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People Who’ve Taken A DNA Test Share The Biggest Family Secrets They’ve Uncovered

Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

The human story is an impossibly long and yet relatively short period of history.  And most humans are met with an insatiable desire to figure out their purpose in life—something sometimes their past can shed a light on.

In our infinite curiosity, we’ve updated technology to the point we can now trace our very own DNA back generations and find members of our extended family from all around the world.

However, digging up our genealogy can unearth some secrets we may have never wanted to hear.

So, when Redditor VideoFork asked:

“People who have taken an ancestry DNA test and accidentally uncovered a family secret, what was it?”

People shared their stories from inception to thrilling conclusion.

Deceptive Parents

“Not my story, but someone very close to me discovered that none of the ethnic background that they were expecting was present in the results.”

“This person, whose father was deceased at the time, questioned their mother. The mother admitted that the person’s father was not biological as they believed their entire life (they were older than 40).”

“The mother gave the name of the biological father. My friend then found the biological father, contacted him, and then discovered that they had several 1/2 siblings.”

“The biological father was unaware he had another child and accepted my friend into his family as did the siblings.”-galtsgulch232

“My bio-dad left his family and two daughters in Washington and married my mom in Los Angeles 5 weeks later.”

“I found his first marriage certificate but nothing about a divorce. I’m pretty sure he was a bigamist.”-khegiobridge

“I have an uncle that was put up for adoption. He contacted my grandma and she thought he was going to extort her (they’re well off). Turns out he’s a multi, multi millionaire on his own.”

“They still have limited contact, though my dad has reached out and formed a relationship.”

“Apparently they look exactly alike and have the same personality (which sounds kind of stupid now that I’m writing it out, but they’re only half-siblings).”-RolandDPlaneswalker

New And Nearby

“I exported my raw DNA from 23andme and threw it through promethease to find out why I have porphyria, which is supposed to be hereditary.”

“My mom and dad are definitely my mom and dad, but neither of them have this, which means it was environmental exposure that caused it.”

“Discovered a rare AMPD enzyme deficiency in mom, found out dad carried a recessive LUPUS gene and gave it to my sister. DNA is WILD.”-djspacebunny

“A woman over in Chicago decided to find out who her real parents were. She was getting close to 60 and realized that there may not be much time left to find her father.”

“So through the magic of ancestry she was matched to my grandfather.”

“She reached out to him and told him who her mother was. He didn’t recognize the name but dug up his little black book and lo and behold…there she was.”

“So now I’ve got a new aunt!”-dazeyd

“My male cousin did one and found a female cousin we did not know about. He reached out to her and apparently our deceased uncle was good friends with her mother.”

“Mom wanted a baby so uncle got her pregnant simply as a sperm donor.”

“Female cousin lived a few blocks away from my grandmother. She had met her a few times going around selling Girl Scout cookies or something.”

“My grandmother had no idea that she was buying cookies from her granddaughter.”-OrangeTree81

A New Extension Of Family

“Not me, but a friend never knew who his father was (mom had a weekend fling in college and never contacted the guy after) and his wife helped him use ancestry.com to try and track him down.”

“My friend reached out and the guy was obviously surprised, but flew across the country to meet him.”

“They have a great relationship now, the dad attended his wedding, and they try to get their families together a couple times a year or so.”-djsquidnasty

“A full 100% older brother. My mother got pregnant by my father before the were married. Scandalous in 1960.”

“So, with my father’s knowledge of the situation, mom left town, and lived with my aunt until the birth. Mom gave the baby up for adoption, and then returned home.”

“A couple years later, she married my dad and had three more children together, including me.”

“Fifty five years later, after both my parents had died, my aunt let it slip that me and my siblings that were not the only children of our parents.”

“To paraphrase from Star Wars, there is another. My sister took a DNA test, and a couple of year later she got a hit. Soon thereafter, we met our new big brother and his family (wife, kids) and have become quite close.”-Freeagnt

“My great gran (who I knew) was an orphaned live in servant in Greenock, Scotland in 1900, got pregnant by her employer, kicked out, ended up in the poorhouse where she abandoned the baby.”

“DNA turned up the granddaughter of the baby. Met her in Glasgow a couple of years ago. She turned up as a cousin via DNA.”-TheRealMommaG

A Life-Changing Secret

“So, I did the health DNA one 18 months ago because I wanted to see if I had the breast cancer gene, as there is several incidences on both sides of my family.”

“Got my results and became very confused, it claimed I had no Italian despite my father’s grandma literally coming over from Sicily in 1920. It took me a few minutes to realize what that actually meant.”

“My parents have been together since my mother was 14, I was born when she was 17, and my father joined the military and married my mother.”

“Called my mom and she literally said ‘that’s interesting.’ Then she asked me not to talk to my father and she would explain everything the next time I visited. She did not, and just refused i talk about it.”

“Honestly, I was just shook. I did not see it coming and it was never even presented to be a possibility to me. My sister ended up doing a DNA test and it showed that we were half siblings.”

“I went no contact with my mother 4 months ago, due to this incident and several others. I haven’t told my dad but I realize at some point the truth is going to come out, my sister matched with some of my fathers relatives while I did not so if anyone checks that sh*t, they’re gonna be asking questions.”-sunshineykris

“That my grandmother was biracial. She was abandoned shortly after birth at a church by an older white lady, adopted by a white farmer with 11 kids, stopped talking to most of that family due to nondescript unpleasantness as an older teen.”

“She died 20 years before I was born and looks like Maya Rudolph in the few photos I’ve seen but insisted she was part-Sicilian.”

“My father and his brother both look more white than not; my father worshipped the ground she walked on and never questioned her ancestry.”

“My uncle was always pretty sure she was Black and argued with her a lot (both dad and uncle ended up being super active in the civil rights movement and still are devoted to antiracism work nearly 60 years on, which largely stemmed from these discussions growing up).”

“Anyway, my mom (divorced from my dad) got me a DNA test a few years ago. My grandmother was definitely half-Black, I have no Sicilian or Italian DNA.”

“I’ve connected with a few Black distant cousins over email and zoom, am waiting for the pandemic to mostly end to talk to my dad about it and introduce him to more family.”-ReddishWedding2018

“Not me, but a friend. My friend (34F[emale]) decided to get her twin sister and parents a DNA testing kit for Christmas.”

“When her parents opened the gift they looked at each other and said ‘Oh…thanks.’ They quickly tried to move on to other presents. My friend was slightly confused, but dropped it.”

“Later they went for their Christmas Day walk. The mom and sister were walking ahead while she walked with her dad. Her dad spilled the beans! Her and her sister were adopted.”

“The mother looked back and started crying – she couldn’t believe her husband told her daughter without them talking about it first. They were going to keep it a secret forever.”

“She had never suspected she or her sister were adopted because they look a lot like their parents. They are also very short, as are their parents. Whoops!”-hyggelady

With new technology comes great opportunities.  However, this is a clear case of “be careful what you wish for.”

Not everyone finds out that their whole life is a lie, but still-an opportunity to trace your heritage is not something to take lightly.

Be prepared for it if you decide to do so.

Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.