The Other Side of the Story

Earlier this month, we wrote about Jess, who with the help of her 23andMe results discovered that 100 years ago her grandfather had been
Jess's grandfather Phil and her great grandfather Sam.

Jess’s grandfather Phil and her great grandfather Sam.

accidentally switched at birth with another baby boy and raised by Jewish immigrant parents while the baby he was switched with by an Irish Catholic family.The reason Jess was able to figure this out is because for three years, another woman, Alice Plebuch, was working to unravel her own family mystery. It was Alice who ultimately reached out to Jess asking in an email if she’d learned something unexpected about her ancestry.Now we get to hear Alice’s side of this amazing story that has been posted on CeCe Moore’s blog.Alice was raised to believe that she was almost all Irish on both her mother and father’s side, but after testing with several different DNA testing services she learned that she was actually half Jewish. Her quest to figure out why took years of work, and required testing of several different family members as well as document searches and even creating a database to track all of her the relatives she discovered through testing. It’s instructive to see how careful Alice was with information, knowing that it could be difficult for some family members to digest and wanting to make sure she had all the facts first. Alice’s story
Alice's father, who turned out to be Sam's biological son.

Alice’s father, who turned out to be Sam’s biological son.

is also informative about how a smart and resourceful person can use genetic testing and other records to uncover hidden family history.What is also stunning, at least for us here at 23andMe, is that none of this would have – or even could have – come to light without genetic testing.If Alice and Jess hadn’t tested there really wouldn’t have been any other way to uncover this hidden history. Even for CeCe – a genetic genealogists with years of experience unraveling countless family stories – that Alice and Jess were able to figure this out was hard to believe.
  • Nikki Roberts

    Wow! We don’t even know where my great great grandmother came from. She just appeared on a census at age 12, living with a family in Mo. She never spoke of her childhood and her kids and grandkids knew nothing about her. I’m hoping 23 and me will help me to figure this out!!!