People Are Revealing Family Secrets Uncovered By Ancestry DNA Tests

Have you ever taken one of those DNA tests to find out about your ancestry? They can reveal all sorts of fascinating, and sometimes horrifying, details.

An r/AskReddit thread asked for some of these unusual stories, and Reddit did not disappoint.

Some folks just like having lots of spouses.

Unsplash | Tyler Nix

"My bio-dad left his family and two daughters in Washington and married my mom in Los Angeles five weeks later. I found his first marriage certificate but nothing about a divorce. I'm pretty sure he was a bigamist."


The results: horrifying.

Unsplash | Doğukan Şahin

"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."


Maury: "You are NOT the father!"

"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."


That's a tough family tree to untangle.

Unsplash | Jeremy Bishop

"My aunt discovered that her mother cheated on her father and she was a product of that affair, meaning she was actually only half-siblings with her 4 siblings.

"The rub was that my aunt’s husband was married before he married her. The woman he was married to is the daughter of the man involved in the affair. So no one knew this, but my uncle got divorced and then married his ex-wife’s half-sister. I guess he has a type."


Uncle Herb?

"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)."


Ah, the little black book.

Unsplash | Jan Kahánek

"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 seached [sic] 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."


Big oops.

"My wife is adopted (but found her bio mom) and did one of the genetic tests. Someone matched with her and asked if she knew such and such a name. She found out her bio mom's husband wasn't the bio dad, it was the bio mom's boss. oops."


Settle your affairs.

Unsplash | Alejandro Escamilla

"I found a half sister that none of my siblings or mother knew about. My dad had an affair 50 years ago (he's dead now). For us it wasn't really a surprise, we already have a half-sister from another affair but for the newly discovered one it answered a lot of questions and gave her some needed closure. We all met a few times, it was pleasant."


New and improved dad.

Unsplash | Tim Mossholder

"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 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."


Last name: confirmed.

Unsplash | Tim Mossholder

"Always thought my grandfather on my father's side was adopted and thought our last name was just of the family that adopted him. One DNA test later and the family figures out that my great grandparents got pregnant out of marriage and ran away.

"They came back with a child saying it was adopted so they wouldn't be shamed for him. That's how we figured out that my last name is for sure from blood."


Kiss me, I might be Irish.

"My cousin took a test and goes on and on about how she's almost completely Irish. Our grandpa was German. I'd heard from my mom as a kid that my aunt's biological father was probably her friend's father.

"I've looked the family up on Facebook and my aunt looks just that friend. My cousin seems to have no idea of any of this. I don't think my aunt does either."


How Dickensian.

"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."


You're officially no longer Dutch.

Unsplash | Denise Jans

"My ex-husband's family were proud of their Dutch heritage and claimed to be one of the founding families of the historically Dutch Holland, MI. His ancestry results didn't show any Dutch ancestry. Instead, he had primarily English/Irish ancestry."


Taking those secrets to the grave.

Unsplash | Kenny Orr

"Not me, but an elderly customer at work the other day.

"She came down with some serious illness and the doctor had her take a DNA test to see if it was hereditary. Turns out it was from her fathers side. But not the man who raised her. So she went hunting to find her real father.

"Turns out that he was a Korean War vet. Took part in Chosin Reservoir and loads of other things. Two years after she found him and all of her half siblings, he passed."


Can't keep those secrets forever.

"A long lost relative contacted me. He is the same age as my dad and looked straight up related. He was adopted and wanted to connect with his birth family. Long story short, I found out that my grandfather had an affair with my great aunt and they put the baby up for adoption.

"My great aunt went away while she was pregnant and came back with no baby. It was the '60s. The family was freaking out about it trying to keep it all hush hush."


All this time learning the wrong language.

Unsplash | Joshua Hoehne

"One of my friends thought she was primarily Vietnamese with some Chinese mixed in. Had a typical Vietnamese name and upbringing. However when she took a DNA test it said she was Chinese. Now in her 30s she’s (mildly) upset she learned the wrong language."


That's actually sorta sweet.

"My coworker found out he had a daughter from a girl he was with once at a party when he was 17. He is in his mid 30s, has a wife and children now. Turns out the mother died of cancer when his daughter was young and she was raised by her grandparents. They met and keep in contact now."


Not awkward at all.

Unsplash | Louis Hansel

"I (34) found out that my dad (78) is not my biological father. He learned that I was awaiting results of the test, which was an innocent birthday gift from my wife, and broke the news to me over a beer in an awkwardly crowded bar (about a week before quarantine started)."


Mamma mia!

"I was hoping to find something cool. My Dad's family is from Sicily and so we thought we could have Greek, Asian, African. Nope. 96% Italian on one side, 98% Italian on the other side. The other percentage being some kind of non specific Middle Eastern. So we are basically all Italian like we thought."


Word to the wise...


"If you have any uncertainty before you take a dna test just make sure you’re prepared for the repercussions that it will certainly bring. It will cause irreparable damage once “the secret's out”.

"My wife hasn’t spoken to her mother in years because she found out the man she had been calling dad until his death was not her father and her real dad died about 6 months before she took the test. Everybody in her family already knew and nobody told her."


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