Whatcha’ talkin’ ’bout Willis?

Saturday, April 7. The boys and I arrived at LAX, and we were wiped out. Who would think that a relaxing island would cause this much exhaustion? A bit crusted with sand, and sunburned, we were excited to see my husband pull up. Lots of hugs and kisses went all around. Once I got in the car, I checked my email to see if I received anything from Ancestry. Darn, nothing. My sample was still processing. When we got home, we relaxed and passed out for a few hours. However, I was still restless because I was anxious about seeing my results. I turned on the t.v. and I saw an Ancestry DNA commercial about a man who thought he was German and found out he was Scottish. Obsessed about my finding my out results, I rechecked my email. There was a message!

“Your AncestryDNA results are in!” 

Whoo-hoo! Finally! I sat down, logged in to my account, and looked at my Ethnicity estimate.

My current DNA estimate.

Azkanazi Jewish, English, Wales & Northwestern Europe, Cameroon, Congo, & Southern Bantu Peoples, Ireland & Scotland, Nigeria, Mali, Benin & Togo, Ghana, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Senegal, Italy, France, Indigenous America—Mexico, Eastern Bantu Peoples

Huh, what’s an Azkanazi Jew? These results are a bit strange. Next, I selected the DNA matches button. This section is where you find relatives. As I scrolled through the matches, I noticed that I wasn’t a match with my brother. Confused, I clicked everywhere on the site looking for him. I still couldn’t understand why Jermaine, my niece, and I weren’t matching. Then, I saw a first cousin I didn’t recognize. I reviewed her profile to find answers. We slightly favored each other. What is going on? I thought to myself. After a few phone calls to my younger brother, Jamar (Jermaine wasn’t; available because he was still in Kauai in the middle of the ocean fishing), here’s what we thought:

1) I’m being scammed or

2) I’m not related to one of my parents

I mean, what else am I suppose to think? I’ve read DNA scam articles, and this sort of scamming probably happens more often than reported…right?

I hung up the phone and decided to send a message to my “cousin” Catherine, to see if I could figure this out.

Hi Catherine, My DNA results came back in, and it says that we are probably 1st or 2nd cousins. Could you help me connect the dots? 

Janeen – We are definitely connected through my mother’s side. Can you see what level the connection is?

Who’s your mother? I don’t understand how we’re related as the results say we’re 1st cousins. I’m very new to this…

You match as a 1st cousin to me, my sister & my cousin.  

Our DM went on for many hours. Catherine knew a backstory about me, but she wanted to be sensitive. She said she had an Aunt Jeannie who could clear up the mystery, so Catherine gave me her email address. That evening I sent Jeannie an email asking her if she could shed some light on my DNA mystery.

Hi Jeannie,

My name is Janeen Jackson and I just received my Ancestry DNA results. My results state that I’m your niece’s, Catherine, 1st cousin and I’m related to her uncle.  However, Catherine and I don’t see any connections in our family tree. She said that I should reach out to you because of a family back story.  I can’t imagine what the story could be! Would you be able to shed some light on this mystery? I’m opened to whatever the possibility maybe.

Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks.


The next day I received a response from Jeannie.

Hello Janeen,

My legal name is Barbara Jeannette Brooks. But people call me Jeannie. I am taking Ancestry DNA if what I think is true; I am your birth mother. I want to make sure before we get ahead of ourselves. Is this ok with you?


Whatcha talkin bout Willis? | Know Your Meme
Whatcha’ talkin’ ’bout Willis!

Let’s talk…

  • Have you taken a DNA test and got an unexpected DNA result? If so, what was it?
  • What is your genetic makeup?
  • What do you think about DNA testing? Should it be implemented at birth?

7 thoughts on “Whatcha’ talkin’ ’bout Willis?

  1. Was it okay with you?

    Say what? 24% European Jew? Well there it is, that’s what happened. 17% English, Scottish – … (sounds like me, sort of but I knew my mom and dad- I think) But wait, what a shock, I’m still picking my mouth up off the floor what a first conversation with your birth mother – Who you didn’t know you had?
    DNA has unlocked lots of secrets.
    Cops are told not to take them. Why? I don’t know . (Klansman find out they have 15% African ethnicity.)
    Wow Janeen. A whole new you. That you never knew. I want to hear more of this story …LHS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I was quite shocked, to say the least! It wasn’t that I wasn’t okay with my DNA, I just didn’t believe what I was seeing. I mean can you imagine you take a DNA test and the results are that you are NOT related? SMH


      1. I’ve been thinking of you all night. I have thought about taking a DNA test but my family has known it’s history for 6 or 7 generations, but if there are secrets… sooner or later they will be revealed. It’s got to be traumatic – I found out about a few family secrets through years of psychiatric therapy, mine and my cousins.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow…., just wow..!

    And no, I have never taken a DNA test, but through researching my family history I have come across some family secrets, some of which I still haven’t figured out why they were secrets in the first place.


  3. As a descendant of people taken from West and Central Africa during the Transatlantic slave trade, I don’t think the DNA tests would come up with anything I don’t already know. Yes, the percentages would differ, but I already know that my DNA would be made up primarily by several ethnic groups that live in West and Central Africa with a little bit of Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jewish mixed up in there considering the history of Suriname, the country I’m from.

    I’m really enjoying your blog, and writing! Hope to read something new soon..:-)


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