DNA “outs” a family secret

Nearly 90 years ago a memoir entitled The President’s Daughter was published by Nan Britton, who claimed President Warren Harding was the father of her out-of-wedlock child.

Historians and Harding defenders have strongly disputed the story all these years. Recent DNA testing of Britton’s grandson and a Harding family descendant indicate Britton’s child was Harding’s, with 99.9% certainty. You can read the pleasantly sordid details (e.g., “in a White House coat closet”) here: www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2015/08/13/dna-proves-president-harding-fathered-child-out-of-wedlock

It’s the kind of story you love to read – but hope you never find in your own family tree. In fact, I suspect the Harding story may further discourage individuals from having their DNA tested. You know, that cousin you keep asking to submit a DNA sample who adamantly refuses? Did he or she hear rumors of a family secret? Is there something they don’t want confirmed?

Comments are closed.