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Supersonic Woman is a research badass 
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Burning Godzilla
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As I mentioned, ancestry dot com sells a DNA test which will tell you your ethnic heritage as a set of percentages, which Supersonic Woman bought. But of course, ethnicity is not all that a DNA test can be used for. One of the options on this test is that the website can (if you give it permission) identify other testees who may be related to you, and allow them to contact you. And SSW happened to check the permission checkbox.

And what transpired as a result? A woman named Leslie contacted her, saying that the DNA comparison said they were approximately third cousins. And she asked for help. She had been adopted, and then dumped into the foster-care system after that, and was searching for her birth parents. She had found her birth mother, but that woman turned out to be hostile and unhelpful, making a relationship impossible and adding little but confusion and misinformation to the meager set of data points she had available to track down her father. Leslie didn't have much hope that SSW could do much to help, but she asked for any possible tidbits of clues she might happen to have...

SSW looked at Leslie's picture and saw some resemblance to one branch of her family. She had never before taken any interest in genealogy and knew nothing about how it's done. With practically no useful information from the mother except the guy's nickname and approximate age, and almost nothing else except this bit of facial resemblance and the estimate of consanguinity from the DNA test, SSW set to work tracking down the possible connections in her own family tree. It was frustrating and confusing, with people in different generations frequently reusing very similar names, and several errors to sift out.

And in less than a week... she cracked the case. She was able to send Leslie the full particulars of exactly who her father was, where he was now residing, what other living family members he had around him -- the whole enchilada. Within a week after that, Leslie had driven several hundred miles and met her father and two brothers and a bunch of other new relatives. And they got on famously.

Leslie was overjoyed, and now thinks SSW is the coolest person around. And SSW, after pulling this off, has essentially gained new family for herself as well, as this whole new group of relatives appears to be full of very warm and accepting people who know how to appreciate someone and show gratitude -- a description that does not fit SSW's more immediate family. As a side effect, SSW got back in contact with an uncle and aunt who she hadn't talked to in years, whom some online family trees had falsely listed as dead. This has been wonderful for SSW; it looks so far like her circle of relatives has received a major upgrade.

We're planning to meet Leslie in September, along with the not-dead uncle and aunt. They happen to live near where Leslie's husband is having a family reunion then. And we might meet the others at some point, as they live in an area that we've tended to visit every few years anyway.

I think this definitely earns the title of Research Badass.

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Last edited by supersonic man on Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:35 am
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Burning Godzilla
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Wow! Nice detective work. Congratulations.

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Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:46 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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The one wbo may be most affected is the father. He'd been told that Leslie had died in infancy while he was away in the military. Never knew she'd been adopted away.

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"This is a Star Trek that pretends to have balls, but continues to prove that those balls are actually rubber prophylactics pretending to be balls." -- Bj

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Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:23 am
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Burning Godzilla
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An unrelated additional story of SSW being cool: today she went to a protest in San Francisco, and it happened to coincide with a gay marriage celebration. As you may recall, the national gay marriage debate was kicked off by SF mayor Gavin Newsom ordering the city clerk to treat it as legal. Newsom is now Lieutenant Gov and fairly likely to be the next Governor. He was there today, and SSW got to talk to him. She described him as "dreamy". Even better, be gave her a straight unequivocal progressive answer on an issue (fracking) where Gov Jerry Brown and other dems have done a lot of shifty compromised waffling. I think she has a new favorite politician.

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"This is a Star Trek that pretends to have balls, but continues to prove that those balls are actually rubber prophylactics pretending to be balls." -- Bj

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Sat Jun 27, 2015 2:50 am
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Burning Godzilla
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supersonic man wrote:
The one wbo may be most affected is the father. He'd been told that Leslie had died in infancy while he was away in the military. Never knew she'd been adopted away.


Wow. What a shocker for him. SSW has probably rocked his world.

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Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:41 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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supersonic man wrote:
She was able to send Leslie the full particulars of exactly who her father was, where he was now residing, what other living family members he had around him -- the whole enchilada. ...As a side effect, SSW got back in contact with an uncle and aunt who she hadn't talked to in years, whom some online family trees had falsely listed as dead. ...We're planning to meet Leslie in September, along with the not-dead uncle and aunt.

We did! And they were thoroughly cool.

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"This is a Star Trek that pretends to have balls, but continues to prove that those balls are actually rubber prophylactics pretending to be balls." -- Bj

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Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:36 am
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Burning Godzilla
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Both Leslie and the uncle have hispanic spouses, so much Spanish was spoken. Since SSW's Spanish is less hopeless than mine, I was in the rare position of being the dumbest person in the room.

But anyway, here is Leslie's reaction to SSW.

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"This is a Star Trek that pretends to have balls, but continues to prove that those balls are actually rubber prophylactics pretending to be balls." -- Bj

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Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:02 am
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SSW is now recording book excerpts for her uncle, who is hard of seeing. She's quite good at nailing readings in one take. Fun fact: she was once offered an on-air job at a small radio station. It was for DJing classical music. They didn't care that she knew nothing about the canon. She turned it down.

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"This is a Star Trek that pretends to have balls, but continues to prove that those balls are actually rubber prophylactics pretending to be balls." -- Bj

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Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:33 pm
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supersonic man wrote:
An unrelated additional story of SSW being cool: today she went to a protest in San Francisco, and it happened to coincide with a gay marriage celebration. As you may recall, the national gay marriage debate was kicked off by SF mayor Gavin Newsom ordering the city clerk to treat it as legal. Newsom is now Lieutenant Gov and fairly likely to be the next Governor. He was there today, and SSW got to talk to him. She described him as "dreamy". Even better, be gave her a straight unequivocal progressive answer on an issue (fracking) where Gov Jerry Brown and other dems have done a lot of shifty compromised waffling. I think she has a new favorite politician.



And to think that you thought that I was making overly political posts.....


Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:13 am
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Burning Godzilla
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SSW just befriended another previously unknown second cousin (that's #3 -- #2 is a former hippie who divides the year between Marin and Oaxaca), and in the process learned that she qualifies for the Mayflower society, being descended from Plymouth Colony boss-man William Bradford. Unfortunately, people have made such a bad habit of putting on airs about such ancestry that she's embarrassed to mention it.

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"This is a Star Trek that pretends to have balls, but continues to prove that those balls are actually rubber prophylactics pretending to be balls." -- Bj

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Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:35 am
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Two years on, we finally met a bunch more of these relatives, including Leslie's long-lost hippie dad, one of her brothers, her son, and two tiny grandkids. Plus that third set of second cousins with the Mayflower connection, and their spouses, one of whom is a wealthy Australian. We all toured an area on the Hood Canal where their great-grandparents were founders and pioneers, and had an art colony.

SSW has now developed into a serious geneaologist: it's her new favorite hobby.

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"This is a Star Trek that pretends to have balls, but continues to prove that those balls are actually rubber prophylactics pretending to be balls." -- Bj

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Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:58 am
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