23andMe's ancient DNA shows enslaved people's ancestors.

– Landmark genomic study links DNA of 18th-century African Americans from Catoctin Furnace to living descendants.

– Over two dozen individuals buried at the furnace analyzed, leading to tens of thousands of identified descendants.

– Technique connects historical genomes to present-day relatives, even distant ones.

– African Americans and other populations with enslaved ancestry likely to benefit.

Forgotten lives at the iron forge brought to light through genetic analysis. 

– Consumer genetics database used to match historical DNA with living individuals.

– Published in Science on August 3, 2023.

– Potential for broader applications in genealogy and ancestral research.

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