With the popularity of DNA tracing sites on the rise, there are more and more stories of unexpected family secrets revealed. After all, tracing down your genetic background can sometimes feel like opening a can of worms. People are finding out about the past of their parents and grandparents that can be hard to accept. Sometimes, though, online DNA kits can do much more than just alienate families—they can help catch criminals, too. With the help of other media outlets, we have made you a short list of stories where online DNA tests revealed surprising truths. Scroll down below to read them!

h/t: Ranker

#1

These two guys have been pals for more than 60 years before discovering that they were actually brothers.

Walter Macfarlane and Alan Robinson grew up together in Honolulu, Hawaii and went on vacations with their families as adults. The pair decided to research their family histories when they were already in their 70s, as neither were raised by their birth parents—Alan was adopted, and Walter did not know who his father was. After using a DNA website, though, the life-long friends found out that they shared a birth mother. Once the answers came, the duo realized why they shared such a deep bond.

CNN , CNN Report

glowworm2
Community Member
6 months ago

This one has a pretty awesome ending though. I love that even though they didn't know they were brothers, they still had an extremely close relationship with one another for so long.

fuggnuggins
Community Member
6 months ago

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It's a DNA test. Not even that, it's a story about an alleged DNA test. There are any number of things that could have gone wrong, including that it never happened. The only thing this proves is how susceptible people are to bias confirmation. Especially those governed by their limbic system.

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lara
Community Member
6 months ago

This is fabulous. I was most fortunate to "be found" by a brother whom I did not know about. Unfortunately our mom has been dead for more than 45 years, she would have been so thrilled to have him back in her life. I am so thrilled to have him in our lives.

Kim
Community Member
6 months ago

This is amazing, I'm so happy for you both!

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Malgorzata Margo
Community Member
6 months ago

If one was adopted and they both shared the same mother AND took vacations together... didn't they... wait... so the mother knew they were brothers all along and just kept quiet? I am so confused.

I want cake
Community Member
5 months ago

Neither of them grew up with their birth parents, it says in the text. And the family holidays mentioned are obviously with the families they started : wives and children. They had no way of knowing.

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OliviaMarie
Community Member
6 months ago

this is so sweet

Amy Cohen
Community Member
6 months ago

So Alan was also spending time with his birth mother without knowing it.

White
Community Member
6 months ago

WHOA

Radek Suski
Community Member
6 months ago

You couldn't tell my their appearance?

Dream Wolf
Community Member
6 months ago

Siblings don't always have to look similar. They can but genetics are funny things and sometimes siblings can look vastly different. So you can guess by looking at appearances but it's not always accurate.

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Paula Hobbs
Community Member
6 months ago

My uncle's wife was adopted at birth by a wonderful couple. She was an adult and married by the time she started searching for her birth mother and living about an hour away from where she grew up. She had a friend at work who she became close with who had given a child up for adoption so they had this in common. Eventually, she received notification her birth mother had been found and they lived within a few minutes of each other. Turns out her mother was her friend she had worked with for 2 years. Talk about blown minds!

CatWoman312
Community Member
6 months ago

So they were like brothers already and the rest confirmed they were. Awesome ending

Stille20
Community Member
6 months ago

Awesome.... but knowing each other's histories and looking so similar, it never occurred to them?

Petra Pan
Community Member
6 months ago

Awww, that's one big happy smile and they both have tears in their eyes. #truelove :)

Katie Lutesinger
Community Member
6 months ago

Bros in both senses of the word!

CincyReds
Community Member
6 months ago

That is freaking crazy!!!

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
6 months ago (edited)

Very wonderful that they share such an enduring bond. They may regret not knowing they were brothers, but cannot feel bad for lost opportunities. One of my favorite posts ever here.

ERIN W.
Community Member
6 months ago

That's "WILD"!

AzKhaleesi
Community Member
6 months ago

They look alike how did no one guess this?

Ralph Spooner
Community Member
6 months ago

FANTASTIC!!!! They find out they are brothers when they are old enough to REALLY appreciate it.

KT
Community Member
6 months ago

wow that's incredible!

serenagun
Community Member
6 months ago

awwwwwww

ILOVEBAMBOO
Community Member
4 months ago

Wow!!!

Elaine Mattingly
Community Member
6 months ago

Nothing can change what is meant to be.

Jacqueline Wilson
Community Member
6 months ago

They look like twins

Ralph Spooner
Community Member
6 months ago

Fantastic that they found out before it was too late!!! Unfortunately, my brother and I share no such bond as he has spent his life dealing with people in as underhanded a way as possible. After our mom passed, she passed first, our dad put me on his checking account in case his health issues got to the point he could not effectively handle his finances. What my brother did not figure on was having the value of all my dad's property, down to the vehicles and furniture in the house evaluated. My lawyer told me that I did not have to figure in my dad's checking accounts in the estate value due to my "rights of survivor-ship" but I did anyway. Since the property was free and clear, I checked with several local banks on the loan value and the amount it would take for my brother to pay me to settle up the estate. All three local banks were ready to jump on it. When the day came to settle up the estate in the lawyer's office, he came up with the money. Haven't seen him since.

I'manoob!
Community Member
6 months ago

ay! howzit 🤙 (people who know pidgin will get this)

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#2

When a single mother of two and one on the way, Lydia Fairchild, ran into financial problems, she decided to apply for government assistance. According to the media, the woman was asked to take a DNA test to confirm that the children were hers. The results suggested that the kids she gave birth to… were in fact her nephews. When giving birth to her third child, Lydia decided to have a government witness present, and the DNA test was performed instantly. Again, the results showed that she was an aunt of the baby. Finally, scientists learned that Lydia was actually a chimera, meaning that she had absorbed her twin while still in the womb. Thus, it was her twin’s DNA that showed up in DNA results.

nicasaurusrex , ABC News Report

Turnip and a Frog
Community Member
6 months ago

Talk about bad sibling dynamics

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#3

A family mystery of more than 100 years was solved by an online DNA test. Alice Collins Plebuch is a woman who identified as Irish American; however, the mail-in DNA test revealed a surprising truth—a mix of European Jewish, Middle Eastern, and Eastern European genes were found in her results. Having conducted family-wide DNA testing later, Alice learned that her father wasn’t the biological child of her grandparents. Further research finally revealed that her father had been sent home from the hospital with the wrong family.

diversey , Washington Post Report

Wolfstar
Community Member
6 months ago

Wha--

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#4

The Maneages family had three children but wanted a fourth, so they adopted a 10-year-old girl named Elliana from China. The girl was diagnosed with a brain disorder. When they arrived home, the family shared their story with another family—the Galbierz—who went to the same church and had also adopted a daughter from China, Kinley, who had a similar brain disorder. The families decided to test their DNA, only to find out that the girls have a 99.9% match of being sisters.

thenationalguard , People Report

Amaranthim Talon
Community Member
6 months ago

This one is not that strange. The adoptive parents both adopted from China, lived in the same town, and more than likely, used the same adoption agency- or if different agencies, those companies could have used the same means to place the children. Easy to see them coming from the same area- especially given the treatment of China to its people- particularly girl children.

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#5

A man named Steve Dennis was adopted as a toddler, and only in his teenage years did he find out that he was abandoned in a phone booth in Lancaster, Ohio after he was born. Back in the mid-'50s, two men discovered baby Steve inside a phone booth, put in a cardboard box, with blankets wrapped around him and a milk bottle nearby. However, no one found out who did it. More than 6 decades later, Steve’s children began showing interested in their heritage, so he submitted his DNA to the Ancestry.com website. The website was able to track Steve’s cousin, and then his half-sister, who told him about his birth mother. Turns out, she was 85 years old and was living in Baltimore, Maryland. It took some time for the woman to remember the precise details, but she recalled giving birth at 18. She said Steve’s father convinced her to do it, as he promised to marry her if she did. However, soon enough, he left and his whereabouts are unknown.

Washington Post , Washington Post Report

Hans
Community Member
6 months ago

What a sad story!

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#6

Imagine the surprise of two British women when their ancestry revealed Native American genes. Especially so when they knew that no members of their family had been to America. Finally, Doreen Isherwood and Anne Hall learned that they are descendants of Native Americans who were brought to the United Kingdom hundreds of years ago. They might’ve been brought here as slaves, translators, or tribal representatives, according to BBC

jeepersmedia , BBC Report

Whawhawhatsis
Community Member
6 months ago

Yes, I know Pocahontas was brought to England, although she didn't love long thereafter. I'm sure other Native Americans were brought, too, to act in shows like Buffalo Bill's. What a terrible thing to do to such dignified people, dragging them so far from home and then using them as a money-making device! That's just speculation on my part, but I've read about the Wild West shows that toured Europe, so I'm sure they included natives.

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#7

A woman named Kelli Rowlette was perfectly aware she wasn’t related to her father, as her parents had used a sperm bank to conceive her. However, she wasn’t prepared for what the DNA testing showed. Apparently, the fertility doctor her parents worked with, Gerald Mortimer, used his own semen and was technically her father. Kelli has filed a lawsuit against the doctor, his wife, and his former medical group alleging “medical negligence, failure to obtain informed consent, fraud, battery, emotional distress, and breach of contract.”

notbrucelee , CNN Report

Shelley Barrows
Community Member
6 months ago

When this happens, the scariest part is that these multiple children would be conceived and raised in the same area... and would then go to school together and BE IN THE SAME DATING POOL. The ultimate WTF moment when you find out your prom date is your half sibling...

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#8

Rich Bodager, a Las Vegas local, was adopted back in 1968 and wanted to learn about his biological parents. He submitted DNA to the 23andMe website and its test produced a surprising result. As it turned out, someone else in the database of the company was related to Rich—and that person was his granddaughter, which he knew was impossible. The “granddaughter” finally reached out to him. As they later found out, she was his half-sister and she had been looking for him for 15 years.

lisazins , News3lv Report

Katchen
Community Member
6 months ago

Funny that an Ancestry test is used for a 23andMe post.

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#9

Imagine the confusion of parents who were told that the blood type of their son didn’t match their own. To conceive him, the couple went to a fertility clinic. After finding out that the genetic material of their son didn’t match theirs, they feared that there was a terrible lab mix-up. Finally, the couple used 23andMe to go through genetic genealogy testing. According to it, the child’s father was actually his… uncle. Apparently, the real father must have been a twin, albeit a chimera. That means that a twin absorbed the cells from the other offspring after he died in the womb.

Neeta Lind , abroadintheyard Report

Turnip and a Frog
Community Member
6 months ago

Ok, I see where this is going

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#10

Andrea Ramirez used a DNA test kit because she wanted to find out more about the history of her Mexican ancestry. However, not only did the results show that she wasn’t Mexican at all, but that the man she called dad wasn’t even her father. The woman looked at the potential family members in the 23andMe database and found a possible match of a half-sister and half-brother. Andrea later found out that her parents had used donor sperm to conceive her. She reached out to the matches and found her half-sister, Jennifer Rose Jones, who had been conceived at the same clinic as Andrea. The DNA showed that they shared the same father, and are now attempting to find him.

juhansonin , CNBC Report

François Carré
Community Member
6 months ago

She was still culturally Mexican though. People shouldn't overstate the importance of genetics in what is, above all, a matter of cultural legacy.

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