Laura is the CEO and co-founder of DNAngels.
Laura’s love of ancestry began with a gift from her father, Charles. He gave a her a book that traced their lineage all the way back to 1804 when the very first Tippy arrived in America on a ship from Germany, only then, the family name was Tippa.
The gift was so meaningful that she wanted to do something similar for her grandchildren Nevaeh and Noah. She began doing research on Ancestry with a plan to create a book she could gift them for Christmas. It seemed natural to include a DNA test. In the fall of 2017, she took a test with ancestry.com. When her results came back, she was fascinated at all the matches she had, more than 2000 1-4th cousins came back as a match!
She began to search through the matches for her father’s family. She couldn't find any of them. Confused, she reached out to family members on his side that had tested. They found that they could not see her either. A nagging memory surfaced that reminded her of something her uncle once said. He told her that her daddy was sterile and none of his children were his biologically. She had brushed it off. She knew she was her daddy's girl. She had brown eyes just like him and all her siblings had blue. If anyone was his, it was her.....but she wasn’t.
She now had evidence that she wasn't a Tippy biologically. She reached out to a second cousin who helped her piece together her matches and come up with a family tree they shared in common.
During all of this she asked a bunch of questions in a genealogy group and learned about centimorgans, their relationship to matches, and what that meant. She learned about mirror trees and linking matches to make a grandma and grandpa. She was able to figure out who her biological family was within about 2 weeks with the assistance of her second cousin match. The second cousin match ended up being the grand daughter of Laura’s biological dad’s brother.
Her biological father died when she was 13 years old. She never had a chance to meet him. He left a warm and welcoming widow and 6 sons, Laura’s new brothers.
Her step mom, Judy had a “Welcome to the family” party for Laura where she met several family members. Judy can't get enough praise for doing her best to get Laura integrated into the family fold. Judy (Momma) as Laura referred to her passed away suddenly about 5 months after the arrival of Laura.
"I miss her so much. She accepted me without a moments hesitation and pretty much shoved me down the throats of my brothers. I feel the love from the boys off and on. It is a very tricky relationship to foster. It is always an ongoing process to be incorporated into their lives. I also try to share what is going on in my life." - Laura