Dear Dave: You’re Featured in a Book – 52 Ancestors #274

Dave and I for blog

My Dearest Brother, Dave.

You’re either famous or infamous, or both. That’s not news to you though! You’d be pleased about both, or either.

Yep, Libby Copeland tells our story today, including the secret you never knew, in an article published in the Washington Post. I wish you were here to read it with me, but I’m guessing you’re getting a good chuckle right about now from over yonder.

Miss you, love you,


Libby’s article offers a different perspective on DNA testing and family. DNA giveth, but for me, DNA could never, ever, taketh away.

Dave walks with me and makes me brave, something I need especially on days like today when I prepare to speak to thousands of people over the next few days at RootsTech with cameras rolling. He is still with me, always beside me. Sometimes laughing at me, forever protecting me. He left a hollow place in my heart that can never be filled.

Libby Copeland did a masterful job of telling our story in her book, The Lost Family, and I am forever grateful. Her book (which you can order here) includes stories from other genealogists that I’ve written about as well, including my friend, Rosario, here.

Today’s Washington Post article is found here. Kleenex warning!

If you want to read more about Dave’s amazing story and our journey, my earlier articles are here, here and here.

14 thoughts on “Dear Dave: You’re Featured in a Book – 52 Ancestors #274

  1. Roberta, I just read the Washington Post article. I did well until David’s funeral. What an amazing journey you have been on. I love your blog and hope someday if you ever do a speaking engagement anywhere near Lansing or Grand Rapids I will get to hear/meet you. Thank you.

  2. Roberta……..making my tears flow at work, people hearing me sniffle! Great article. DNA is DNA, it’s not love. #Truth

  3. I had the shock of my life several years ago when I had begun to research my ancestry. My father told me that my beloved paternal grandfather was NOT my grandfather! He was, in fact, my grandmother’s second husband. This was a grea disappointment because I loved my “Granddaddy” dearly. In fact, I loved both grandfathers a great deal. Researching my paternal ancestors was difficult. It took me quite a while to learn anything about Daddy’s family and now, at last, I found them and now, Daddy says they are NOT my family. Now, more than 309 years later, I still know very little about my “real” grandfather. He was a Swedish immigrant. His family have been reluctant to discuss him but I do have hopes to learn more. You can read my story here

  4. Dear Roberta, That is such a sweet story. David is surely your brother. I started to write to a Pen Pal when I was 14, we are now 76. Love is love. Sometimes you get shared chromosomes and love together, but Love is love without shared origins. My Pen Pal is now my one and only brother, and we have no genes in common that we know of.

  5. I just finished reading some of your articles regarding your short/long life with your ‘brother’ Dave & what a life it was for you. I cried right along with you for sure. How wonderful for you to have met him & later his sister, but how sad to have him taken away.
    DNA has found a 2nd father for my husband, though this journey has not compared to yours. He thought he had 8 full siblings that now are 8 half siblings & found he had 4 more – 2 now living. It has been a surprise but a much calmer ‘trip’ than yours. Thank you for sharing your everlasting story.

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