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My Ancestry: An Adventure of Discovery!

(46 posts)
  1. wyfbane

    wyfbane

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    Hey hey. So has anyone else done the Ancestry.com thing? I was in the military so the government has my DNA. I wasn't too concerned about that aspect, and curiosity got the better of me.

    Is is super easy to do. Just sign up and they send a kit to your house. You spit in a container and return it. They send you constant updates and give you prompts and lots of free trial time to put your family tree together. It was a really great experience.

    Here were my results:

    Europe West 36%
    Ireland 27%
    Scandinavia 16%
    Great Britain 9%
    Italy/Greece 7%
    Trace Regions :
    Iberian Peninsula 4%
    Europe East 1%

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. deathmetal

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    It is also fun and informative to look up those various tribes and see which facial traits you express:

    http://www.theapricity.com/snpa/troephotos.htm

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey." -- William Faulkner

    The Metal Mixtures
    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. jackswilling

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    My brother just had his done and got a couple emails already from "relatives" including one from my dad's mom's, aka my grandmother's "family." Amazing that this can happen.

    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson
    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. pagan

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    You spit in a container and return it.

    Thanks for clearing that up, this thread could have gone south real quick

    Nowhere in the world will such a brotherly feeling of confidence be experienced as amongst those who sit together smoking their pipes
    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. cossackjack

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    The DNA tests for ancestral composition are a curiosity & for me are only of entertainment value.

    For example, my brother-in-law had the same Ancestry.com DNA analysis which curiously showed no American Indian/Native American despite of his maternal grandmother being Cheyenne, & no Irish despite his father's family being 100% Irish. To our knowledge his is neither adopted nor switched at birth.

    My wife tried through another reputable company which twice was unable to analyze her DNA; I witnessed the second sample collection to help her reduce any sampling error.
    I told her that they probably could not analyze her triple helix DNA (extra-terrestrial, I don't know, though she is out-of-this-world hot).

    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
    Specialization is for insects!" - Robert Heinlein
    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. jackswilling

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    No way it could be mere entertainment. My grandmother died in the 1930s and my brother was contacted by one of her/our direct descendants, based on the DNA match. I am going to take a different test just to compare to my brother's test. We should be real close based on physical charastics. A lot of people want have have "Indian" blood, but they may or may not. Regardless, the test is accurate enough to put us in touch with unknown relatives and the data base is only growing. For Ancestry, that means:

    7. How accurate is the test?
    AncestryDNA uses advanced scientific techniques to produce your results. We measure and analyze a person’s entire genome at over 700,000 locations. During the testing process, each DNA sample is held to a quality standard of at least a 98% call rate. Any results that don’t meet that standard may require a new DNA sample to be collected.
    Then we compare your DNA to one of the most comprehensive and unique collections of DNA samples from people around the world, to identify overlap. As our database of DNA samples continues to grow, you could receive updates with new information.
    8. What does the ‘confidence percentage’ mean for DNA matches?
    Our DNA matching confidence percentage is a number from 0-100% and is meant to help you identify which matches to focus on—the higher the confidence the more likely that they are more closely related to you. Our confidence levels are determined by the amount of common DNA two people share with one another. To do this, we measure over 700,000 markers in the DNA to analyze the number and length of continuous strands that align. Over time, as we continue to understand more about different populations, these confidence levels will improve.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. deathmetal

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    no American Indian/Native American despite of his maternal grandmother being Cheyenne, & no Irish despite his father's family being 100% Irish

    3/4 of Americans with "Indian" ancestry (Siberian) find out they have none. It is just what happens.

    Regarding the Irish, I would look into the possibility of Scots-Irish, who are not ethnically Irish (neolithic + Iberian/Middle Eastern + later Eastern wave).

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. conlejm

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    My wife and I both took the Ancestry DNA test. We are both New Englanders, and nearly every New Englander claims to have the "Native American" ancestor in their family tree. Well, neither of us do. Furthermore, I was long told I was mainly of English descent ... turns out I am mainly of Irish descent.

    On a side note, you can download the raw data, and upload it to other sites to get more information about your ancestry, and your genetic predispositions to health-related issues.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Good Lord, that's the last thing I'd want hanging over my head!

    A man who serves his country is a patriot. A man who serves his government is an employee. The two are not always the same thing.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. sjmiller

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    You have to take into account that stories you have been told about your family's history are mostly just stories. I have been interested in my own family history for over thirty years and the only stories that I heard that actually turned out to be true were related to military service and on a rare occasion country of origin. Some examples would be l was told that I was a direct descendant of Davy Crockett. Truth is that he was a distant cousin. Was told one of my great grandmothers was full blooded Cherokee. In truth she was of German and English descent.

    A more interesting example would be former football player Emmet Smith who was 100% certain that he was 100% African. He was actually 15% white European. Even more interesting was that Smith's 85% African was the highest percentage any African American That had been tested achieved.

    Abbot of the Apostles of St. Bruno
    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. ashdigger

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    Myself and OJ Simpson were cleared thanks to our "family" tests.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. warren

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    DNA can put the lie to many family myths and stories. I prefer the family lore I grew up with. My father always said his side of the family, Scots-Irish, came to the country with a price on his head. The maternal side of the family is primarily "black" Irish according to lore. All of which means absolutely nothing today and is very entertaining.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. jackswilling

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    I am supposedly a distant relation to Davy Crockett from the afore mentioned grandmother's side of the family tree. Who knows?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. ashdigger

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    I'm with Warren. I'll take the lore to the facts.

    I think the commercials are weird.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. tbradsim1

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    Years ago I went to a Gathering of Simons that said we came across on the Slave Ship Amistiad. Some were Pompus Asses, so When question time came around I raised my hand. Yes Sir Mr Simon what is your question. Well when we came on the ship was we on the top deck or below the deck. That was not recieved well.

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. fmgee

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    I do enjoy overturning some of the family law I grew up with. My grandfather died when I was 5 but lived large in our house growing up. One of the family stories was that he was too young to fight in the second world war and made his mother sign the papers to allow him to enlist at the age of 15. He then met my grandmother at the end of the war when he worked as a gate keeper at a hospital. Well, I dug out his war records and found out he was of legal age when he enlisted and was sent home from active service overseas because he had contracted tropical chlamydia! He also had a checkered past before enlisting according to the records but they are a little vague only listing "carnal knowledge" as a prior offence. I have to say I like the true version of him much better. He is real and not a saint as he was presented.

    As for my heritage, I like the Australian term for a mixed breed dog which is a "bitza". It simply means bits of this and bits of that. I am pretty sure I am one of those and don't need to spit in a tube to find out.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. cossackjack

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    +1 Warren.

    My ancestry is easy:

    Gap-toothed, slack-jawed, mouth-breathing, drooling, knuckle-dragging, slope-headed, inbred Carpathian Hillbilly...with tattoo to tooth ratios greater than one.

    I don't need no stikin' DNA test.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. tuold

    tuold

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    I did submit my DNA to Ancestry.com and it lead to a couple of interesting discoveries.

    I already knew my mother's family was from Sweden and my father's from England. I was surprised when the test returned results showing 14% Eastern European origin. That's a pretty big chunk I had not accounted for. It took several months of digging to realize my paternal grandmother had been adopted from Russian Jewish immigrants who had escaped the pogroms in Lithuania around the start of the 20th century. That's just one of the family secrets I exposed.

    And I've also been contacted by 3rd and 4th cousins and exchanged pictures of relatives we had in common. One guy was in his 80s and remembered playing with my 6 year old mother when they visited the farm she lived on in Minnesota.

    All that was well worth the cost of the test and the subscription the Ancestry.com.

    An added benefit is that you can download your DNA file and run it through medical analytical programs to identify mutations that may have some effect on your health.

    I also found out my great grandfather spent five years in San Quentin. When you go poking around like that you have to be ready to find shocking things.

    The pipe is an instrument of civilization.
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    bigpond

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    An added benefit is that you can download your DNA file and run it through medical analytical programs to identify mutations that may have some effect on your health.

    This is a bad thing to do for one's peace of mind unless you are adopted. Now that we understand more about epigenetics, we know that the transmission of hereditary conditions of medical consequence is a pretty short chain. For the average person I don't think it makes much sense to look any further than your grandparent's.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. jpmcwjr

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    I also found out my great grandfather spent five years in San Quentin. When you go poking around like that you have to be ready to find shocking things.

    I think it was Sam Clemens who wrote something like: "When you go searching the family tree, be prepared to find some ancestors hanging from the branches"!

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. indianafrank

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    I'm of Italian heritage...I'd rather not discuss in a forum my family history.

    I don't know where I'm going...but sooner or later I'll get there.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. jackswilling

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    What tuold said. What a great "thing" DNA plus historical records. Like most things, some for, some against or disinterested. I am completely into it and think it to be ultra-cool.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. mayfair70

    mayfair70

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    My Mother's sister did a thorough family tree and found Davy Crockett to be a cousin. I guess his family got around. She also found enough info to get into the Daughters of the American Revolution. I'd love to do the DNA testing someday. I'm sure I've got Neanderthal blood since my little brother and I look like cavemen.

    The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made. -Groucho Marx
    Mouse-catcher on The Black Frigate
    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. tuold

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    @bigpond wrote:

    This is a bad thing to do for one's peace of mind unless you are adopted. Now that we understand more about epigenetics, we know that the transmission of hereditary conditions of medical consequence is a pretty short chain. For the average person I don't think it makes much sense to look any further than your grandparent's.

    There is that danger of needlessly worrying yourself depending on your personality type. I found out I had markers for hypertension, tinnitus, cataracts, have blue eyes and predilection for arthritis and prostate cancer, etc, etc.

    I found none of that shocking since I already have most of those conditions anyway =)

    The sheer volumes of information can be intimidating. There must be hundreds of pages of data. This program I used called Promethease, (really a web based database) comes with various filters you can use put the data in whatever order you want. You can put all the red flag stuff first or the green flag first, and so on. I hope the genetic markers that show a resistance to some cancers outweigh the one that indicate a correlation with cancers occurring.

    I'll let my doctor know I have this information at my next checkup, but I doubt it will be of any use.

    Here's one tab from report:

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. davet

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    3/4 of Americans with "Indian" ancestry (Siberian) find out they have none

    I've always thought that a lot of people claim to have Native American ancestry, especially celebrities, compared to here in Canada. I would like to try this sometime, I know that my parents both came from Manchester England and my father said that he was told we come from " the north " not sure what that means though.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. tuold

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    davet

    I've always thought that a lot of people claim to have Native American ancestry, especially celebrities, compared to here in Canada. I would like to try this sometime, I know that my parents both came from Manchester England and my father said that he was told we come from " the north " not sure what that means though.

    There were a couple of ancestry related shows on awhile back that featured celebrities who thought they had Native American ancestors. I think all of them turned out to be negative. It doesn't always mean their family stories weren't true. If they only had one NA ancestor and it was 4 generations ago, it's possible they just were not dealt those genetic cards. They could turn up in a brother, sister or other relative though. I'm not really sure why having that ancestry is any more desirable than another.

    They had a lot black Americans on the show who were shocked to find out they had up to 20% white European ancestry.

    I'm not so interested in broad genetic origins myself. I'm more interested in the stories my ancestors have to tell and how they lived their lives. Why did my 15 year-old grandmother leave her father's farm in Missouri in 1910 with her older sister and head west to San Francisco when they had no relatives there? The census records, the death certificates, immigration and tax records all gave the "wheres and whens" but not the "whys". That's why it's so important to interview your relatives before that information is lost.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. sjmiller

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    A lot of times people claimed their relatives were Native American in order to cover up their true lineage. They would "hide" these lines so that they would not face the racism so prominent back then. They would hide the fact that they had a Jewish ancestor, a black ancestor, or even a mixed race ancestor such as Melungeon.

    Black Dutch was also a common "heritage" used by those trying to hide a family secret.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Not that I am doubting you, but it doesn't seem like Native Americans were treated especially well back then, either.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  29. sjmiller

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    The main reason for claiming Indian blood was the census. People didn't want to be labeled as, at that time, colored in the census because it would affect the familiy's future. In many parts of this country you only need to be one sixteenth black to be considered black and in the South would have been subject to segregation laws.. Native Americans were listed as "I" while Black Dutch or other such inventive ancestry received "W".

    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. tbradsim1

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    My wife and I found out differently in the State of Oklahoma, searching for her Fathers family and talking to local historians, it was worse to put down Native American sothey put down Black on the census form.The Indians were treated much worse than the Blacks. Might not have been like this all over but that's how it was in Oklahoma.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  31. sjmiller

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    Good point. I was referring to the way things were in the Southern states.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  32. mso489

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    A thought provoking thread. I'm not sure I have absolute confidence in the accuracy on these commercial tests, but I assume they have some validity. I wonder what percentage of results go back showing heritage of various ethnicities that have been treated less well historically. Then what happens? Do the recipients re-invent a family story that includes this identity, and/or do some burn the paperwork and live in dread of being "found out?" Do they share the news with their families? Do they embrace the new information personally? I think many families identify with only part of their heritage, even when the rejected part of the family line is not overtly different. Personally, I'd feel somewhat phony trying to claim some aspect of my lineage that wasn't acknowledged by my family, even though the DNA results were accurate. Would I change religions, manner of dress, household culture? I think instead I might just shrug, and go into mourning for the part of me that I hadn't been allowed to accept into my identity as I went through life. If one does this, it would be good to do it early, even before marriage and kids, so as to embody the whole history to some degree. But the process and decision to test or not to test is an intriguing one. Good thread.

    In some of these studies, parentage doesn't always correspond to the parents on the birth certificate, which is sometimes upsetting.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  33. irishearl

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    Have thought about trying it to try to confirm the Scots part of the family tale we're Scots-Irish if it distinguishes Scottish from Irish as I already know my father's line came from Northern Ireland. Also know that 1 set of my maternal great-grandparents came from Norway. So, unsure how much new information a DNA test would give me.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  34. sjmiller

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    mso489,
    I was brought up as a true mongrel American. There was no ethnic traditions, holidays, or even foods in my household growing up. This was due to the fact that the latest any member of my family arrived on these shores was 1847. By the 1970s, when I was growing up, all traditions, beliefs,etc. that had been brought from the homelands had been forgotten. This was one of the reasons I became interested in genealogy. I lived in Northern Kentucky for 30 years. For all those years I would see the Germans celebrating their heritage with Oktoberfest. The Greeks had Greekfest, the Irish had St. Patrick's Day and so on.

    Eventually I found out where my people were from such as the British Isles, France, Germany, Italy, and so on. I never did adopt any of the celebrations or traditions from any of these places because I realized I had been wrong. My family had lots of traditions we followed and foods we ate that told who we were and where we came from, Appalachia. Both of my parents families were among the early settlers of East Tennessee. In Tennessee, people who can prove an ancestor lived here before it became a state are classified as a First Family of Tennessee. To me that is the heritage I found.

    My point is that I believe that whatever DNA results say it will always prove less important than what you have come to believe about yourself. No matter what I was to find out if I did get the testing done, it wouldn't change anything. I would acknowledge it but nothing more.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  35. tuold

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    mso489, For me it's personalized history. It's one thing to read about the horrible things that happened during the pogroms in Eastern Europe and another to suddenly realize I have ancestors who came here to escape them. It's made history a little more vivid for me. Finding out that I'm part Ashkenazi Jewish was surprising and interesting. I'm still waiting for a Kaplan cousin to contact me =)

    Also, I have the ship passenger lists with my maternal grandfather's name on it from 1906. I was able to find the place in Sweden he came from and even the name and a picture of the ship. Why they never talked to me about these things I'll never know. I was too young and too stupid to ask.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  36. cosmicfolklore

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    3/4 of Americans with "Indian" ancestry (Siberian) find out they have none

    I read an article about this recently. During the Civil Rights war in Alabama, many of those on the side against minority voting, found themselves looking for justification for their actions, the atrocities. Claiming a Native American heritage was the number one way they justified their actions as "not racist" if you're a minority, I guess that means you can be racist. They tied themselves to a group of people who were oppressed by the government, identified with a people who hunted, made their own "things," and tried to carve a living out of the land.
    The speech writer and adviser to Wallace and Klansman, Forrest Carter, disappeared and then reinvented himself as the writer of "Education of Little Tree." We also have a huge reservation that reinvented itself with very white men claiming Porch Creek Heritage. Look it up. We have one of the largest tribes made up of ex-Klansmen in the nation here in Alabama, and gambling is giving them new energy. It's a very weird thing.
    There would have been NO mixing of white and Native American races in the South. This a huge Southern Taboo... until after the 60's, in which white supremacists found it better to identify as Native Americans than...

    Anyways, I find this stuff fascinating. I have an uncle who says that our family has Native American blood, but really he is just a drunk with a fanciful mind.

    Michael
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Wait, what? Some of my favorite literature has been created by drunks with fanciful minds!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  38. cosmicfolklore

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    ...Yeh, you might like my uncle then. He lives in a storage shed behind one of my aunt's house.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    He is now my second favorite character in Cosmic's Universe! My favorite is still the old guy that lives on Prince Albert and Dr. Pepper!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  40. cosmicfolklore

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    Ha ha, Hank Henry! And, Uncle Mark. I could write a book about my Uncle Mark. I think that man has taken every wrong turn and made every wrong decision that is humanly possible.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  41. deathmetal

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    Your own personal Yoknapatawpha County!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  42. cosmicfolklore

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    At times I wish my city was just in a book, so I could close it and chunk it in the river, ha ha.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  43. deathmetal

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    I used to know a guy who did armored bulldozer rentals.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    He wasn't in Granby, CO, was he?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  45. wyfbane

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    I dunno, Mso. The Irish have been shat upon pretty good, historically. But for me, I was pretty open to whatever. I would have been honored to find any ethnicity in my woodpile.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  46. didimauw

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    I've always thought about doing a DNA test. My dad and uncle were both adopted from different families, and my uncle when he was a teen, found and met his blood family. It upset my grandparents badly, especially when he tried to do Christmas one year with them. My dad on the other hand never wanted to find out who his biological parents were. He felt abandoned in a way. But now that I have a daughter it has me thinking. She's going to ask all these questions that I will have no answer to.

    I refuse to eat vegetables, but I'll smoke out of one.
    Posted 2 years ago #

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