Author Topic: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!  (Read 5180 times)

Cassie

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DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« on: May 17, 2018, 03:43:19 PM »
So I took a test to confirm my ethnicity.  I found out I have a half sister from when my Dad was in England in WW 2.  Anyone else have a story?

bacchi

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 05:43:37 PM »
Yep. My SO's grandfather was a traveling salesman and had a long standing affair with a woman in another state.

Surprise! There's a new (half) aunt. Everyone met and shared pictures and stories and it was handled nicely but the new aunt has not yet told her siblings about her mom's indiscretions.

Cassie

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 06:05:42 PM »
i am sure it was more common then we think.  My DAd was not married to my Mom then but my sister's mom was married with 2 kids when her husband was off fighting and my Dad was stationed there. I am thrilled to have a new sibling and so is she.

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2018, 06:10:20 PM »
Yup.

But in my case, I already knew something I wasn't ever supposed to find out about; so when I was investigating my ancestry, I purposely kept my DNA results shielded from public access so this relative wouldn't find them by accident and potentially cause a family-wide meltdown.  However,  I imagine others in the family that don't have this knowledge might inadvertently cause the same problem at some point, if they were to use these DNA sites. Not much I can do about that.

fuzzy math

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 08:35:55 PM »
Found out my mom's stepdad was her actual dad. Pretty earth shattering for her - she had always wished he was her dad since her "birth" (not really) dad wasn't in her life.

englishteacheralex

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2018, 08:47:05 PM »
Found both biological parents. I was adopted at birth in a closed adoption. I made contact with both of them and actually got to talk on the phone with bio dad. Bio mom hasn't contacted me back yet (it's been about a month since I reached out).

DNA testing has unearthed my entire biological family on both sides. It's kind of anticlimactic somehow.

elliha

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2018, 06:14:23 AM »
My grandmother knew most of her life that her father was not her biological father and that she was born out of wedlock. When she was grown up she found out the truth. Her cousins were really her half-siblings and her mom was raped by her sister's husband. He had children by three women officially, two after greatgrandma's sister died, one out of which he was married to and the other he admitted to being the father of but did not marry. Given what happened there might be even more people we don't know about.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 10:48:07 AM by elliha »

Poundwise

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2018, 09:45:13 AM »
Found out my mom's stepdad was her actual dad. Pretty earth shattering for her - she had always wished he was her dad since her "birth" (not really) dad wasn't in her life.

That must be quite a story. I guess her mother and step/father didn't know either? Otherwise what would be the point of telling your real daughter that she is your stepdaughter?

I'm a red panda

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2018, 10:13:25 AM »
Found out my mom's stepdad was her actual dad. Pretty earth shattering for her - she had always wished he was her dad since her "birth" (not really) dad wasn't in her life.

That must be quite a story. I guess her mother and step/father didn't know either? Otherwise what would be the point of telling your real daughter that she is your stepdaughter?

Maybe protecting your reputation if you were married to the fake-biological father at the time?

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2018, 10:35:21 AM »
Found out my mom's stepdad was her actual dad. Pretty earth shattering for her - she had always wished he was her dad since her "birth" (not really) dad wasn't in her life.

That must be quite a story. I guess her mother and step/father didn't know either? Otherwise what would be the point of telling your real daughter that she is your stepdaughter?

Maybe protecting your reputation if you were married to the fake-biological father at the time?

Yes, this. We have a similar situation on my Mom's side. Mom's mom was accused of having an affair when she got pregnant with her second child during her first marriage. They got divorced and she eventually married the man with whom she was accused of having an affair. She always swore it was her first husband's biological child, but he was adopted and raised by her second husband, and they later had two more kids together (including my mother). But it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out that her "half-brother" is actually her full brother. I suspect some day we'll know for sure.

fuzzy math

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2018, 04:32:03 PM »
Found out my mom's stepdad was her actual dad. Pretty earth shattering for her - she had always wished he was her dad since her "birth" (not really) dad wasn't in her life.

That must be quite a story. I guess her mother and step/father didn't know either? Otherwise what would be the point of telling your real daughter that she is your stepdaughter?
The man she was married to was abusive. I don't know if she knew but it seems almost impossible that she wouldn't have known. My sister is the spitting image of some family members from the step dad's side.  Grandma would have recognized it likely.

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fuzzy math

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2018, 04:33:43 PM »
Found out my mom's stepdad was her actual dad. Pretty earth shattering for her - she had always wished he was her dad since her "birth" (not really) dad wasn't in her life.

That must be quite a story. I guess her mother and step/father didn't know either? Otherwise what would be the point of telling your real daughter that she is your stepdaughter?

Maybe protecting your reputation if you were married to the fake-biological father at the time?

Yes, this. We have a similar situation on my Mom's side. Mom's mom was accused of having an affair when she got pregnant with her second child during her first marriage. They got divorced and she eventually married the man with whom she was accused of having an affair. She always swore it was her first husband's biological child, but he was adopted and raised by her second husband, and they later had two more kids together (including my mother). But it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out that her "half-brother" is actually her full brother. I suspect some day we'll know for sure.
Ancestry was our key. I'd be surprised if no one on that side of the family had taken the test. My sister and I popped up with 2nd cousins from my mom's step dad's side. Only takes 1 person to verify!

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fuzzy math

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2018, 04:34:49 PM »
Found both biological parents. I was adopted at birth in a closed adoption. I made contact with both of them and actually got to talk on the phone with bio dad. Bio mom hasn't contacted me back yet (it's been about a month since I reached out).

DNA testing has unearthed my entire biological family on both sides. It's kind of anticlimactic somehow.
I'm so happy your bio dad responded! Hopefully you find what you were looking for and they're open to a relationship.

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Cassie

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2018, 04:55:26 PM »
My new half sister and I have been having a great time talking every day.

Drole

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2018, 05:03:43 PM »
I am going through this as well right now via adopted father. So far i've got family name and origin. My new first cousin has not yet responded but I did email with another cousin. 

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2018, 08:09:32 PM »
Cassie, do you plan on meeting your new sister IRL at some future point? It sounds like you're developing a great relationship.

My stepdaughter (DD1) has confided in me that she has considered doing the test but has shelved it for the time being. Her feelings jibe with my late husband's suspicion that he was not her bio father. She doesn't really share physical characteristics with her younger siblings (my bio kids) and might open a can of worms and create a further rift with her own bio mom - a relationship that's precarious at best. According to my late DH (but not shared by me to DD1), her mother was prettyÖ.social, and possibly picked my DH out of the lot when she became pregnant. DD1 says she doesn't really want to know that the man who cared for her as an infant and was a single father before marrying me was not her actual father. And were that to turn out to be the truth, it would be hard for her and she's not sure she needs knowledge, let alone any relationship with an additional bio dad or finding out she has other half siblings. It wouldn't affect the great relationship she and I have always had. I adopted her after my husband's death.

Complicated but she's choosing to leave well enough alone at least for now. At 24 she's an adult and can make any decision she needs to and I'd support it. My husband has been dead close to 11 years. It would be an additional loss, and whatever gains might not mitigate that.

Cassie

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2018, 09:10:08 PM »
Yes she lives in Australia and we plan a trip in 2 years. We have 2 very old dogs that will be gone and we will take the baby with us.  My siblings want nothing to do with her but really no great loss for her.  My full sister and I donít look anything alike since I look like my dad and she like my mom.  This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me

Inaya

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2018, 07:51:26 AM »
I got a surprise uncle. My cousin has been pretty into Ancestry.com, and my surprise uncle tracked him from there.

The only people who would have known for sure about the situation have passed, but we've managed to piece together some of the story. Apparently Grandma was married to a WWII pilot who ferried planes across the Atlantic and died sometime while doing that. Before she met Grandpa, there was a period where she moved to California to be with her sister, before moving back to Colorado and meeting, marrying, and having children with Grandpa. We don't know for sure, but we suspect that she had the marriage to the pilot annulled and had his baby in California and put it up for adoption there. We haven't been able to figure out why she annulled the marriage and kept it and the baby a secret. It's a possibility that there was no marriage, but we are pretty sure this isn't the case.

The interesting thing is that the baby (surprise uncle) ended up moving to Colorado as an adult and lived less than 100 miles from a large part of his biological family. He and my mom get along famously. Sadly, he never met his half-brother--at the time, my uncle was losing to cancer and simply could not handle the news, denying it to his grave. The subject was dropped and never brought up again. I think getting a "new" brother somewhat helped my mom through the grieving process--while she grieved for what she lost, surprise uncle grieved for what he never had.

Cassie

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2018, 09:15:20 AM »
It does seem odd that if grandma was married that she didnít keep the baby.   So glad that your mom and her brother have reunited.

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2018, 09:58:33 AM »
This is not a personal story, and was widely reported, but I wonder what this was like for the family of the accused? I can't even imagine.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/27/health/dna-privacy-golden-state-killer-genealogy.html

Cassie

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2018, 10:05:47 AM »
I have no problem if my DNA is used to find criminals even if they are related.

Lulee

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2018, 06:00:33 PM »
I agree, Cassie, use my DNA profile to track down criminals.  I think all services should allow you to opt-in (but have the value set at No as defaults) to A) will you allow police to compare your DNA to unidentified victims of crime and B) will you allow police to compare your DNA to unidentified perpetrators of crimes?  I think lots would go for option A and then a subset of those would also go for option B.

I've been considering doing one of these tests as my Dad, born in 1922 out of wedlock to a widow, didn't ever know anything about his Dad's side of the family and to date, no one has found out anything more than what she wrote in a letter back in the 30's --- his name, his profession, and his mother's name.  We have a detailed history on Dad's mother because someone did a thorough job back in the early 1900's of documenting all the descendants of John Rugg, her forefather.  But I worry about Grandma's grandchildren who might still be alive being upset to hear about my father's existence as the shame of his birth was a very real thing to those generations.  Still, I'd really, really, really would like to see if we can tease out anything more about Grandpa using these DNA tests.  Any thoughts on how to weigh out the harms to the possible benefits?

Cassie

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2018, 10:50:34 PM »
I think if the parents are dead then the kids or grandkids can decide once they hear the news how to proceed. I am thrilled to have a half sister but my siblings not so much. So glad she found me first because their attitude may have convinced her to stop looking.  Yes there was shame about sex before marriage. Even in my generation and I was born in 1954.   My grandpa was a product of a single mom born in the 1800ís. Big secret needless to say.

Sibley

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2018, 09:50:49 AM »
I agree, Cassie, use my DNA profile to track down criminals.  I think all services should allow you to opt-in (but have the value set at No as defaults) to A) will you allow police to compare your DNA to unidentified victims of crime and B) will you allow police to compare your DNA to unidentified perpetrators of crimes?  I think lots would go for option A and then a subset of those would also go for option B.

I've been considering doing one of these tests as my Dad, born in 1922 out of wedlock to a widow, didn't ever know anything about his Dad's side of the family and to date, no one has found out anything more than what she wrote in a letter back in the 30's --- his name, his profession, and his mother's name.  We have a detailed history on Dad's mother because someone did a thorough job back in the early 1900's of documenting all the descendants of John Rugg, her forefather.  But I worry about Grandma's grandchildren who might still be alive being upset to hear about my father's existence as the shame of his birth was a very real thing to those generations.  Still, I'd really, really, really would like to see if we can tease out anything more about Grandpa using these DNA tests.  Any thoughts on how to weigh out the harms to the possible benefits?

Lulee, someone who does a lot of genealogy could take that info and have a pretty decent chance of identifying the man. Name, profession, and his mother's name is lot sometimes. Particularly if you have a location as well.

Lulee

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2018, 12:50:09 PM »
The only generation of Grandma Gertrude's descendants who likely to get upset about the revelation of Dad's existence would be her grandchildren who are likely in their mid to late 70's (my Mom's age; she was 20 years younger than Dad).  I've considered waiting to take any DNA test until I've confirmed they've died.  Given how much pain it caused Gertrude (we have letters she sent the woman she placed Dad with to raise) and the damage it did to my Dad, I'd hate to be the cause of more anguish or upset.

Sibley, we've tried a few times unsuccessfully to use Ancestry and other services to track down Grandpa Harry.  It's been a while though and with new resources being added all the time, it could be time for another attempt.  Mom has a cousin who's very talented and if I can get to meet her when she comes back to New Hampshire, she may have some suggestions based on what's been tried so far.  Of course, it may be Gertrude didn't have accurate info which is why I think the DNA testing may be our best hope.

OurTown

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2018, 02:18:39 PM »
This happened to me as well.  I took a DNA test in 2016, and made contact with a half-brother.  We are both bastards, 2 months apart in age.  He is really awesome and we keep in touch fairly often.  I met my bio father last fall (2017) shortly before he passed away.  I have also met his legitimate children, a half-brother and a half-sister.  More recently, with a change in adoption records laws, I was able to meet my bio mother as well as a half-brother and half-sister on that side, plus some nieces, nephews, and cousins.  I've done the Ancestry thing as far back as I can go, and I've traced the lineage directly to the Stewart royal family in Scotland.  I can also trace further back to the high kings of Ireland in the middle ages.  Not that any of this matters in real life, but I think it's great since I knew absolutely nothing about my background until 2 years ago.

the_fixer

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #26 on: June 18, 2018, 03:48:24 PM »
I so desperately want to do the DNA test in hopes of finding out about my father's side of the family (orphaned in Germany during war and brought to America) but the implications of having my DNA out there and used for who knows what in the future really concerns me.

Hearing your stories really makes me want to do it but the paranoid part of me says no SOO TORN :(

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iris lily

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2018, 06:16:51 PM »
This happened to me as well.  I took a DNA test in 2016, and made contact with a half-brother.  We are both bastards, 2 months apart in age.  He is really awesome and we keep in touch fairly often.  I met my bio father last fall (2017) shortly before he passed away.  I have also met his legitimate children, a half-brother and a half-sister.  More recently, with a change in adoption records laws, I was able to meet my bio mother as well as a half-brother and half-sister on that side, plus some nieces, nephews, and cousins.  I've done the Ancestry thing as far back as I can go, and I've traced the lineage directly to the Stewart royal family in Scotland.  I can also trace further back to the high kings of Ireland in the middle ages.  Not that any of this matters in real life, but I think it's great since I knew absolutely nothing about my background until 2 years ago.

A Stuart here.

Who is your immigrant ancestor, the one who came feom Scotlandóóóó> U.S.?

We have not been able to identify the home place of our immigrant ancestor, and it really wasnt all that long ago, I think around 1885.

OurTown

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2018, 07:19:01 AM »
George "The Emigrant" Hume.  He was a land surveyor in colonial Virginia and he took on an apprentice by the name of George Washington.

FIRE@50

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2018, 07:39:37 AM »
This is all really interesting to me. I thought that the publicly available DNA tests just told you that you were x-percent this and that. I had no idea that they would link you up with potential relatives. There are lots of "illegitimate" offspring(including me) in my family but I don't think there are any mystery fathers.

My wife recently sent off here DNA sample for testing, but I've never had much interest in doing it. Now, I'm a little bit more intrigued.

begood

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2018, 09:29:36 AM »
@Cassie, how wonderful that you and your half-sister are building a strong new relationship. I'm happy for you! My dad served in WW2 as well, and he was quite popular with the ladies of England, Wales, and Belgium--he was an unmarried 24-year-old 6'3" handsome Yank. I would not be stunned if a half-sib appeared.

We adopted our daughter from China in 2002. She asked to do 23andMe when she was 14, so her DNA is there and she has more than 300 "DNA relatives", but most are very distant, sharing maybe one or two segments of DNA.

However, one of those distant relatives turned out to be a girl the same age as our daughter, also adopted from China, who lives only three miles from us. When we met up with her family, we figured out that the two girls lived in the same room at the orphanage for six months and were cared for by the same nanny. We lived in Florida when we adopted and only moved to our current location in 2009, so the coincidence of meeting up with her is pretty remarkable.

There's real momentum in the birth-family search process for Chinese adoptees, accelerated by the WeChat app. So far, our daughter has not wanted to do any further search. We are trying to follow her lead - support and encourage but not push.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 10:14:39 AM by begood »

sisto

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2018, 12:18:01 PM »
Not necessarily a Surprise Sibling, but my first cousin got a surprise cousin. My mom told me when I was 18 that the man I thought was my father wasn't. Apparently my biological father denied paternity and my mother said fine your loss. I didn't meet my father until I was 30. We talked a few times on the phone and met in person for lunch one time and then he sort of fell of the radar again. That was in 1999. Since 2006 I've been pretty active on Ancestry. I found my father's first cousin on his mother's side around 2012. Then a few months ago one of my first cousins got his DNA done and found the match and emailed me. I had already done lots of work on my tree and knew exactly who he was. When I told him he was surprised, but wasn't apparently that had been a rumor of my existence all along. He even knew when I was born and that I was technically the oldest Grandchild of my Father's parents since I'm 2 months older than his oldest brother. I've since met the oldest cousin in person when he came to my city to attend a wedding in April. I've been back in touch a bit with my father right before all of this, but it's still been awkward. I have 3 half siblings that I've never met and I don't even know if they know about me or not. I tried to reach out to oldest on Face Book many years ago, but no response. Now I'm FB friends with some of my cousins so it's just weird. I'd really like to meet them all, but I'm not sure if that will ever happen.

Cassie

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2018, 08:38:35 PM »
Ancestry has more people taking the test and unfortunately the 2 sites wonít share information because they both want people to pay.   I am happy to everyone that is finding family

sisto

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2018, 10:13:26 AM »
Ancestry has more people taking the test and unfortunately the 2 sites wonít share information because they both want people to pay.   I am happy to everyone that is finding family

Gedmatch is a free site where you can download your raw dna file from any of the testing companies and then upload it to Gedmatch and find matches. You can also have a tree there generically too.

Dicey

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2018, 10:30:39 AM »
This might be a good place to ask my question. Our library Friends group was approached, through an intermediary, about paying for a subscription to Ancestry for the library. The cost was estimated to begin at $5k+/year, with no rate locks. For this "bargain" price, alas, one did not get access to military records or newspaper clippings, nor could one save their search, only print it out. All efforts to communicate with Ancestry directly for more details/options were fruitless. We felt this was a total rip-off and tabled it indefinitely. Does anyone have any experience in this area? We're willing to spend the money, but only if the value to the community is there.

toganet

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2018, 11:26:22 AM »
Heard this story on NPR earlier this week about a similar experience: https://www.npr.org/2018/06/15/619957265/at-28-years-old-learning-to-be-a-sister

JoJo

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2018, 04:31:38 PM »
My SIL was told her father was a guy her mom hooked up with in LA, but in reality was the guy she broke up with just before going to LA.  The real dad had passed away by the time SIL found out from the DNA test. 

bestname

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2018, 05:10:24 PM »
Not through DNA, but when I tracked down my birth parents, I discovered that they are still living, married and have FIVE children. I'm the oldest of 6. A bit disappointed when I contacted them and they did not wish to meet. Learned that for 45 years they have not told their family that I exist. What a secret!

Anyway, I could potentially blow a few people's minds if I ever do upload my DNA. But I won't because of my own privacy concerns.

sisto

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2018, 05:33:22 PM »
Not through DNA, but when I tracked down my birth parents, I discovered that they are still living, married and have FIVE children. I'm the oldest of 6. A bit disappointed when I contacted them and they did not wish to meet. Learned that for 45 years they have not told their family that I exist. What a secret!

Anyway, I could potentially blow a few people's minds if I ever do upload my DNA. But I won't because of my own privacy concerns.
I think this is the case with my Father, I don't think he told his family. Now that the DNA is out with my first cousin I suspect things might change. So I'm the oldest of both sides 2 younger brothers on my Mother's side and 2 younger sisters and a younger brother on my Father's side. I really would love to get to know them, I seem to have much more in common with all of them than on my Mother's side.

gaja

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2018, 05:36:54 PM »
I agree, Cassie, use my DNA profile to track down criminals.  I think all services should allow you to opt-in (but have the value set at No as defaults) to A) will you allow police to compare your DNA to unidentified victims of crime and B) will you allow police to compare your DNA to unidentified perpetrators of crimes?  I think lots would go for option A and then a subset of those would also go for option B.

I did a little bit of DNA work at uni, and am very sceptical of using DNA from these types of databases to fight crime. There are a lot of room for errors, from contamination of the sample, to false positives due to a narrow sample of markers. It is true that our DNA is unique, but you never test the entire genetic code. If you choose the wrong set of markers, you can have two very different people with the same identical test results. In normal criminal investigation, they figure out the physical and circumstantial evidence first, before testing the DNA. I'm afraid that it might skew the results to start out with a positive DNA test, since many jury members considered it as "truth".

It is the same with family trees in the online databases. When I searched for some of my relatives and ancestors, their trees were full of mistakes. We have a lot of people with the same or very similar names, born in the same area, around the same time. In some families, they would name 3-4 kids the same first name, to make sure that at least one of them survived and could carry the name forward. Often, you have to know middle names, nick names, or which farm they grew up on, to figure out which one you are looking for. My surname belongs to a village, so I'm only related to 1/10 of the people with my surname (even less when you count the other villages in different areas/countries with the same name). The people who are into geneology know this, and will always double check before they integrate work done by other people. But for someone just starting out, it might become rather confusing. And they might leap to the wrong conclusions.

It doesn't really matter if someone gets the family tree wrong, as long as it is used as an amusing hobby. But if it becomes part of a chain of evidence, that is a different matter. And, although I have a very high trust in the police and the legal system, they do sometimes make mistakes.

toganet

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2018, 06:49:09 AM »
I agree, Cassie, use my DNA profile to track down criminals.  I think all services should allow you to opt-in (but have the value set at No as defaults) to A) will you allow police to compare your DNA to unidentified victims of crime and B) will you allow police to compare your DNA to unidentified perpetrators of crimes?  I think lots would go for option A and then a subset of those would also go for option B.

I did a little bit of DNA work at uni, and am very sceptical of using DNA from these types of databases to fight crime. There are a lot of room for errors, from contamination of the sample, to false positives due to a narrow sample of markers. It is true that our DNA is unique, but you never test the entire genetic code. If you choose the wrong set of markers, you can have two very different people with the same identical test results. In normal criminal investigation, they figure out the physical and circumstantial evidence first, before testing the DNA. I'm afraid that it might skew the results to start out with a positive DNA test, since many jury members considered it as "truth".

It is the same with family trees in the online databases. When I searched for some of my relatives and ancestors, their trees were full of mistakes. We have a lot of people with the same or very similar names, born in the same area, around the same time. In some families, they would name 3-4 kids the same first name, to make sure that at least one of them survived and could carry the name forward. Often, you have to know middle names, nick names, or which farm they grew up on, to figure out which one you are looking for. My surname belongs to a village, so I'm only related to 1/10 of the people with my surname (even less when you count the other villages in different areas/countries with the same name). The people who are into geneology know this, and will always double check before they integrate work done by other people. But for someone just starting out, it might become rather confusing. And they might leap to the wrong conclusions.

It doesn't really matter if someone gets the family tree wrong, as long as it is used as an amusing hobby. But if it becomes part of a chain of evidence, that is a different matter. And, although I have a very high trust in the police and the legal system, they do sometimes make mistakes.

This is a good point, I have made mistakes in my own genealogy research due to people with the same first & last names, and most recently, two sisters who married two brothers several generations back.

That being said, I think they way DNA was used in the case cited above is ok from a chain-of-evidence standpoint.  As in, using DNA information to narrow the pool down so that existing evidence can be used to get a warrant to get a DNA sample from the suspect.  In that case the DNA evidence would need to be wrong twice in the same way in order to convict an innocent person.

partgypsy

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #41 on: June 21, 2018, 07:22:15 AM »
This isn't a dna story, but when I was in my 20's I told my Dad how I had a dream where he and my uncle had a sister, and they were all hanging out in Chicago and that it felt really real.  And my Dad told me that yia yia (my grandmother) actually had a daughter between him and my uncle. She was born premature and died after a week, because she wasn't making milk and they couldn't find a nursemaid in time. It was something she never talked about.

OurTown

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #42 on: June 27, 2018, 08:20:15 AM »
Another thing that happens in this type of research is you find little surprises.  For example, according to my DNA I am 99.4% white (as in European-Caucasian markers), 0.6% black (as in West-African markers).  That means I had a black ancestor approximately somewhere in the first half of the 19th century, or perhaps a little earlier.

I also found, through the ancestry research, that my maternal grandmother's family is in fact the same "Davis" family as the president of the CSA, Jefferson Davis.  I discovered that I am not a direct descendant of Jefferson Davis himself, but I have common ancestors with ole' J.D., making him a distant uncle or cousin, I forget which.  In all events, I will bet you $100,000 in confederate currency that my unknown black ancestor is lurking in that Davis line.   

Sibley

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #43 on: June 27, 2018, 08:50:43 AM »
Another thing that happens in this type of research is you find little surprises.  For example, according to my DNA I am 99.4% white (as in European-Caucasian markers), 0.6% black (as in West-African markers).  That means I had a black ancestor approximately somewhere in the first half of the 19th century, or perhaps a little earlier.

I also found, through the ancestry research, that my maternal grandmother's family is in fact the same "Davis" family as the president of the CSA, Jefferson Davis.  I discovered that I am not a direct descendant of Jefferson Davis himself, but I have common ancestors with ole' J.D., making him a distant uncle or cousin, I forget which.  In all events, I will bet you $100,000 in confederate currency that my unknown black ancestor is lurking in that Davis line.   

No bet.

The number of people with surprises, particularly with Southern ancestry, is probably high. I should do the DNA test. My mom did one on her, but my dad's family has a branch that was Southern elite. Several people in the Confederate congress, etc. My ancestors most definitely hobnobbed with yours :)

toganet

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #44 on: June 28, 2018, 12:40:07 PM »
Along the same lines, my family long held the belief that we had some percentage of Native American blood, on my mother's side, with several anecdotes to support it.  My cousin was even admitted into one of the tribes based on this information, and has a prominent position there.  A few years ago I did the Ancestry DNA thing, and it came back with 0% Americas DNA -- but 1% Indian (as in India). 

My cousin panicked and did the DNA test himself, and on his mother (my mother's sister).  Sure enough, their DNA shows 1-2% Americas DNA. 

My takeaway:  Far enough back we're all related anyway, and I don't put a ton of faith in the ability to associate DNA with ethnicities, at least through these methods.

wenchsenior

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #45 on: June 28, 2018, 03:48:08 PM »
Along the same lines, my family long held the belief that we had some percentage of Native American blood, on my mother's side, with several anecdotes to support it.  My cousin was even admitted into one of the tribes based on this information, and has a prominent position there.  A few years ago I did the Ancestry DNA thing, and it came back with 0% Americas DNA -- but 1% Indian (as in India). 

My cousin panicked and did the DNA test himself, and on his mother (my mother's sister).  Sure enough, their DNA shows 1-2% Americas DNA. 

My takeaway:  Far enough back we're all related anyway, and I don't put a ton of faith in the ability to associate DNA with ethnicities, at least through these methods.

I suspect a LOT of families  believe they have 'Native American blood' for some unfathomable reason.  DH's did as well.  Absolutely zero came up in his DNA test.

elliha

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #46 on: June 29, 2018, 01:37:28 AM »
Along the same lines, my family long held the belief that we had some percentage of Native American blood, on my mother's side, with several anecdotes to support it.  My cousin was even admitted into one of the tribes based on this information, and has a prominent position there.  A few years ago I did the Ancestry DNA thing, and it came back with 0% Americas DNA -- but 1% Indian (as in India). 

My cousin panicked and did the DNA test himself, and on his mother (my mother's sister).  Sure enough, their DNA shows 1-2% Americas DNA. 

My takeaway:  Far enough back we're all related anyway, and I don't put a ton of faith in the ability to associate DNA with ethnicities, at least through these methods.

I suspect a LOT of families  believe they have 'Native American blood' for some unfathomable reason.  DH's did as well.  Absolutely zero came up in his DNA test.

Maybe they feel it is more interesting that way. Many Swedes claim to be part descendant of some of Belgian black smiths that came to Sweden from Wallonia. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people who truly are descendants of them, I am one of them and I know this for a fact, but some seem to think that if you are from a family where there are more people with black and dark brown hair this is a given but Swedes have always had different hair colors, even the vikings did. While we do have a higher portion of people with lighter hair than many other countries black or brown hair is no anomaly.

K-ice

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #47 on: September 19, 2018, 07:45:01 AM »
Iíve taken Ancestry. They claim they have further broken down into 350+ sub groups. I am in two of the larger areas nicely broken down into multiple groups. Yet I do not belong to any of those smaller groups.

The response for me was therefore very vague even though they advertise that they provide specific results.

Iím exaggerating a bit here but itís kind of like saying you are from the United States yet you donít share anything with the individual states.

Donít waste your money if you want specifics.

I havenít turned on the DNA part as I donít want any sibling drama et the moment.

Cassie

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #48 on: September 19, 2018, 11:47:10 AM »
After 2 months of emailing daily, sending pictures to Australia including a couple 5x7 of our dad so she could frame them when I only had a few and helping her fill in the gap in her genealogy she dumped me. She wanted to be Facebook friends and I said it was a bad idea because she loves trump and I hate him. No clue why she cares so much about our politics. She got mad about something I said about trump but she posted negative stuff about Obama all the time. So much for agreeing to disagree. Any more long lost relatives can go straight to hell.

sisto

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Re: DNA Testing and Surprise Sibling!
« Reply #49 on: September 19, 2018, 12:07:49 PM »
After 2 months of emailing daily, sending pictures to Australia including a couple 5x7 of our dad so she could frame them when I only had a few and helping her fill in the gap in her genealogy she dumped me. She wanted to be Facebook friends and I said it was a bad idea because she loves trump and I hate him. No clue why she cares so much about our politics. She got mad about something I said about trump but she posted negative stuff about Obama all the time. So much for agreeing to disagree. Any more long lost relatives can go straight to hell.
Wow, that's really sad. I'm sorry to hear that happened. Some people are just so shallow and self centered. I really hate all of the political crap on FB. People don't even fact check and post the most outrageous stuff. I really wish people could just stick to facts if they want to talk politics on FB.