily detectable in families when they recur across generations. It’s common to hear families described as introverted, humorous, or somehow identical.
With that said, the role of environmental factors cannot be underestimated. The interplay between nurture and nature is unique and intricate for every individual.
How To Uncover Inherited Traits with DNA Testing
DNA testing is becoming the game changer when unraveling inherited physical and personality traits. Leading DNA testing companies like AncestryDNA and 23and Me have perfected the process and enhanced the reporting of genetic quirks that make you unique.
You simply need to provide a small saliva sample containing your DNA, and the sites will match your markers with other users. Besides, the sites highlight your possibility of having specific inherited traits such as taste preferences, hair texture, eye color, and more.
It is worth noting that DNA testing can yield surprises about your connections, and we have tips to help you handle the excitement or emotions.
Understanding the traits that run down your family also helps you embrace your genetic legacy.
For professional assistance in exploring your genealogy, contact Record Click.
Our team of genealogists will guide you through the process and help you uncover the hidden traits in your heritage.