'Stranger in My Family' - behind-the-scene research - DNA Club meeting, 17 January


12 January 2024
Join us for a DNA behind-the-scenes tour of BBC TV programme "Stranger in My Family" with Laura House

When film maker Luke Davies took a DNA test the world he had known his whole life shifted on its axis.

Born in the 1990s in Lancashire, Luke was brought up by two loving parents. Throughout his childhood and on in to his adult life, he would at times receive comments about his identity - something that puzzled and confused him, but which he put to the back of his mind.

Unable to quiet the sense that he was in some way ‘different’, however, Luke decided to take a DNA test. The ethnicity estimates reporting that his heritage was a quarter Portuguese and a quarter West African was not what he’d expected at all:

“I went in 100% English, and came out… 23%?”

A conversation with his mother subsequently revealed some of the circumstances of his conception, but 27 years later his mother was only able to share that his birth father was named Carlos.

Struggling to make sense of his DNA results, Luke decided to track down a genealogist – and was fortunate enough to come across Laura House.

The January DNA Club meeting - Genetic genealogist Laura House will be taking us behind the scenes and speaking about her work on TV programme 'Stranger in My Family' - will be suitable for family historians of all levels of DNA knowledge.

Bringing together her professional genetic genealogy experience, Laura enlisted the help of a Portuguese researcher for on the ground investigations.  

The perspectives, experiences and feelings of Luke, his mother, father and birth father are all reflected in the story, which is both heart-warming and tragic. All parties are remarkable for their decency and dignity. The programme looks at the emotional journey of not-knowing, and then finding your birth story, of the impact of DNA discoveries on very close family members, and on the diplomacy and compassion required in this most recent area of family history.

‘Stranger in My Family’ was aired on the BBC in Autumn 2023 and is available to view on BBC iplayer (with a TV licence in the UK) – to view see here.

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To view Luke speaking about his DNA experiences see the BBC Breakfast interview involving Laura too here.

How to join the DNA Club meeting

The DNA Club meeting will be taking place, live on Zoom, on Wednesday 17 January 12.30-1.30pm UK time.

This presentation is part of the DNA Club programme brought to you by Family Tree Plus. The meeting will last one hour: with a 30-40 minute presentation, followed by time for questions.

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The session is available three ways:

to those on a 7-day free trial to Family Tree Plus (to take a free trial see www.family-tree.co.uk/membership)

to members of Family Tree Plus (£7.99 a month for existing Family Tree subscribers; £9.99 a month for non-subscribers) - for details, see here.

or as a one-month pass (£10.99) - for details, see here.

If you have any queries about the presentation or about Family Tree Plus, please email [email protected]