February 3, 2009

Pruning the Family Tree

Genealogy is a stop-n-go hobby. One day it will take up too much of your time, then you’ll go months without even thinking about it. Little things can disturb the hibernation of one’s inner genealogist: a call from a seldom-heard-from relative, a PBS documentary, a newly discovered photograph, or perhaps an email from a possible distant relative and fellow amateur genealogist. That’s what happened to me recently…well…almost.

Since posting my family tree online, I’m occasionally contacted by previously unknown family members, which was the case the other day. Unfortunately, this email was quickly followed by another stating that the sender discovered that we were, in fact, not related and that a major branch of my tree, the one he initially thought he belonged to, was incorrect. He went on to explain to me that my line and his had long been thought to be the same but that recent DNA testing had proven them to be separate.

And so, I must now delete many people from my tree and begin searching for and adding the correct brood. Stupid DNA.

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