May 21, 2021

Ask Amy: My Cousins Were Deluded About Their Ancestry, and I Want to Learn the Whole Story

There is an interesting genealogy and DNA-related question and answer published in the “Ask Amy” syndicated advice column that may interest genealogists and DNA experts everywhere.

Amy Dickinson received the following question from a reader:

Dear Amy: I’ve been into genealogy for over 20 years. I’m the keeper of my father’s side of the family tree.

Recently, because of DNA testing, I’ve discovered that my cousins have African ancestry, coming from my aunt’s husband’s line. I’ve done some research and I think I know in what generation this happened.

Growing up I remember my mother saying they had Native American ancestry (they have none). So I don’t know if my cousins or my uncle even knew, or if this was the story they’d been told because it was more “acceptable.”

How do I ask them about their ancestry without being intrusive? I’m interested, but I’m too polite to ask.

I believe Amy Dickinson provided an excellent answer.

This column is syndicated and is published in many newspapers and web sites around the country. You might find it in your local newspaper. If not, look at the East Bay Times’ web site at: