The Journey Begins

A little about me.

Family history has always fascinated me, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2013 that I truly delved into it. While I spent most of my time with my mom’s family growing up, my dad’s side of the family was somewhat distant. I never fully understood why, assuming it had to do with family dynamics and life circumstances. I knew that my paternal grandfather had passed away when my dad was very young, and my paternal grandmother eventually remarried, leading the family to move from Paterson to Pompton Lakes. That’s where my dad eventually met my mom. My knowledge of my dad’s family was limited to the names of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and first cousins. I’m not exactly sure why the summer of 2013 became the turning point, but I’m grateful it did because my dad unexpectedly passed away, just a few months later, at the end of October 2013.

Additionally, while preparing to write this blog post, I made an interesting discovery about my DNA origin story. I had always believed that I took my first test with AncestryDNA and received the results in early 2014. However, while searching for the exact date, I realized that I actually tested with 23&Me in October 2013 (received results in November 2013), and then took the Ancestry test in December 2013 (received results in mid-January 2014).

Admittedly, the first few months after my dad’s death were a blur, but it’s mind-boggling that I completely forgot that 23&Me was my first test, not Ancestry. What actually tipped me off when I was searching was old email I found from a relative at 23&Me in October 2013. My first thought was “How could I possibly have a message from someone at 23&Me when I didn’t test until 2014 at Ancestry?” Now I know!

Prior to my DNA tests, I had a fairly well-developed family tree so making connections to some of my previously unknown DNA cousins was a little easier when I started working with the results and data. The DNA tests not only confirmed the research I had already conducted but also allowed me to overcome some stubborn brick walls. I soon became immersed in all things DNA and began helping others make sense of their results as well.

Little did I know that this path would eventually lead me to volunteer with the DNA Doe Project (DDP), in October 2018, and then team up with two of my DDP colleagues to form our own company, Coast to Coast Genetic Genealogy Services, in May 2022. These two experiences have proven to be incredibly fulfilling and rewarding, providing me with valuable opportunities to contribute to the field of genetic genealogy.

About this blog

Although I expect its purpose to evolve over time, my primary goals for this blog are to create a comprehensive genealogy resource – for myself, my family/cousins and others. I’ll be documenting my own family history, likely including my husband’s, and sharing general genealogy and genetic genealogy tips, tricks and educational opportunities from myself and others. I also plan to provide updates on community news and events.

It’s been a long time coming, and I’m thrilled to embark on this new journey. I can’t wait to see where it leads me!



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About Me

Hi All! My name is Tracie – Cat mom of three, fueled by genealogy, coffee, survival crafting games, cozy gaming, audio books & podcasts.