20 People Who Took A DNA Tests And Learned Some Very, Very, Very, Very, Unexpected Things From It

Last year, I did a couple of posts where BuzzFeed Community members shared the truly unexpected things they learned after taking a DNA test. And, yup, they really did learn some wild things.

  Utah778 / Getty Images
Utah778 / Getty Images

It was with that in mind that I recently came across three old Reddit posts (two posts from three years ago, and one from a year ago) where people shared the wildest things they discovered about themselves or their families after taking a DNA.

person with their mouth open in shock
Aaronamat / Getty Images/iStockphoto

The threads had all sorts of responses, from stories about grandfathers who had secret families to people discovering that a family member had actually survived the Holocaust. Below are the top and best comments:

1."My aunt discovered that her mother cheated on her father with another man and she was a product of that affair — meaning she was actually only half-siblings with her four other siblings. The rub was that my aunt’s husband was married to another woman before he married her. The woman he was married to is the daughter of the man her mom had an affair with (her real father). So no one knew this, but my uncle got divorced and then married her (his ex-wife’s half-sister). I guess he has a type."


2."I have an uncle that was put up for adoption. He contacted my grandma and she thought he was going to extort her (my grandparents are well-off). Turns out he’s a multi, multi-millionaire on his own. They still have limited contact, though my dad has reached out and formed a relationship. Apparently, they look exactly alike and have the same personality (which sounds kind of stupid now that I’m writing it out, but they’re only half-siblings)."


3."My male cousin did one and found a female cousin we did not know about. He reached out to her and apparently our deceased uncle was good friends with her mother. Mom wanted a baby so uncle got her pregnant simply as a sperm donor. Our female cousin lived a few blocks away from my grandmother. She had met her a few times going around selling Girl Scout cookies or something. My grandmother had no idea that she was buying cookies from her granddaughter."


girl scout cookie boxes
Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

4."My bio-dad left his family and two daughters in Washington and married my mom in Los Angeles, five weeks later. I found his first marriage certificate but nothing about a divorce. I'm pretty sure he was a bigamist."


5."We got a call from a second cousin that she had been contacted by a man who was looking for my mom or relatives of my mom. This guy and my cousin matched as cousins and he had a name from his birth certificate. He had been adopted at birth. Turns out my mom was married before she was married to our dad. Her first husband was an abusive a-hole and they had separated. She got pregnant and went to another state and had this baby and put him up for adoption."

"None of us (my generation) ever heard about this, the big family secret. This was in 1948 when being an unwed mother was not a thing you did. So my half-brother is 10 years older than me and we both have the same first name. We are both veterans. He in Nam, me a Cold War-era vet. We have been writing to each other for about two years now. Very much a trip."


6."A friend discovered that her father was not really her father. Her mom had an affair and she was the result. It tore her family apart. Also, her 'father' did not know he was not really her biological father. Note: she was 45 years old when this happened."


  Liubomyr Vorona / Getty Images
Liubomyr Vorona / Getty Images

7."I found out that my great-grandfather who we thought died in WWII actually survived the war, started a new family, and died in a moped accident in the 1990s."


8."My uncle took one and found out he had a 34-year-old son. He was seeing a women years ago and she got pregnant, broke up with him and put the baby up for adoption. She never told him. What's wild is that they both did pursue the same degree in university. He's happily married with two adult children, the relationship with this other women was before he meet my aunt. But as you can imagine it came as quite a shock. They are in contact as far as I know and getting to know each other."


9."My dad isn’t my biological father and he also isn’t my older sister's biological father, we also have different biological fathers."


10."My great-grandfather thought that he was the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust. He wrote to one of his brothers trying to convince him to move to America, but his brother wanted to stay back in their small Polish village. He eventually stopped receiving letters and he assumed his brother and family had died. We found that he moved to Brazil, and we got in touch with his great-grandchildren."


  Oleksii Liskonih / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Oleksii Liskonih / Getty Images/iStockphoto

11."My uncle took the test and found a brother and a sister that were given up for adoption, but the family had been told that they died during childbirth. My grandma died before they did the ancestry test and my grandfather was on his death bed when the first 'lost sibling' was discovered. He died and no one brought up to him that they found them and we all met her at his funeral. She is the youngest of all the siblings."

"The second lost sibling was found a couple years after that and it turns out he is the oldest of all 10 kids my grandma birthed. We have no idea her reasons for giving her first and last born babies up. Obviously, she never thought anyone would find out."


12."I (34) found out that my dad (78) is not my biological father. He learned that I was awaiting results of the test, which was an innocent birthday gift from my wife, and broke the news to me over a beer in an awkwardly crowded bar (about a week before quarantine started)."

"My parents used a donor that was selected from a local medical school by their fertility doctor, the only basis seeming to be that this student 'looked like' my parents. I haven’t been able to find any useful leads on who my biological father might be, just distant family relations."


13."My grandmother's dad had a whole family before he married her mother. Apparently, back East he was married and had seven children. He then peaced out and they never saw or heard from him again. He came out to California met my great-grandma who was, like, 20 years younger than him had eight more kids; my grandmother being the oldest. She took the DNA test and was shocked when it matched this whole other family. Her brothers were also pretty shocked. They don't really talk about it at all."


black and white family portrait
Pappamaart / Getty Images

14."My main purpose for getting a DNA test was to figure out the parents of my mysterious great-grandfather who was orphaned and adopted as a child. After years of analyzing my DNA matches and researching, I pretty much have it figured out now, although I'm constantly looking for more evidence to back it up."

"During the course of this research, I also discovered that this same great-grandfather had at least three children out of wedlock, and another great-grandfather had at least two children out of wedlock. A third great-grandfather had a child out of wedlock as well, but it turned out this one was known to some of my older family members. My last great-grandfather was himself the product of an extramarital affair, although again this was long suspected (pretty much fact to some) and DNA just confirmed it.As a result, most of my top matches don't appear to be related on paper, but of course the DNA doesn't lie! I have a handful of matches in the third and fourth cousin range I'm still trying to figure out as well."


15."I found out I had another sister. My dad cheated on my mom when she was pregnant with me."


16."So, I did the health DNA one 18 months ago because I wanted to see if I had the breast cancer gene, as there is several incidences on both sides of my family. Got my results and became very confused, it claimed I had no Italian despite my father's grandma literally coming over from Sicily in 1920. It took me a few minutes to realize what that actually meant. My parents have been together since my mother was 14, I was born when she was 17, and my father joined the military and married my mother."

"Called my mom and she literally said, 'That's interesting.' Then she asked me not to talk to my father and she would explain everything the next time I visited. She did not, and just refused I talk about it. Honestly, I was just shook. I did not see it coming and it was never even presented to be a possibility to me. My sister ended up doing a DNA test and it showed that we were half-siblings. I went no contact with my mother four months ago, due to this incident and several others. I haven't told my dad but I realize at some point the truth is going to come out, my sister matched with some of my fathers relatives while I did not so if anyone checks that shit, they're gonna be asking questions."


  Mangostar_studio / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Mangostar_studio / Getty Images/iStockphoto

17."A woman over in Chicago decided to find out who her real parents were. She was getting close to 60 and realized that there may not be much time left to find her father. So through the magic of Ancestry she was matched to my grandfather. She reached out to him and told him who her mother was. He didn't recognize the name but dug up his old little black book and lo and behold...there she was. So now I've got a new aunt!"


18."I was adopted and always knew I was adopted. My parents told me that I came from a family that had already had all of their kids. They lived several towns over. I was a surprise. Three years ago my wife decided to take some DNA tests. I figured what the heck? When the tests came back, I found out I had a first cousin. They had listed a public email. I emailed them, started comparing notes, and wham! I was in for quite a surprise."

"First, I was not born into a 'traditional family.' Instead, my bio mom was single. Second, I was not a late addition. I had four sisters and one brother. I was the baby, but only by a couple of years. Third, most all of them lived nearby. Finally, nobody knew I was alive!My biological mom had passed. She had kept the pregnancy secret from everybody else. Before she died, she had confided in one of my bio sisters that she had a baby a long time ago, and she had put the baby up for adoption. She told nobody else.When my sister told the rest of the family? They didn't believe her! So when I finally looked them up, she was like, 'See! All those years! I told you so! We have a baby brother!'It was an amazing experience. I had no idea what I was getting into when I sent that DNA test off."


19."My wife is adopted (but found her bio mom) and did one of the genetic tests. Someone matched with her and asked if she knew such and such a name. She found out her bio mom's husband wasn't the bio dad, it was the bio mom's boss. Oops."


20.And lastly, "A full 100% older brother. My mother got pregnant by my father before the were married. Scandalous in 1960. So, with my father's knowledge of the situation, mom left town, and lived with my aunt until the birth. Mom gave the baby up for adoption, and then returned home. A couple years later, she married my dad and had three more children together, including me."

"Fifty five years later, after both my parents had died, my aunt let it slip that me and my siblings that were not the only children of our parents. To paraphrase from Star Wars, there is another. My sister took a DNA test, and a couple of years later she got a hit. Soon thereafter, we met our new big brother and his family (wife, kids) and have become quite close."


yoda saying, there is another

You can read the original Reddit threads here, here, and here.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.