September 14, 2016

Ummm...we have a problem. A DNA problem. A big one.

Oh. My gosh. I've got a real mystery on my hands. A big one that will impact nearly 30 years of diligent genealogy research. Not to mention my psyche.

On a lark (and also to benefit my research), I took a DNA test. Results say I'm 40% Ashkenazi Jewish.

Ok. Took another test. 43% Jewish Diaspora. Huh.

Took a 3rd test. A whopping 47.7% Ashkenazi Jewish. Nearly 50%. Half. 

What does this mean? 

It means I'm 1/2 Ashkenazi Jew. You get 1/2 of your DNA from each parent. One of my parents was...Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ). Neither of my parents were AJ.

My son tested at 25% AJ. Exactly what you would expect if a maternal grandparent was nearly 100% AJ.

Why is that significant? 

Neither of my parents were of Jewish descent. Or my grandparents. Or my great grandparents. Or my great great grandparents. I know this for a fact. Although I can't DNA test dead people, I know these folks through and through. I can't know their ethnic origins, but I know they were all dyed in the wool Baptists. Every last one of them. Devoted Baptists.

Anyhow....50% means a PARENT. My mom or dad.

What does this REALLY mean?

It was hard to say out loud at first, but now I can say that it means one of my biological parents is unknown.

Was it mom? Maybe. She was "adventurous", shall we say.  However, we do know she was in fact pregnant at the right time and I have a certified birth certificate to show I was born to her and dad.

Was it dad? Maybe. He suffered serious war injuries. Could he have been sterile? They had been married 7 years when I came along. They've told me they had been trying since their wedding day to have a baby. They were unable to have other children, making me an only child.

Was I switched at birth? As ludicrous as this sounds, the answer is "maybe". Maybe. 

The Experts

I'm leaning heavily on my "DNA friends" to help me figure this out. One friend thinks it's on my maternal side, which lends a tad more more credibility to the "switched at birth" scenario. 

Together, we are chasing a lot of leads. I'm doing every single thing one of them tells me to do. 

I've requested both parents medical records from every hospital and doctor I can think of who may have treated them. 

Dad's blood type was O+. Mine is A+. I don't know mom's yet, but if it's not A+ then we know for a fact she is not my mother. A blood fact.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that my mom and dad gave me a wonderful childhood. Every family has their issues, but as things go, my issues were few. I was a well-loved and well-raised little girl. I will love my parents until the end of time. No matter what. 

Sure ain't.

1 comment:

  1. Same surprise here. Dad turned out to have 28% Ashkenazi Jewish DNA; I have 18% and none of the Greek DNA we expected. I'm lucky, though, as one of my wife's aunt's husband is a rabbi and has all sorts of connections. Now, I have to find the relative, but what a wonderful puzzle!