One Woman’s Surprising DNA Discovery — Of Jewish Roots by the Forward

One Woman’s Surprising DNA Discovery — Of Jewish Roots

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Alice Collins Plebuch, raised in a proud Irish Catholic family, sent away for a “just-for-fun DNA test” — but the results changed her life. She found out that somewhere in her family, she had Jewish roots.

Plebuch told the Washington Post about her surprising journey of self-discovery in a recent story.

Plebuch, now 69, was bewildered by the results of the test. “I really lost all my identity,” Plebuch said. “I felt adrift. I didn’t know who I was — you know, who I really was.”

After much searching, she ultimately discovered that her father was Jewish — and was not genetically related to his parents.

Through much sleuth work, and some luck, she got to the root of the issue: a baby mix-up at the Bronx hospital where her father was born, back in 1913.

“Somehow, a Jewish child had gone home with an Irish family, and an Irish child had gone home with a Jewish family,” the Post reported. “This was a mistake that no one had ever detected, a mistake that could only have been uncovered with DNA technology.”

Email Sam Kestenbaum at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum

Author

Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.

DNA Test Shows Jewish Roots For Irish Catholic Woman

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