Family Tree Surprises
For the last two years I have been a member of Ancestry.com, having built an extensive family tree on both sides of my family. Since then, I have also become a member on 23andMe, and through both of these sites I have used DNA kits to help narrow down both genetic risk factors and my DNA ancestry.
There is always a risk in doing this, as these sites definitely warn you, that you will discover things that are unexpected and possibly unpleasant. One can imagine the many secret love children taking these tests only to discover siblings and cousins they had not known. Exciting for them, perhaps, but highly shocking to other families!
For my own part, I have had a couple of interesting interactions via private messages on these sites. Through 23andMe, a young woman reached out because our genetic testing had us linked as likely second cousins.
Through a few short exchanges, we discovered that my aunt (my dad's sister) is her great-grandmother. How cool!?
It was a startling moment going through the generations in my tree to realize that at my current age of 35 my aunt could be this 19 year old young woman's great grandmother. So, despite a less than 20 year age gap, we are separated by two generations!
In another exchange, this time on Ancestry.com, a man reached out to me because we were suggested as cousins also, and he was seeking his paternal grandfather. This man was a bit older than me, and after sending him a screenshot of my family tree on my dad's mother's side, he was was able to locate his paternal grandfather in my great-great uncle.
There is a love child in my tree, of course. This would be my mom's father, and through some study we have determined who we very highly suspect is his father. When we placed this potential parentage into the tree, I was contacted by a woman surprised to find out this man had a son. These are the unforeseen surprises you can encounter when sharing family trees and genetics online. This discovery was not a troubling surprise for my mom or her family, but it could definitely ruffle some feathers of the unsuspecting people in this man's line!
I am always excited to see what new surprise will pop out of my family tree!