Almost six years ago, I took the DNA test offered by Ancestry.com, in the hopes of finding some connection to my father’s side of the family. I have no clue who my father was, my mother fibbed about that (I found who she said it was and a DNA test proved no match), and it has been many years since she has passed away. Thankfully my grandmother (who raised me) provided me with enough information to build the maternal side of my tree, and her stories were worth their weight in gold when it came to finding new information for that branch.
Truthfully, this past December I gave up hoping to find any information about my paternal side of the family. The closest I had come was a 3rd cousin DNA match, one that did not match any of my maternal matches. While I was ecstatic to have that match, it meant that we shared a set of great-great-grandparents. For those not into genealogy, you have a total of eight sets of great-great-grandparents. Yep, needle in a haystack/flip a coin type of research. Not many people have a complete tree including everyone through their great-great-grandparents. God bless those who do–no, truly, you ARE blessed. Others aren’t as fortunate.
So, I gave up. I’m done. I even contemplated taking down my results from Ancestry.com, but for whatever reason I decided to leave them there, mostly from being busy with other stuff and a smidgen of laziness thrown in.
Then, here comes 2018. No big deal, right? I’m not even checking Ancestry anymore, when lo and behold I get an email from someone thanking me for my research, etc. ??? She says her grandmother was my grandmother’s sister, so we share a set of great-grandparents. She’s sent off for the DNA test for her and her dad, etc. I look at the name, there’s a very vague recollection, but not much. Long story short, she gets the tests done, she’s a match to me for a 2nd cousin, and some of my long dormant brain cells kick in and I remember who she is! We meet up, have a great time swapping stories, pictures, genealogy, etc. Her dad was a 1st cousin to my mother.
Less than two months later I get another hit on the DNA matches. This time a 2nd cousin, but that person has zero matches to anyone in my maternal line. Yep, this one is a match in my paternal line!!! They don’t have a tree up, so I send them a message. She responds right away, we start talking, exchanging messages, etc. I then realize–she’s a 2nd cousin, just like the maternal 2nd cousin I found. Which means, we share a set of great-grandparents. I feel like I’ve hit the lottery! Out of her four great-grandparents, one of those four is a set of my great-grandparents! And it also means that either her mom or dad was a 1st cousin to my dad.
Now before you get too excited, of course it’s not going to be that easy. She doesn’t have her complete family history, knows who her dad’s parents were, has one of the great-grandparents…and that’s where it stops. So now I am diving headfirst into researching her family tree, trying to find clues, records, etc, building it to hopefully, eventually find how my father connects in. Which one of the uncles and aunts to one of her parents had a son who was my father?
So close, but still so far away. But, the lesson here is…never…give…up. The next clue could be right around the corner. It took me almost six years to start getting those more relevant clues. It *can* happen.
Keep your fingers crossed for me–I might just yet find out I wasn’t hatched, lol!