My first search: Myself

This is how it all began!

Back in summer 2018, I became very curious about my origins and decided to order an Ancestry DNA kit. I decided to test with Ancestry because the kit costed slightly less than the 23&Me kit did, and I had heard that Ancestry had the bigger database.

My kit arrived in early September and I promptly spat in the tube and sent it off. My results came by the end of September, which is quite fast- as of spring 2021 the kits are taking as long as 16 weeks or more to process due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and increase in user testing.

By the time my test came back, I had received a notebook from my parents that my birthmother had left for me- basically it was the equivalent of identifying information. There was a small family tree in it as well as enough information to make a little tree on Ancestry, and I could see how a few of my match groups were related to me. This book was how I found my maternal biological family- I used their names and found them on Facebook. Shortly after, I was connected/introduced to my paternal biological family through my birthmom.

So although my own results did not contribute to how I found my biological family, I still had a mystery. I had been in communications with my top match who I’ll call M. We could not figure out how we were related. He was around my parent’s age, and lived only a couple hours away, but we didn’t know how we were related. He was not a match to any of my match groups (though if I knew what the Leeds method was back then, we would have figured it out much quicker!)

Finally four months later, on Christmas Day, my birthmother, M and I all finally figured it out. After going back and forth for months, I solved the mystery. M’s maternal grandfather was my birthmom’s paternal grandfather- we had finally found her father’s biological father. M and my birthmom are half first cousins. The location and dates all lined up, and when M sent some pictures of his grandfather, we knew it had to be him.

My biological grandfather (who I never met) did not know who his biological father was and was raised by his stepfather. I always wish I could tell him who his biological father was, and show him the incredible resemblance between them, but sadly it will never happen as my biological maternal grandfather passed away in December 2020.

So that is how my interest in genealogy began, and I count finding my maternal grandfather’s father as my first solved case using genetic genealogy.

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