The other half picked up an unexpected combination of European Jewish, Middle Eastern and Eastern European. It was the early days of direct-to-consumer DNA testing, and Ancestry.com’s test was new.
She wrote the company a nasty letter informing them they’d made a mistake.
Over the past five years, as the price of DNA testing kits has dropped and their quality has improved, the phenomenon of “recreational genomics” has taken off.
His parents had come to the United States from Ireland, and that history was central to Jim’s sense of himself.
Her parents, both deceased, were Irish American Catholics who raised her and her six siblings with church Sundays and ethnic pride.
But Plebuch, who had a long-standing interest in science and DNA, wanted to know more about her dad’s side of the family.
The son of Irish immigrants, Jim Collins had been raised in an orphanage from a young age, and his extended family tree was murky.
After a few weeks during which her saliva was analyzed, she got an email in the summer of 2012 with a link to her results. About half of Plebuch’s DNA results presented the mixed British Isles bloodline she expected.