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Now living in the suburbs of Vancouver, Washington, she worked as an IT manager for the University of California before her retirement."I did data processing most of my life, and at a fairly sophisticated level," she says.
Computers do not intimidate her, and neither do big questions that require the organisation and analysis of complex information. Just the skills necessary to solve a very old puzzle.
But DNA testing can also yield uncomfortable surprises.
Some testers, looking for a little more information about a grandparent's origins, or to confirm a family legend about Native American heritage, may not be prepared for results that disrupt their sense of identity.
READ MORE: * Native Affairs reveal DNA test of full-blooded Maori woman * Genealogical DNA: To test or not to test The Collins children — from left, Kitty, Jim and John — with their longshoreman father, John Josef Collins, in 1914.
Collins, a widower, was unable to care for his three children and sent them to live in orphanages. After a few weeks during which her saliva was analysed, she got an email in the summer of 2012 with a link to her results. About half of Plebuch's DNA results presented the mixed British Isles bloodline she expected.
"He had his Irish identity."She plunged into online genealogy forums, researching how other people had traced their DNA and educating herself about the science.
Five years ago, Alice Collins Plebuch made a decision that would alter her future - or, really, her past. When the tube arrived, she spat and spat until she filled it up to the line, and then sent it off in the mail. Plebuch, now 69, already had a rough idea of what she would find.
Her parents, both deceased, were Irish-American Catholics who raised her and her six siblings with church Sundays and ethnic pride.
SHOCK RESULTSOften, that means finding out their dad is not actually their dad, or discovering a relative that they never knew existed - perhaps a baby conceived out of wedlock or given up for adoption.
In 2014, 23and Me estimated that 7000 users of its service had discovered unexpected paternity or previously unknown siblings - a relatively small fraction of overall users.