I was reluctant to do my DNA, but after my sister tested, I realized that my DNA was already in the public domain, so why not.
It was not long after I received my results that an 86 year old woman from California contacted me to discuss our relationship. I had done enough genealogy to know precisely where to look. I not only disproved her claims about her maternal ancestors being Scottish born and Brazilian born, but I also offered her an even more exciting proposition, that is, we are descended from the Taitts of Foster Hall Plantation, St. Joseph, and are part of a vibrant and colorful family tradition. She, on the other hand, provided me with a glimpse of life in Bridgetown in the 50s, after her mother died. She vowed never to return to Barbados to live because of those painful memories. I hope I was able to offer her information that gave her a measure of closure.
Testing companies AncestryDNA, FTDNA, MyHeritage and 23 and Me all offer affordable DNA testing kits and return results within a few weeks.
The size of the database and the background of the people in their testing pool will determine the number of DNA relatives you discover.
A word of caution, the better documented your family tree, the higher the success of identifying your DNA relatives.
Companies like GEDMATCH and FTDNA aggregate DNA results from some different testing companies. By uploading raw DNA data from one testing company to these sites, it increases the total number of DNA relatives.
The photo above was sent to me by a paternal branch of my family who contacted me based on our DNA match. The caller was an 86-yr old woman living in California by way of New York and Barbados. We were able to trace our connection to the slavery era Taitt family of Foster Hall, St. Joseph.