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Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA

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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  571 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA is the highly suspenseful account of an adoptee trying to reclaim the biological family denied him by sealed birth records. This fascinating quest, including the author's landmark use of DNA testing, takes readers on an exhilarating roller-coaster ride and concludes with a twist that rivals anything Hollywood ha ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 29th 2017 by Familius (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  571 ratings  ·  98 reviews


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Carol
I read this awhile ago and should have written a review at that time so this may be a bit vague.

At a doctor visit just before college Hill learns that the parents he loves and believed birthed him did not. He does not confront his parents with this knowledge for quite some time yet begins a quest to find out his beginnings. Richard Hill's research spans decades and should help anyone on a similar path. His book is described as a classic mystery of sorts and that it is. It is also a journey of a
...more
Richard Hill
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Since it's my personal story and I wrote the book, I love it. No surprise there.
Lauren
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book offers so much more than genealogy and DNA! From the perspective of an adoptee who is an only child, his idea of family is loaded with some great expectations. Mr. Hill has many insightful revelations about what this word means to him throughout his journey to find his biological parents.

This a wonderful human interest story along with enough suspense to prevent the use of a bookmark.
Annette Cook
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this book down. The author's search and success in finding his birth father through a combination of research and DNA testing, long after his father's death,was an inspiration for me in my search. Riveting and inspiring!
Matthew Harbowy
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery-lovers, high-school-readers, beginner-genealogists, adoptees, moral-development
Overall, this is an excellent book for the beginning genealogist. Many people will be inspired by the successes and difficulties that Richard faced, and he has written this in a very readable, linear narration. With so many unknowns and blind corners as he faced, this book should also appeal to people who love a good mystery novel. I think this story has the potential to become a timeless addition to some reader's shelves.

This book also provides an excellent case study in scientific research. On
...more
Kelly
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came across this book last weekend while searching our local library's catalog for basic books on DNA and genetics. I am an adoptee currently searching for additional biological relatives. The information Mr. Hill provided regarding the various genetic testing options available was extremely useful for me as I find it overwhelming at times to sift through all of the information returned in a Google search on this topic!

Reading Mr. Hill's account of his multi-decade search for his biological ro
...more
Toni Mccreash
This book is a fantastic read. It hooks you on the first page. This is the story of an adopted man's journey to find his birth parents. It took him over 30 years to answer his questions, but one of the many lessons of this book is that don't give up. He documented and analyzed every angle of a situation and went after the paper trail. One of the most fascinating pieces I learned is the multiple birth certificates and how he used different names on a hunch and was successful. I was fascinated by ...more
Helen
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This memoir is a tale of perseverance over many years in one man's search for answers about his origins. The effort he put into his search is enormous. I understand what drives him because I am still searching. It is one of very few books that incorporate the magic of DNA testing as an aid to crack such a case, although you can encounter many similar stories online now. I would especially recommend this book to those looking for easy answers and those ready to give up, to give them some perspect ...more
Jeri Corbitt
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put this book down. I was intrigued from page one until the very last page. Mr. Hill did an exceptionally good job at telling his story, beginning from when he disovered he was adopted and through his journey to find his birth parents and family. A great lesson in using genealogy, pure detective work, DNA tests and perseverence to attain your goals. He is an inspiration to all of us who have family mysteries/history to solve.
Barbara
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because I love family history, this book was a great read. It's about a man that was adopted and his journey to find his biological family. It was a fast read. I read it in two days. I thought it was a fascinating story. It also broadened my understanding of DNA and its use in family history.
Doug
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-books

I was introduced to this title at a genealogy workshop we recently attended. In addition to a fascinating human interest story, this book includes numerous insights in record searching and discovery also of use in genealogy research.
Carola Hume
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, it was an easy read, hard to put down, with lots of suspense to keep the reader interested. I think an audience from late- teens to 100 years old would enjoy this book. It would make a good birthday or Christmas gift.
Kristie
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-kindle
I couldn't put this down (except for sleep and work)! It's a fascinating true story of one adopted man's quest to find the truth about his biological parents and heritage.
Beth
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Beth by: GR Press
Great genealogy book! Loved the research and the great discoveries
Kim
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Scrolling through the Nonfiction section at NetGalley, I saw the title of this book and it grabbed my attention. I was curious about the author's journey in finding his truths because I too wondered about my own ancestors. While my own discoveries were interesting, the author's road was a lot bumpier and filled with many twists and turns. Finding one's roots was more difficult in decades prior than today. Sites like Ancestry and Familysearch didn't exist, leaving millions of people in the dark a ...more
Edith
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My review as posted on Netgalley: I very much enjoyed reading Richard's story of discovering his origin. The book had a wonderful pace and the real life characters were well developed. The author wrote beautifully about his parents, the Hills, Jackie and the people in her life, never judged anyone involved for the choices they made - to hide his adoption, to have extramarital affairs, to divorce, to be promiscuous, or to drive under the influence. There was no blame. There was no villain. There ...more
Karen
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finding Family was an engaging read with the best possible outcome for the author. Mr Hill's decency and thoughtfulness rang through this book as he made the decision to search for his biological family. I appreciated how thoroughly he outlined the process and how he never whitewashed how complicated and fraught it can be. He took on many poignant issues as he searched for his birth mother and father, especially around the sexual lives of his birth parents and its implications for the next gener ...more
Bob Grenier
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genealogy
This is a true story about a man who discovered he was adopted. His adopted parents never told him about his birth mother although they supported her during the last months of her pregnancy and paid all expenses. He learns about this accidentally just before starting college.

He begins his search many years later after his father tells him that he has a brother and urges him to find him.

There are many frustrations with the inaccuracy of records - sometime deliberate.

Finding birth-mother and half
...more
Mary Alaga
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was fascinating from beginning to end and filled with useful information, not too hard to understand.

It was also an eye-opening book in that I never thought about how hard it must be for those who were adopted and have no starting point to begin a search for family. I need to quit whining about my problems with my genealogy search. At least I know who my parents were.

I initially bought this book as I wanted to know a little more about DNA research and what it could do for me. (Answer:
...more
Melanie Jacques
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book partly because I can relate to some of it. The author makes his search for his family interesting and encouraging if you are doing something similar yourself. Even if you can't personally relate to this type of research, if you enjoy a good mystery this book is for you. There are plenty of twists and turns and knowing that it is a true story makes it that much more interesting.

I really admire his step-father for giving him some info to start him on his journey. Plus the
...more
Lyn
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finding Family
What a wonderful book. Richard Hill accidentally learns of his adoption. What he does next is remarkable. Hill continued to respect and honor is parents waiting until the best time to reveal his knowledge. Later we follow him on his journey towards the discovery of his birth family and the secrets surrounding his adoption placement. This is a book of DNA and scientific facts – yet it is filled with love, hope, mystery and family. Great for genealogists to discover “another side” of
...more
Janice
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This self published book is the story of an adoptees search for his birth parents. He was one of the first people to successfully use DNA testing for genetic genealogy. He documented his search, over the course of about 30 years. Mr. Hill was very resourceful and his book is full of great tips, ideas and information that would be helpful to any genealogist, adoptee, or birth parent. I also reviewed this book at WikiTree, my favorite genealogy site.

The author has a web site, www.DNA-Testing-Advi
...more
Connie
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genealogy
One of the best books I have ever read. It's about a man who finds out he's adopted and doesn't decide to persue it until he is 32. But his story is about him doing DNA testing to find his biological roots. I think his first DNA test was in the late 80s-early 90s. Tests that long ago aren't as accurate as they are today so he is even more confused. SO he takes another one. And it gets better from there. I highly recommend!!
Debra
For those in search, they will find it fascinating and helpful. My father was adopted in Illinois which was closed till only a few years ago. We received his original birth certificate only two years ago. After reading Richards book, I realize now that even these documents are speculative. We did find out that me father had a sister, actually two. One was adopted. One we know of, but she does not want contact unfortunately.
Trish
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting read, especially since, as an adoptee, I am in the process of trying to connect with my birth father. The story of this man's search, combined with how he ended up using DNA to settle once and for all who his father was, could provide good information for any member of the adoption triad seeking to connect with another member of that triad.
Diane
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great real life mystery story!

Fascinating story of Richard Hill's decades long search for his biological parents. Lots of twists and turns and misinformation complicated his search. Along the way he met new family and friends that might have been but didn't turn out to be family. An early user of DNA testing he learned along the way.
Michele
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genealogy
Wonderful story. I enjoyed the ups and downs of Richard's journey to find out who he really was genetically. This book will be a great help to anyone who is researching their ancestry/adoption using DNA. I bought an extra copy and donated it to my locale library hoping it will help others in their search.
India
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book uplifting and emotional because it paralleled with my own search for family. I admire his strength and courage because I know just how much you need to pursue this topic. I’d recommend this book to anyone searching for family or if you like to see a real mystery unfolding.
Steve H
I do genealogy. This book was boring. Boy! I had a hard time finishing it. I Have no idea why I found it boring. Maybe I'll be more understanding with people when I get off on a tangent talking about family.
Rachelle
This is Richard's 30+ year journey finding the birth parents that he didn't know he had until his 18th birthday. I enjoyed his recounting of his genealogical detective work and all the new found family and friends that help him along the way.
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