The Long Tail of 23 and Me
I have heard a bunch of crazy stories of people who have found out that their father wasn’t their father until after he died when they got their 23 and Me. They found that 50% of the DNA came from another man, who happened to be their neighbor. Another one where she knew her single Mom used a sperm donor who ended up giving sperm to many women. She found that she had an extended family of 20+ half-siblings who she found and connected with. Many random similarities that make one think a lot about the power of DNA.
Every couple months or so I get an email from 23 and Me showing me a variety of people who I share DNA with. Most of them are fourth cousins or third cousins to a second cousin. It is fascinating. My family is small. Both of my parent’s parents cut off relationships with their siblings so I wouldn’t even know them if they walked in the door. My aunt, who died when I was a child, had two children that my father has had no relationship with since I was 6 so again, no idea who they are except that they were two boys.
It is not top of my list to go out and explore these shared relations but I do find it fascinating. Data gives us information that we sometimes don’t expect. The powerful part is that in many ways we are all connected. Who we think we are is not necessarily who we are. For instance, maybe I am part African or Asian or European but never realized I had roots from those areas of the world.
Not exactly sure where all this information is going but there is something that really fascinates me every time I get an email from 23 and Me.