By Stephen Kurkjian
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
PRAIRIEVILLE, La. — June Holden, now 70 and living in Louisiana, has long suspected that she was Armenian. There was the olive skin, dark hair and flashing brown eyes that set her apart from her blue-eyed, sandy-haired siblings. And there was more: her mother had told her once about an Armenian man in her past, someone for whom she had worked for as a waitress in Richmond, Va., after her husband had abandoned the family.
The question of her father’s identity burned inside June for more than a half century, until this year when she decided to try to do something about it. She turned to a DNA ancestry service, 23andme.com, which measured her DNA and confirmed her suspicions: although her mother and her mother’s husband were both of Northern European descents, June Holden’s DNA showed she was 43.4 percent “Middle Eastern.”