Have you ever wondered who your ancestors were? With sites like Ancestry.com and 23andMe, it’s easier than ever to find out about your DNA.
AskReddit users opened up and shared what they learned when they took DNA tests.
1. Crazy story
“The chair of my department at work told me his story recently. He has a brother (we will call him Jeff) and a family friend (we will call him Henry) who was best friends with his brother growing up. Henry’s sister did one of those DNA kits. Her results came back saying she had a first cousin in the area, who happened to be Jeff’s first cousin. After more investigating they found out that Jeff and Henry were actually switch at birth in the hospital. My department chair’s biological brother is actually Henry.
His mother remembers there being some confusion with the babies in the hospital but never thought anything of it again after that. This is probably one of the craziest stories I have ever heard.”
“My sister did this, and we found out we were even whiter than we realized (she had believed we had some Native American in there. We do, but it’s way less than she thought).”
3. Mama mia!
“We did this for my grandma for her birthday a few years ago, it was really interesting! She knew she was mostly Italian, but we found out that she is actually (genetically) more Italian than most people who currently live in Italy.
She got a kick out of that.”
4. Not related
“I was adopted as a baby, never knew my birth parents. For my wedding, my wife’s best friend got us both Ancestry kits. At the time the joke was it would be funny if we found out we were related. We weren’t. Flash forward to about a month ago when I got an email in Ancestry from someone saying we may be related. Ancestry classified the connection as very high probability of parent child relationship. So I found my birth father. Trying to figure out how to go forward now.
Since this has come up a lot. My wife and I were not related. 3.5 years after taking the test my biological father reached out to me and said Ancestry.com says we’re related and would I like to find out how we were related. I think he was unsure if we were father/son or grandfather/grandson. After a few additional emails back and forth he provided information that confirmed he was my biological father. We are going to meet for coffee at some point in the near future.”
5. That’s too bad
“Found out that my 16th great grandfather owned a castle in Wales that is still there today! He was beheaded though.”
6. Distant cousins
“My mom is super into her family tree. She is 99.9% Rusyn (a specific kind of eastern Slavic from the Carpathian Mountains). She was born and raised in North Eastern Pennsylvania and had a feeling that her parents had to be distantly related somehow.
Got both of her parents DNA tests for Christmas this year… and they are indeed distant cousins.”
7. Not very Korean
“I just got mine today. I used Ancestry but because I’m Korean all I got was 100% East Asian (wow so insightful! /s). Anyway then I uploaded my raw data to Wegene that pinpointed my DNA better. I was SHOCKED. I expected Chinese, Mongolian and Korean.
55.43% Northern Han Chinese (this makes sense because my dad’s side is North Korean and my last name can be traced to Chinese ancestry).
44.21% Japanese (the surprise)
2.8% Other (stuff they couldn’t figure out)
0.32% Korean (I don’t know if I can classify myself as Korean after that low percentage….. lmao)
So I found out I’m very not Korean and my mum was the most shocked because she absolutely hates the Japanese… and the Japanese dna is most likely from her side.”
“I’m adopted and did both ancestry and 23 and me. I found my maternal great aunt on ancestry and my paternal uncle contacted me through 23 and me.
I’ve spoken to my uncle a couple times and my great aunt a couple times but that’s it. I’ve seen my bio mom and Dad via Facebook and that’s enough for me. If you find yourself really uncomfortable and not wanting to go any further, don’t let anyone push you into a meeting or relationship you’re not ready for or comfortable with.
To me, it’s like opening Pandora’s box. You have no idea what could happen or who these people really are, so just remember that you have all the power and should be able to control where you and your bio dad go from here. I wish you the best of luck, it’s a very very strange situation to find yourself in.”
“I have a crazy story. The ancestry results were definitely unexpected in this case.
My friends mom did the ancestry test. She loved the whole thing and got her dad to try it, too.
The results showed he wasn’t her father. They weren’t connected via the site. She performed a paternity test (saying it was part 2 of the ancestry test) and confirmed that he is not biologically her father.
Then she nonchalantly brought up her (late) mom being pregnant and her father said that they had difficulty getting pregnant so her and her brother and sister were all conceived via artificially insemination. This was like the 1950s. Freezing sperm wasn’t a thing then and her father claims to have been there. So there’s probably only one to two other men in the room – the doctor and maybe an assistant.
Idk what happened in the doctors office 60 years ago (for three children) but secrets were definitely kept.”
“Brother did one. Turns out the family rumor of Irish/Native American descent was in fact incorrect and we are 98.9% Welsh, with the rest being a mixture of French and German.”
“I grew up being told I was primarily Cherokee Native American among many other things. My aunt and grandmother collected Cherokee artwork and artifacts to honor our heritage. Got my test results back… NOPE! I’m all white.”
12. Quite a ride
“I signed up for 23andMe, primarily to do research on possible markers for some hereditary health concerns that run in my family line (all is good there). While I was there, I started digging into the ancestry side of the site. That is when my life split open.
Turns out I have a half-sister. My mom gave birth to a baby girl a few years before marrying my dad, and put her up for adoption. I had no idea about this, and I actually kinda doubt that my dad knew either.
You can imagine that this kind of new can really rock a family. With us, it’s all been positive. Both of my parents have passed away, which eliminates a lot of the possibilities for awkward or problematic fallout. Basically, it just means that my brother, sister and I have another sister that we just have never met. All good! She has now met my (our) sister, and she is coming out to visit me in a couple months.
For her, it’s been quite a ride. She has been searching for family for her whole life, and she finally found us! Of course, she was also very interested in finding out about her father. My mom never once mentioned old boyfriends to me, so I really didn’t know how to help her, but now she had a bit more info to go on, and her search continued.
But wait, there’s more! So, when she visited our sister, they were digging through old photos, and they came across a dated one of her with a guy, that was more than likey taken right around the date she was conceived. So she manages to track this guy down (she’s been searching for decades, and apparently is damn good at it by now). She gives him call, and learns that the photo was taken at a party at one of his friend’s house.”
13. Worth it
“My dad never knew who his father was; I’ve spent my adult life helping him search with what little information we had (which all turned out to be total red herrings) and it’s basically been my life mission to find this person while my dad is still alive.
I bought him one of those ancestry DNA kits for his birthday last year, which brought up some “connections” that didn’t make sense; first, second cousins we couldn’t figure out. Luckily one of the people he connected with was really into geneology and had done a lot of groundwork themselves. They went through their photos and found one of a man at his wedding, said “Hey, you look a lot like my uncle”; the resemblance was totally uncanny but we didn’t want to get too excited.
So from that, the children of the man in the photo did their own DNA tests to corroborate what we thought we were looking at. Yep – turns out that the man in the photo was my dad’s father. He now has a whole new extended family he never knew about (he was an only child) and can finally finish searching for this piece of his life puzzle.
So yes, worth it.”
14. Feels like a lie
“I have believe my whole life that I was half Native American and half German. My father is Lumbee Native American and he and I both are registered and enrolled in the Lumbee tribe. I took a DNA test and the results came back that I was 88% European and 12% Sub-Saharan African. No Native American whatsoever. It kind of feels like my whole life was a lie.
This especially affected my father, because he grew up with this tribe in North Carolina and they’ve been fighting for federal recognition from the government for years. Just doesn’t make sense.”
“Apparently, I’m a fourth degree relative of Te Atairangikaahu (Maori monarch) family line on my father’s side, and a very distant relative of the Norwegian Royal Family on my mother’s side
So, technically, I’m part of the goddamn royalty. I’m still waiting on the gold, land and peasants.”