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Post23andMe (Paul Pitlick, USA, 06/26/18 3:30 am)
In response to Patrick Mears (25 June), something else you might consider would be DNA analysis via 23andMe and/or Ancestry.com.
To help sort out a question in my family, I had it done. The only (minor) surprise was that i was only 40% Central European (Czech) rather than 50% (my dad was "100%"). However, subsequently I have heard from four people who are second cousins (i.e. one of my grandparents was a sibling of one of their grandparents). These people aren't all that distantly related, but I had never heard of any of them. The first of them contacted me about a year ago. I didn't recognize her name, but in the Ancestry list of our shared relatives we shared one third cousin whose last name was the same as my maternal grandmother's. Not expecting much, I wrote back to her, and, indeed, our grandmothers were sisters. She has been doing a family tree, which is on Ancestry and readily accessible. Although I knew my grandmother (she died when I was a teenager), about all I knew was that she was born in Scotland and moved to the US as a teenager. From this new cousin, I found out that my grandmother's name was actually Helen (not Nellie), she was 1 of 8 children, etc.
Initially, I was kind of excited about this, but when I shared this news with my siblings and a first cousin, they didn't share my excitement, and whatever information I share with my new cousin also involves information about other closer relatives. For example, if I tell her the name of the man my grandmother married, that gives away our mother's maiden name. Sounds like a small thing, but I have a couple of accounts which are accessible on-line for which that is the answer to a security question. And that was before Facebook imploded...
JE comments: Paul, so is it a coincidence that daughter Helen shares a name with her great-grandmother? My sister has done the DNA test, and the results presumably apply to me, too. We are a very Western European clan--60% British Isles, 25% Scots-Irish, and 15% sundry "other." Our 2% "Iberian" really intrigues me.
23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki grew up in Palo Alto, and is the former wife of Google's Sergey Brin. Is there a chromosome for extreme wealth?