Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA is one of the simplest to read and easiest to understand books ever written about the search for one’s family roots and heritage. The book has received much recognition as well as many different awards, including the Global Ebook Awards gold medal as well being a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist. The author, Richard Hill, shares an intensely personal account of how he was able to put together his own family story which had been kept secret for generations within his family. The story is factual and emotional and presents itself as a well-written mystery rather than a personal historical account.
The story is a page-turning account of Hill’s attempts as an adopted child to find out his true origins and claim a heritage and a name from his biological family. Because he was adopted, he was denied birth records that had been sealed. He became proactive in his search and underwent DNA testing and aggressively researched not only his family’s records but personal accounts and histories. Hill’s accounts of his own search for his true self are one of the first personal accounts of genetic research in adoption studies.
As if in a prime time drama, Hill finds out crucial information at the side of his adopted father’s deathbed. After a fruitless search with limited information and dead ends abounding, Hill’s adopted father lends him only a few words that shift the paradigm entirely. However, even with his newly found leads, Hill continually hits barriers and faces the disappointment that only someone in his shoes could understand.
Throughout his quest, he begins to build a network of friends, social acquaintances, fellow genealogists, and his own knowledge base about doing ancestral research and he continues the search to close in on his own identity. As his path narrows, he begins to see clearly the picture of a young woman faced with relinquishing her little boy as well as the man at the head of the whole situation, whose identity had remained a mystery for decades.
The final moments of the story lead any reader to the point that any person searching for their history awaits anxiously to discover. Never are things what we suppose them to be, but anyone looking through their past is inevitably going to find the unexpected and this happens for Hill, only the story isn’t fiction. It’s his true history.
This is a motivating and inspiring account of finding one’s true identity that can lend hope, advice, insight and direction for anyone who finds themselves on a mission such as this. It can seem lonely and pointless at times, but Hill offers glimpses into his own journey, allowing the reader to see that they are not alone and that the end result doesn’t always lend itself throughout the journey. But more specifically, Hill opens a new door of discovery to those who have been adopted through the use of DNA and genetic research which will produce results that are unmatched. DNA results can’t be refuted.