Over the past few days, I have followed Bill Griffeth's story as he tells about his own Y-DNA test results and how they affected him. After taking a Y-DNA test at the request of his cousin, he received an email in October of 2012 which broke the news harshly: "Your father was not Uncle Charles."
Bill could not believe that his highly moral mother could have had an affair. He refused to believe the test results and decided to take another test. He was hoping the test company had made a mistake.
The Stranger in My Genes: A Memoir, which was released last month, is a wonderfully told tale of how one man attempted to reconcile the startling discovery that the father who raised him was not his biological father. He had spent years researching his Griffeth family and even wrote a book about them: By Faith Alone: One Family's Epic Journey Through 400 Years of American Protestantism. Bill shares of conflicting emotions as he decided whether or not to share this information with others. His biggest question: should he ask his mother, who was in her 90s, about his birth or would it hurt her too much after keeping the secret all these years?
I've also recently read three other books that I believe would interest most genealogists:
I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe is the fictional tale of Rosetta whose young husband decided to fight in the Civil War. Not wanting to be left behind, Rosetta disguised herself as a man and signed up to fight by his side. Learning about the daily life of these soldiers and how they suffered and died was heartbreaking, but also insightful as I research my own Civil War ancestors.
Maude, written by Donna Foley Mabry, tells the life story of Donna's grandmother, Maude. Maude first married when she was "barely over fourteen years old" in 1906 and follows her throughout her lifetime. The reader follows Maude through events like the 1918 flu epidemic, the Great Depression, and both world wars. This wonderfully told story gives insight into what it was like to live through each of these events, and Maude's story was absolutely fascinating.