Saturday, July 21, 2012

DNA Genealogy: Drama and Suspense (part 2)

In my last post, I was waiting to hear back from Mitchell, a potential cousin through the MANESS family, about whether he or his mother would take the autosomal DNA test. The test I had already paid for.

Meanwhile, my uncle had been watching the mailbox for his test. A week passed. Then another. I tried to remember how long it had taken for our kit to arrive when we did the y-DNA test a couple of years ago. When he asked me about it for the third or fifth time, and over two weeks had gone by, I e-mailed Family Tree DNA to see if we needed to report a lost kit.

Mitchell returned my call. After talking with his mother, he thought her anxieties would be cured if I sent a notarized letter saying that I had paid for the test and they wouldn't get a bill or anything. I said: no problem, but I couldn't get to a notary until the end of the week.

He called me back in a few days, laughing. He had started reading "the Brady book," a family history that mentioned Sarah Brady and Swain Maness. "You know," he said, "I've heard these names all my life, but didn't know anything about them. This is interesting!"

He was hooked. (Could it be, the birth of another genealogy addict?) I mailed the letter June 29.

Family Tree DNA got right back to me. We didn't get a kit because they still had my uncle's cell sample from a couple of years ago. His test was already in progress!

I waited another week to hear back from Mrs. Lessie's family. Every few days I logged onto Family Tree DNA's site to see if their kit had arrived at the lab. Every time, I saw a warning that it had not been returned, so analysis could not begin. What now?

Finally, on July 14, I called Mitchell to check. Guess what? Mrs. Lessie's sister had talked her into it — "It's like that Brady book," she said — and that convinced her. They had just taken the kit to the post office that morning. Yay!!

I received an e-mail this week that the sample arrived at the lab, nearly a month after I'd placed my order. Now I can breathe again. I expect results in mid- to late-August.

My uncle says, "I think it's gonna be him."

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