Mikayla’s search

Search goal: Find Mikayla’s biological parents

*All names have been changed.

Mikayla’s search is one that has taken nearly 3 months to solve! Mikayla is a Saskatchewan adoptee who was searching for both biological parents. We knew her birthmom’s side was of Ukrainian descent and had a rough age for her, but that was about all.

Mikayla’s matches split onto two big groups where several people were part of both groups, and I could tell they were all of English descent. Then there were several smaller groups that were clearly the Ukrainian birth mother’s side.

I started working on the bigger groups first as there were many more matches and some were as close as 600cm. I quickly realized why so many matches were part of both groups- one family had 2 siblings and another relative marry 3 siblings from another family in the early 1900s! So some of these matches were descended from these 3 couples, and I found that there were a few matches that were double first cousins or double second cousins with each other. I could tell Mikayla was a descendent of one of these couples because she had distinct matches from each side. Now the question was to figure out what couple she was descended from.

Couple A had a granddaughter who was one of Mikayla’s matches. However, the shared centimorgans (cm) was too low for the granddaughter to be a first cousin or a first cousin once removed. Couple B also had a grandchild who had tested and was one of Mikayla’s matches. It was around the same cm as the grandchild from Couple A, so I knew the birth father was not going to be from this couple either.

Couple C is where things get interesting. One woman we will call Sadie from one of the big families married Joe from one of the other big families. Sadie and Joe had three sons together, and then Joe died quite young shortly after. But then- guess what! Sadie married Joe’s full brother John and had a child with him! So Joe and John’s kids were 3/4 siblings. I had not had a case before with 3/4 siblings before, and thought it was kind of neat! 3/4 siblings are when siblings share one parent, and then the parents that they don’t share are full siblings. Genetically they are closer than half siblings, but not quite as close as full siblings.

Now one of Sadie and Joe’s sons Frank had tested and was in fact Mikayla’s highest match. However the cm shared was a little too low to be full cousins- it was more on the high end of first cousin once removed. All of Frank’s cousins were also all within 10 years of age of Mikayla so it was not going to be be an option. The only option remaining was the one son from Sadie’s marriage to John. John was slightly younger than his 3/4 siblings and was in the right age range based on the approximate age we had of Mikayla’s birthmom. So while contact with the son is pending, it can be assumed based on cm and age that we likely have found the birth father, who was living as of two years ago. Of course, one of Frank’s uncles COULD be the birth father, but they would be quite a bit older than Mikayla’s birthmom, and it is likely Frank and Mikayla would share more cm.

Now on to the birthmom’s side, which was actually confirmed just by Mikayla applying for her adoption records, so she basically solved that on her own. I was able to make a mirror tree of the Ukrainian matches, and two of them even helped narrow it down a bit more. However due to the low amount of matches we weren’t able to narrow it down more. As well, when I finally narrowed it down as much as I could, we found ourselves in the pretty much the same situation as on Mikayla’s birth father’s side- 3 siblings from one family had married 3 siblings from another, and Mikayla’s birth mother was a child of one of these siblings.

When Mikayla received her information, I was able to place the birthmom into the tree and I was on the right track after all- she was indeed a child of one of the predicted couples. Unfortunately Mikayla’s birthmom had passed away almost 40 years ago, but after finding her obituary, we discovered Mikayla had a sister! Mikayla and her sister were both raised as only children, so this was a nice surprise for Mikayla. The sister has been located on Facebook and Mikayla plans to reach out soon. (Later update: The sister was adopted by Mikayla’s birthmother)

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