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The Dark Side of DNA Tests: Woman Uncovers Century-Old Family Mystery

Like all new technologies, DNA testing has a good side, a bad side, and as author Margaret Atwood said, a stupid side you hadn’t considered eight years ago. 72-year-old Washington native Alice Collins Plebeach made a decision that would change her life forever. She sent samples of her saliva for a just-for-fun DNA test. Seeing as both of her parents were devout Irish-American Catholics, Alice thought she had a good idea about what the DNA test results would say. But when the results came back, Alice was shocked.

She wasn’t who she thought she was. This revelation sent Alice and her siblings on a years-long journey to uncover the mystery surrounding their identities. Questions about her family had preoccupied Alice for years. Her mother, who was named Alice, was into genealogy. She kept an old family book with the handwritten names and births and deaths of their relatives. Alice found her mother’s side easy to follow, even before genealogy records were available online. Read the full story here ▶