‘I did a DNA test and found my family history is a lie – my grandma had erased her past’

A woman has shared the shocking discovery she made about her family after taking a 23andMe DNA test which uncovered relatives she never knew existed and her grandmother’s huge secret

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TikToker has DNA test and finds out family history was a lie

Everyone has secrets of their own, but most of us wouldn’t expect our own family to be hiding anything exceptional from us.

But it turns out there could be a lot your relatives aren’t actually telling you.

This was the case for one woman who has recently had her entire life turned upside down after discovering her grandmother had been hiding a major secret.

The unnamed woman, who posts on TikTok under the name @thekennedyproj, explained how her family had recently done 23andMe DNA tests, which uncovered the major lie her gran had been spinning for years – and she’d taken the secret to her grave.

Her family took a 23andMe DNA test



Her video went viral



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In her video, the woman, whose account says she’s ‘not Kennedy’ told how the DNA test showed her family they had many relatives on the grandmother’s side – despite the older woman claiming she’d been an orphan and only child.

They also found out that the grandmother had “erased her past”, changed her name and pretended to be a different race to have a “better life”.

She said: “My grandmother took a secret to her grave and we just found out what it was.

“She passed back in 2002 and at the time we thought she was born in 1933, we knew her name and we knew that she was an orphan and she was an only child and that we had no other family connections to her whatsoever and the family line lived and died with her.

“So find me confused when our family gets results back from 23andMe test telling us we are African American, when my grandmother said that we were English and I know, looking at me you’re going to be very confused because I am too.”

Her grandmother had taken a big secret to her grave



They found lots of family they never knew about



She went on to say that her family is still figuring out all the details, but that the test matched them up with a family in Virginia, which made sense as her grandparents had met in Maryland and were married there.

They got in touch with the other family and they exchanged photos, which was when they discovered their grandmother hadn’t been an only child – she was actually one of 15 siblings.

“It turns out that Millicent Vaughn was born Mammy Vaughn back in 1927, not 33. She was born to a family of 15 children, all African American living in Virginia,” the woman continues.

“While her parents did die when she was young, she was not an orphan and an only child like she had said.

“She had decided to run away from her family and completely exorcise herself from her identity. She picked up a new name, she picked up a new race and she completely erased who she was.”

She added: “So now I have a whole new family and it’s surreal and it’s strange and there’s this part of me that doesn’t really know who I am.

“And I think what surprises me the most is the fact that her story is not uncommon for the US at that time. Because she was white-passing she chose to completely reinvent herself and go by a completely different name and racial identity just to create a better life for herself and I’m incredibly grateful for the privilege that her decision provided for me, but I’m also incredibly sad and confused.

“I’m also excited because I have a whole new family that I didn’t know existed.”

The woman clarifies this is just the beginning of the journey for her family and that she will be sharing more info.

More than 4.7 million people have watched the woman’s video, with it garnering over 544,000 likes and thousands of comments.

One person said: “It’s sad how common this is for survival.”

Another replied: “It’s like the Vanishing Half.”

A third wrote: “Wow. 23andMe are bringing out ALL the dirty laundry.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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