|Surprising DNA Results|
Although I have had my DNA results at both Family Tree DNA and My Heritage for a long time, I had never tested at Ancestry DNA. They had a good sale on tests last fall so I bought one and sent it in, not expecting results for a while due to the holiday crush. When they finally notified me in January that my results were ready, I clicked on the link, expecting to see thousands of matches, including several that were known second cousins and below that I knew had tested there. What I did not expect was to see a match that was so large that it had to be a first cousin (I ruled out a grandparent due to my age). I won't use his name but just call him GRH. I was pretty sure that I knew all of my first cousins so after I re-started my heart, I ran down the possible parents of this person and the likelihood that they were the parent. My father's much older brothers? Not likely. My mother's sister? From what I knew of her this was possible but not likely either. Then it hit me. My mother had a brother, Jerry, who died at age 20 (before I was born) when his Army Air Corps plane crashed. I wrote about him here.
The story I heard from my mother was that Jerry had possibly fathered a child with a non-Jewish girl near his base before the crash and that my grandmother had been in contact with her but for whatever reason, contact was lost. I looked at his ethnicity data and sure enough, he was 50% Ashkenazi Jewish. My next best match, who appeared to be GRH's son, was 25% AJ. Could this person be Jerry Lieberman's son?
After several false starts, I finally contacted GRH a few days ago. He confirmed that Jerry Lieberman was his birth father. His mother had married and her husband raised GRH as his son. GRH did not find out the true story until that man's death when GRH was about ten and his mother told him the story. He remembered seeing Jerry's mother (our grandmother) once when she came out to where he was living, and he knew that he had received gifts from his grandparents' Baby Furniture store.
We had a great FaceTime chat and it seems that we have a lot of interests in common. I hope that I will get to meet my new first cousin sometime in person. Meanwhile, we are exchanging photos and family information.
Cousins who would like to know more should contact me offline.
Meanwhile, never be surprised at what your DNA results may show!