DNA Testing Helps Reveal Hidden Family History

Like moving to the top of a ridge to suddenly see the landscape anew, Bob Hutchinson’s 23andMe gave him a new view of himself, of his family history and even of the world around him.

Bob Hutchinson’s parents.

“It was a surprise,” Bob told the New York Times recently.

His story was featured both in the paper and online in a weekly Facebook Live episode called “Conversations on Race.”

Bob grew up in northern New Jersey, thinking his family was white with Swedish and Italian ancestry. But using 23andMe told him something else. His Ancestry Composition showed that he is in fact more than an eighth sub-Saharan African.

“I think it’s great, it’s who I am,” Bob said during his live conversation with Times reporter Rachel Swarms. “It’s great to be so mixed.”

The surprised revealed as secret about his family, helping him connect with cousins he didn’t know he had, but who knew who he was, about his family and about the family secret.

Check out his story in the New York Times, or watch the recorded conversation.