The Stranger in My Genes: A Memoir

Bill Griffeth


The Stranger in My Genes: A Memoir

The Stranger in My Genes: A Memoir

  • Title: The Stranger in My Genes: A Memoir
  • Author: Bill Griffeth
  • ISBN: 9780880823449
  • Page: 430
  • Format: Hardcover



Bill Griffeth, longtime genealogy buff, takes a DNA test that has an unexpected outcome If the results were correct, it meant that the family tree I had spent years documenting was not my own Bill undertakes a quest to solve the mystery of his origins, which shakes his sense of identity As he takes us on his journey, we learn about choices made by his ancestors, parenBill Griffeth, longtime genealogy buff, takes a DNA test that has an unexpected outcome If the results were correct, it meant that the family tree I had spent years documenting was not my own Bill undertakes a quest to solve the mystery of his origins, which shakes his sense of identity As he takes us on his journey, we learn about choices made by his ancestors, parents, and others and we see Bill measure and weigh his own difficult choices as he confronts the past.


Recent Comments "The Stranger in My Genes: A Memoir"

Griffeth, a financial reporter who developed his genealogy interests into a previous book tracing the Griffeth family through 400 years of American Protestantism, including the Salem Witch Trials, Mormonism and Midwest Methodists (and how this strong family line had shaped him), found out via a cousin's press for DNA testing to find more matches that he was not, in fact, a Griffeth. He is briefly outraged that his mother must have been raped, but when the only response he can get from his mother [...]

As a genealogist, I've done DNA testing for myself and I administer kits for multiple family members. I'm fully aware of the potential for unexpected findings, and I haven't taken the warnings lightly. I readily admit that I did breathe a sigh of relief when DNA matches confirmed that I was a part of my genealogical family and that we brought the right child home from the hospital, but I never truly understood how much my identity would change if the results had been different. Bill's story push [...]

As a genealogist, I found this book particularly fascinating. However, I think this story has broad appeal and isn't just for family history enthusiasts. Bill Griffeth is a CNBC reporter and a genealogist. He's the author of an earlier book about his family's Protestant roots. Being a Griffeth is very important to him. And then he finds out he's not. A Y-DNA test reveals that Bill is genetically distant from his siblings in a way that means their father is not his father. He's devastated, but al [...]

He may not need resolution, but the reader does.

I have been delving into my own genealogy off and on for nearly 50 years, and I am finally writing a family history book. I have also done some DNA testing. So, I eagerly anticipated that this memoir would be a very interesting read. Fortunately I have not had to deal with the sort of discovery that the author found. I can understand his anguish, after spending years researching a family tree that turned out to not be his own. But the story just seemed like it would have made a very interesting [...]

After a lifetime of researching his own genealogy, Bill Griffeth is startled to discover—through DNA testing--that the man he called “father” all his life was not actually his biological father. “The Stranger in My Genes” follows his path of discovery and the mental turmoil he faced. Each chapter retells the decisions he faced regarding sharing this knowledge with his family, learning about his biological relatives, tracing his biological lineage and coming to terms with who he actuall [...]

Short easy read on a topic that interests me in general as a genealogy and DNA researcher with my own (now solved) family mystery and because I share DNA with the author's Griffeth cousin. One small quibble is that the book confuses mtDNA with X-chromosomes (brothers with the same mother are expected to share identical mtDNA, not necessarily X-chromosomes, and mtDNA results for the author and his brother were almost certainly what he was comparing not X-chromosome data as stated). I therefore do [...]

Fantastic. Highly recommend!

Could have been a long magazine article. Slow to get started and a lot of melodramatic moments about how shocking it is to find out your father isn't your father. Cliches abound.

Bill Griffeth chooses to romanticize the man who, by all reasonable inferences, raped his mother. After discovering through a DNA test that he has a different father than his brother, all family members agree that his mother would never have had an affair. And, when he confronts her with the DNA results, she reports "I made a mistake when I was younger" and that "it" happened at a deserted construction site with a former boss. When she refuses to discuss it further and looks at his with "dead ey [...]

I found The Stranger in My Genes to be a compelling story. It fed my interest in genealogy and I and several relatives have done the DNA testing. The book is a quick read and I finished it after waking up in the middle of the night, unable to fall back asleep. I enjoyed the book very much."If genealogy has taught me anything, it was that when our lives are stripped to the bare walls-no job, no money, no possessions- we are left with a fundamental truth that defines us, and it's family. Careers a [...]

Spoilers in review. Because the information is interesting, and the accounts of his wife, brother and cousin are refreshing, I gained some insight into story. However, several chapters could have been condensed into one- more than once. If the intent was to build to a climactic moment of truth; as to who was the likeliest of females to of strayed It was completely lost. I didn't care. The confusing scenarios with would be possibilities of lovers for Mom or Grandma were thoughtless and painful wr [...]

A fascinating read. When DNA testing reveals to Bill Griffeth that the man he has called dad for over 50 years, is not the man who actually fathered him, he sets out on a quest to discover the truth of his parentage. Though understandably shocked by this discovery, Mr. Griffeth painfully reconstructs the paternal side of his family tree, all the while seeking to be loyal to the memory of the father who raised him and gentle with his 95-year old mother---who is ashamed that her decades-old secret [...]

With the advent of DNA into the study of family history, I was intrigued by Bill Griffeth's experience of learning that his beloved father was not his "father" after all. This short memoir is a poignant reminder that not only do we all have skeletons in the closet, but also that the old adage "be careful what you wish for" is so true. To be fair to Bill, it was his first cousin who was keen to have him take a dedicated Y-chromosome DNA test. The fascinating aspect of the Y-chromosome is that it [...]

This was quite a story! Bill Griffeth is an amateur family historian and has enjoyed learning the details of his family and ancestry. At the invitation of his cousin he takes a DNA test. The cousins don't match, which they should have. After a retest that comes out the same as the first test, Bill invites his brother to take the test. The brother matches with the cousin but not with Bill. Bill's father is not his biological father! This is shocking news and really hard to figure out. In this boo [...]

Modern technology presents us with marvelous options in many areas of life. It also presents us with some unsettling questions and situations in life. This is an excellently written discovery experience of one man.Read this and understand we all handle these events differently. In nursing school, I was taught that people respond to learning of someone’s death in very different ways. I tried to take that to heart when working with families but I didn’t fully appreciate until I was told of my [...]

Bill Griffith, journalist, reporter, and avid genealogist writes about one of the pitfalls of genealogy: not knowing if the information you are given or find in the records is correct.Families have secrets and a DNA report Griffith had done to advance his genealogy showed him his history wasn't quite what he thought it was.The author used his log of the episode to write the book which may explain the repetition as he tried to adjust to the new information. The book seems disjointed and choppy. I [...]

A real life genealogy mystery of a man who discovers he is not the son of the man who raised him and not related to by blood to half his family. Except for some bits about his emotional reactions that were overlong, the story was well written and moved alone at the pace of a fictional mystery. The descriptions of DNA and how it is passed in a family were well explained for the layman, as much as DNA can be! The authors journalism background made the story readable, but it is not his fame that ma [...]

This is a short book with an interesting subject and I found it hard to put down. I have done genealogy research on and off for many years. I have also had my DNA checked by two different companies. Some cousins have done the tests and we agree on the Y chromosome. Genealogy is like a detective story in that you find so many interesting things. DNA results can lead to surprising answers and interesting emails. The author definitely had a surprise in his results. The reason I used the second test [...]

A fresh, fast read that I finished in one sitting. Well-written and well-paced with interesting information on both the author's biological and non-biological families, as well as tidbits about discovering long-buried secrets in ancestry records and genealogical searches. Many mysteries continue to abound even after the conclusion of this book. However, the fact that the author has found peace with it brings peace to the reader, as well. All in all, I found his journey fascinating and appreciate [...]

An interesting book of genealogy by surprise circumstances. Surprising to find out your deeply revered mother had an intimate encounter with a man who was not your father. The author works through the shock and agony of finding the life he had always lived and family he had always loved had a root he had never imagined. An interesting read. A bit too involved at points but worth the short time it takes to read it.

DNA tests can reveal much about our ancestry. However, the author of The Stranger in My Genes got even more startling information than he bargained for: the man he thought was his father, was not! We follow along his emotional roller coaster as he deals with this revelation and tracks down the details of his unexpected family. This book is well-written and suspenseful. I recommend it.

This one got three stars because the author spent too much time whining about the loss of his identity. Anyone who undergoes genetic testing for ancestry purposes must be willing to risk finding out uncomfortable truths about themselves and their ancestors. Was it a shock? Sure, but why spend more than a few pages going on about it. Otherwise, I enjoyed reading this.

It was an interesting story about how a person can feel when he finds out the man he thought was his father wasn't his father. The reader goes through the gamut of emotions with the author who, in an attempt to locate more "cousins" in his family tree, takes a DNA test and doesn't match all the people he should be matching.

It's going to be a bumpy rideMy grandma suggested I read this book after finding some DNA discrepancies of my own. Mr. Griffith weaves the scientific and historic journeys together well. Genealogy can be such a pot stirrer! Read this in a day. Feeling better about untangling this yarn in my own genes.

Started out interesting enough but quickly became a laborious read as author refused to ask his mother why his DNA did not match his father's. Became obsessed with thinking the worst but didn't get answers for months. Enough whining already!

This was an interesting book. I know there are alot of people out there actively looking for the missing piece and it found him. He was very upfront about the issues it brought up in his life. Very complete, both the emotional, and technical issues he faced. Yes, I would recommend it.

A really interesting book that I wasn't sure I would enjoy when I first started it. But the things that were unveiled after a DNA test made for a very interesting story in this memoir. Thank you to my brother for the suggestion.

I started out liking the book a lot. A LOT. Then it just went nowhere. A bit anticlimactic. I would have found it more interesting had he pursued his newly discovered family and gotten their reactions.

On taking a genetics test, the author discovers that the man who raised him is not his genetic father. Interesting enough, although written at about the depth of a blog post. It'd make for a good read at a beach or on an airplane.


  • ☆ The Stranger in My Genes: A Memoir || ✓ PDF Read by ☆ Bill Griffeth
    430 Bill Griffeth
  • thumbnail Title: ☆ The Stranger in My Genes: A Memoir || ✓ PDF Read by ☆ Bill Griffeth
    Posted by:Bill Griffeth
    Published :2018-09-02T07:23:24+00:00