Posted by Anna Swayne on February 13, 2014 in AncestryDNA

In the past year, many of you have shared stories of how AncestryDNA has helped you find family. Some of the most moving are stories of adoptees that have connected with their birth family. Here are two powerful and touching stories that found their way to the national spotlight:

Chris Burton was simply hoping to discover his ancestors’ homelands when he took his AncestryDNA test. But when his test results came in, Chris, who was adopted at birth, learned he had a close family connection, possibly a first cousin. Would that link him to his birth family? Watch the story unfold with Katie Couric:

Mara Parker was put up for adoption the day she was born. She met her birth mother when she was 18, but still felt a gap in her life. She wanted to know her father. Armed with only his name, she spent the next 25 years looking for a man who didn’t even know she existed. Her answer finally came when she took the AncestryDNA test and was connected to her half-sister. You can watch more of the story in this clip from the Steve Harvey show:

We can’t predict what amazing discovery you’ll make with AncestryDNA. But we know that your DNA carries pieces of your family’s past not always found in historical records. It can connect you with relatives who are waiting to share parts of your story.

Do you have a story to share with us? Please submit to


Anna Swayne

Anna Swayne has 9 years of experience in the DNA genealogy world. At Ancestry, she leads efforts in developing education to help our community maximize their experience with AncestryDNA. She believes there is real power behind DNA and the story it can unlock for each of us. When she is not talking DNA you can find her hiking or cycling in the mountains or cooking at home.


  1. Anthony Parker

    I’m still sorry Ancestry DNA does not have, and from my understanding never will have, an raw data autosomal transfer similar to Family Tree DNA. Not everyone does Gedmatch. I wish Ancestry DNA could have a raw data autosomal transfer.

  2. Charlene Filipiak

    As a child of an adoptee, who only recently found out that my mother was adopted by her step-father when she turned 18. I am more confused than ever. My closest matches which are 4-5th cousins trees don’t match any known names on my trees. I wonder if these all could be related to my unknown material grandfather? Since my mother has been dead since 2002, clues seem out of reach for me.

  3. Oneta Henry

    I am hoping that the DNA my sons may connect with their paternal 3rd grandfather 1 going to Family Tree and another son and daughter doing the autosomal from Ancestry. I Have done it already. I only wish there were better ways to search the results and I didn’t received the Locked Ones.

    I will recommend Ancestry in fact I have two more mostly wanting their Indian connection Keep up .We will continue to discover family

  4. Dolores Kinsey

    I wish that when I click on a person in my “match” list, that the program would return me to where I was in the list rather than to the top of the list, where I have to “page down” to get back to where I was (if I remember!!).

  5. Jeannie Castro

    I’m so excited to get started on my family tree!Where do I go to give my DNA?I’m already 60years old,but I always think about my biological parents.

  6. Kara Cunningham

    These stories about adoptees finding birth family relations through DNA are quite interesting.
    I was lucky enough to find my birthmother 3 1/2 years ago through a few good searches and a full membership in Since then we have had an amazing relationship, I have met my brother, and it is such an amazing thing to actually look like another person, I will never got over that!
    I have always known about my heritage, Norwegian, Irish and Native American from my non identifying birth information, but until I met my birthmother, I never knew I was actually 1/8th Native American, which is more than I would have thought.
    We are part of the Chickasaw nation, but I have no way of tracking down first nation information. Can anyone suggest an alternative search tool, and would this DNA testing help fill in the blanks?

  7. Mary Buerkley

    I have connected thru DNA matches to 2 more than 50% confident relatives(cousins) who claim they were adopted, so my reaching out was fruitless to them. Their claim, and their loss! Please, ancestry tell these members the possibility is there for them to fine their roots! In this method.

  8. Sharon

    My adoptive parents (Titus) were wonderful. They will always be my primary family. Yet something is missing. At about the age of forty I began the quest for someone who looked like me! That dream came true when I met my bio mother and the entire family (Butler. Jackson, MI). “I would know you anywhere, was the first response when my sister met me. You look just like your mother.” The greatest treasure was learning that I had a sister, because I was raised as an only child. My mother doesn’t seem to know who my bio father is. Obviously, he doesn’t know that I exist. I am on the computer until 2 AM, many nights during the week, trying to locate him; I use The DNA results led me to a large family in Colgate, OK, and a 2nd cousin. From there I find a “father-of-the-week” every few days. But none of them have been right. I’ve been through OK, TX, GA, AK and now NC following the Belk/Day family. It is exhausting, and such a time waster. Everyday I tell myself I should stop doing the computer research, and move on with my life. But I can’t! This is like an addiction. It seems that I must know who I am before I die. My son deserves to know, too. Can anyone help? Sharon (Stockbridge, MI. 1944)

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