When I first had my DNA done, I used Ancestry DNA. I wanted to figure out who my maternal biological grandfather was. So when I went to check for new matches I was excited that a 1-2nd cousin match finally showed up. However, that excitement soon faded when I realized she was a match on my father’s side and she was adopted. I contacted her and found out that she was only interested in her Ethnicity and I shared who I thought was our most common ancestor, my grandparents.
Fast forward a few years to last month, she contacted me through 23andMe and I recognized her as my adopted cousin. She was interested in her heritage and figuring out her tree. I was beyond excited to help her.
My paternal grandparents only had three children, my aunt, my uncle and my dad. On 23andMe my uncle’s daughter tested and it showed her relationship to AC (adopted cousin) as a 2nd cousin match. This meant that AC was the granddaughter of my Aunt. Why granddaughter and not daughter? First of all her age was in line with my aunt’s grandchildren and the amount of shared DNA was more inline with a 1st cousin once removed.
I convinced AC into granting me access to her AncestryDNA results and access to help build out her tree. AC's closest match is CC as a close match. I surmise that CC is either her Aunt or half sibling. Either way, with no tree, I could not determine which. However, CC had two distinct branches of close matches. I started on the assumption that one was for CC's paternal branch and the other was her maternal branch.
Next I try comparing trees of CC's matches. Plus Ancestry gave AC a New Ancestor Discovery. From the 27 people in that circle, I believed I found AC's great grandparent. These MCA (most common ancestor) was on one side of CC's matches. Next I looked at the other matches with CC. Only one was close, a 2nd cousin range and a few were 3rd cousins. However, I managed to find a good prospect for another great grandparents. I researched their children and found the daughter that married the other great grandparents son. BINGO, I found AC's other grandparents.
Since my aunt only had two daughters, and neither of them were pregnant when AC was born, it left me to believe that one of my aunts sons is AC's father. Thus this other set of grandparents must be the parents of AC's mother. I found the obituaries of both grandparents, however no children are listed by name. They had nine children, 5 girls and four sons.
I updated AC's tree and told her what I found. She reached out to one of her matches that has the surname of her maternal grandparents. Her match responded that she talked to her dad and her aunt and she gave AC her most likely mother’s name. AC and I looked her up on facebook and AC looks so much like her mother.
This weekend I am going to talk to my cousin, AC's aunt and see if she knows anything about a baby being given up for adoption. I would like to figure out who her father is. He might not know he has a daughter. Now that I have a possible mother’s name, perhaps my cousin can ask her brothers if they recognize the name. Maybe my cousin will recognize the name as a girl friend of one of her brothers.
All in all, I am just excited that my research skills worked and AC might finally have the answers she has been looking for. I feel honored that AC entrusted me with DNA results.