The Stranger in My Genes

The Stranger in My Genes Bill Griffeth, Longtime Genealogy Buff, Takes A DNA Test That Has An Unexpected Outcome If The Results Were Correct, It Meant That The Family Tree I Had Spent Years Documenting Was Not My Own Bill Undertakes A Quest To Solve The Mystery Of His Origins, Which Shakes His Sense Of Identity As He Takes Us On His Journey, We Learn About Choices Made By His Ancestors, Parents, And Others, And We See Bill Measure And Weigh His Own Difficult Choices As He Confronts The Past. Griffeth, a financial reporter who developed his genealogy interests into a previous book tracing the Griffeth family through 400 years of American Protestantism, including the Salem Witch Trials, Mormonism and Midwest Methodists and how this strong family line had shaped him , found out via a cousin s press for DNA testing to find matches that he was not, in fact, a Griffeth He is briefly outraged that his mother must have been raped, but when the only response he can get from his mother is that she made a mistake, he construes it as a sordid and adulterous fling for his otherwise shy and pious mother While sulking and crying and suffering the loss of his paternal lineage, and whining that his mother is shut down and unresponsive he goes off looking for his biological father, interpreting the many red flags he finds as the man being charming and somehow worth his mother cheating The thoroughly unscientific poll of women I mentioned this too had the same reaction I did in a world with no abortion and unreliable birth control, his mother made a mistake by blaming herself for being harassed, coerced or forced into sex with her boss after being ordered to bring papers to him at a deserted construction site, and came to some private arrangement with a loving and supportive husband to raise the child especially since the rest o
He may not need resolution, but the reader does. This book, brief but repetitive, is all about how emotionally devastating it was to the author to learn that he was not the genetic son of the man who was married to his mother, who had raised him, and who he thought was his father in all respects That he hadn t known this crushes him But when he brings himself to ask his mother what had happened and what led to his birth, he walks away after his mother makes a one sentence apology for her mistake Now that characterization of the situation which could apply to all sorts of incidents does not clarify whether the extra marital sexual relationship which led to the
Bill Griffeth chooses to romanticize the man who, by all reasonable inferences, raped his mother After discovering through a DNA test that he has a different father than his brother, all family members agree that his mother would never have had an affair And, when he confronts her with the DNA results, she reports I made a mistake when I was younger and that it happened at a deserted construction site with a former boss When she refuses to discuss it further and looks at his with dead eyes , Griffeth takes that as her admission of an affair, rather than seeing the pain of a woman who had lived with trauma for decades He briefly considers asking, but just says that his mother would not admit to a rape, to save his feelings, and dismisses the issue When Griffeth discovers that that his biological father had multiple marriage
As a genealogist, I ve done DNA testing for myself and I administer kits for multiple family members I m fully aware of the potential for unexpected findings, and I haven t taken the warnings lightly I readily admit that I did breathe a sigh of relief when DNA matches confirmed that I was a part of my genealogical family and that we brought the right child home from the hospital, but I never truly understood how much my identity would change if
Could have been a long magazine article Slow to get started and a lot of melodramatic moments about how shocking it is to find out your father isn t your father Cliches abound. It satisfied my genealogy nerdiness. This book is in the process of being passed around my DNA Interest Group, and eventually my turn came As someone fairly involved in family history, and sufficiently experienced with DNA testing that I ve given some talks on the subject, I was looking forward to reading the book Initially, it held some promise it s by a devoted genealogist whose tests revealed that his dad was not his biological father.Well, that had to produce strong emotions and it did The author assumed the test had to be mistaken, and it took some retesting to convince him He then had to solve the mystery OK, this all makes a reasonable premise for a compelling story Unfortunately, the author disappoints us.My initial feeling, as I began to be disappointed, was that by this time I should know better than to expect memoirs by journalists to be good books Journalists are good at churning out copy, and investigative journalists are good at interviewing people and digging up information, but generally speaking their memoirs at least, memoirs not about their careers are lamentably weak efforts about remarkable experiences that deserve better I think that this is the natural result of their training they learn to write simple common denominator, generally rather short,
The author was talked into getting a DNA test by his cousin as they were both genealogy buffs looking to explore family history The results came back showing his father, the man who raised him, was not his biological father, or so it seemed His first reaction was denial Then as he studied about inheritance and DNA he understood that it might be true and there could be several explanations for it I know of at least three.I enjoyed this book for several reasons The least important one is that the author has the same name as my favorite uncle I m also a genealogy buff and have had my DNA done, with a surprise in store for me there The author takes a long time getting to the meat of the story, but the book is generally well written The aspect that I found most compelling, if somewhat difficult for me to grasp, is how emotionally he took this revelation It consumed him for years and tore him apart Whom should he tell Was it a lab error Should he ask his 95 year old mother about it It seemed to me that it should not have been so surprising If you don t want to know that kind of information, don t take a DNA test There are multiple bold face warnings about this kind of thing on the testing company websites and instructions.The other aspect that truly surprised me was how little he and his other relatives understood about DNA The father give
An interesting account of how life was turned upside down with the results of a seemingly innocuous DNA test Whilst the subject matter was fascinating and thought provoking how would I respond if I found out that my family wasn t, strictly speaking, my family Would I want to find my genetic kin the whole book felt self published a

[ Reading ] ➼ The Stranger in My Genes  Author Bill Griffeth –
  • Hardcover
  • 202 pages
  • The Stranger in My Genes
  • Bill Griffeth
  • 07 May 2018
  • 9780880823449