Ariel Bruce was featured in the Sunday Telegraph Magazine (26th Jan 2019) discussing the rise in popularity of personal DNA testing. The story, by Rachel Cocker, tells how her own mother, Moria Crocker, instructed Ariel in the late 1980’s to trace her birth parents after discovering she was adopted.
Ariel, dubbed the ‘Agatha Christie of the adoption world’ by the Telegraph, successfully found and made contact with Moira’s mother Elspet, but sadly she was not in a position to start a relationship with her daughter, and died in 1990 taking Moira’s birth father’s name with her.
Ariel, who uses DNA tests daily to discover and confirm family connections, was not at all surprised when Moira’s DNA results from a test taken many years later in 2018 showed that she had a half brother, David, she had previously known nothing about.
David, who showed as an extremely strong match on the Ancestry DNA database, shared enough ‘centimorgans’ to be classed as a half sibling. Cocker goes on to tell us that the two eventually met and discovered a shared past that took them back to the Sudan of the 1940s, where their respective parents were both living. Through linking this backstory to the Ancestry DNA results they were able to confirm the relationship. At the age of 70, through the use of DNA, Moira was able to not only find out who her father was, but also discover that she had a half brother. As Ariel says in the article: ‘DNA does not lie”.
DNA has long been used to discover and confirm family connections in professional circles, not least in Ariel’s work uniting families all over the world ITV’s Long lost Family. However, Cocker tells us that private DNA testing is experiencing a boom all of its own:
A report in the journal Science, in October, showed that 60 per cent of Americans of European descent could already be identified by cross-referencing relatives in DNA databases with other publicly available genealogical records. And the UK is noy far behind.
With the ever increasing popularity of DNA television shows like Long Lost Family, and a high number of enquiries to Ariel for help with searches, it seems like the DNA bubble isn’t going to burst anytime soon.
You can read the full Telegraph article by clicking here – Daily Telegraph