NIGHTMARE CAUSED BY A SIMPLE DNA TEST
jUNE 2, 1013
It did not turn out to be a simple DNA test. Instead, it caused a man and his ‘parents’ to experience a living nightmare. It was not just one nightmare, but also two. One they cannot wake up and have it go
It began the day after Paul Fronczak was born. A nurse came into his mom’s room in a Chicago hospital and took him out of his mom’s arms saying a doctor wanted to examine him. Instead, the nurse walked out of the hospital with the baby and disappeared: really disappeared it turns out.
A year later, a baby boy was abandoned in the city. Mrs. Fronczak took one look at the child and claimed it as her son who was stolen the previous year. The police had their doubts but handed over the one-year old child to her anyway. There was no DNA testing in 1964.
The child grew up looking nothing like his Polish and Croatian parents. He had found a box of newspaper articles regarding the kidnaping and the little boy abandoned a year later. His notion that he was not their birth child grew until this year when he had his and his parents’ DNA run and his fear substantiated.
Paul, now 49, has a wife and a child of his own. They are his and carry his surname; however, he
does not know his bloodline, his birth name, birthday, nationality, or genetic background. He wonders why he was abandoned in the store in 1965 when he was about one year old. Paul feels the need to try to find out if the real Paul Fronczak stolen from his mom’s arms is alive today and where he might be. He
now searches for his own identity, his birth parents, the abandoned child and his parents and the thief responsible for the hospital kidnaping.
As genealogists, we do not think of these consequences when we have our DNA tested. I dare say we
only hope it will confirm a part of the research we have previously conducted or led us down a suspected trail of descent for future research. At least that was what I was hoping when I had Oxford University conduct my DNA test many years ago.
My DNA was not at all anything I would have ever imagined from my years of research. The Oxford results established my roots back to Southeast Asia! Well, you can imagine my surprise. After puzzling over the results, I sent my DNA next to Family Tree DNA and found an entirely different scenario. These results determined my beginnings in Northern Europe and the British region. These results implemented the three lines I found from the British Empire, France and Germany. After confronting Oxford with the Family Tree DNA, they revised their results to match Family Tree’s findings saying they had made a mistake on one of the mutations. Even though Oxford may have miscalculated my results, I do not totally discount it. I will keep Oxford’s findings—just in case!
I am hoping Paul Fronczak had his DNA double-checked for accuracy. Finding out you are not the child of your parents who raised you and that you do not have any idea when you were born or to who is frightening enough without adding the missing child and the kidnapper’s identity to the equation. Certainly, Paul’s DNA findings are a nightmare that will not disappear.
This story, first published April 28 by John Worthington, www.abroadintheyard.com/paul-fronczak-kidnapped-as-newborn-1964/, is a nightmare deserving national attention. Paul’s DNA results are not what family historians expect. This puzzle needs solving.
REDHEADS DNA RESEARCHED: While I was searching through Abroad in the Yard at www.abroadintheyard.com/red-hair-genes-directly-inherited-from-first-redheads/, the article, Red hair genes directly inherited from the world’s first redheads 70,000 years ago caught my eye. It said, “ScotlandsDNA believes that everyone who carries one of the three variants of the red-hair gene is a direct descendant of the first redhead ever to have it—two variants originating in West Asia around 70,000 years ago, and a younger variant originating in Europe around 30,000 years ago.” If you have red hair in your ancestry, you might want to read this article.
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a Certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunion announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries