Friday, 28 July 2017

DNA surprises

In all my genetic genealogy talks I always warn people to be prepared for the unexpected when taking a DNA test. DNA is a very powerful tool for the genealogist but it can also uncover family secrets and reveal close relations that we didn't know existed. Furthermore, we don't always get the answer we expected. As Bennett Greenspan of Family Tree DNA often says in his talks: "If you don't want to know the answer, don't ask the question". For some people DNA can completely overturn their concept of identity and they discover that they are not who they thought they were.

Sometimes DNA can reveal the most incredible stories that are stranger than anything in fiction. One such story has just been published this week in The Washington Post. The article focuses on a number of surprise findings from DNA testing but tells in detail the story of Alice Collins Plebuch who took a DNA test with AncestryDNA which was to change her life forever. The article is is a long read but a very worthwhile investment of your time.  The journalist Libby Copeland is to be congratulated for her sensitive coverage of this story and her meticulous attention to detail. You can read the article by clicking on this link.

We have in fact known about this story in the genetic genealogy community for several years now, but this is the first time it has been picked up by the mainstream media. If you want some further background information check out this article on CeCe Moore's blog where the story was first revealed. There is an additional perspective in this blog post. Both of these blog posts also have additional photographs that weren't in The Washington Post article, but don't read the blog posts until you've read the article.

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