Samuel’s search

Search goal: Find Samuel’s biological father

*All names have been changed.

Samuel’s search is another one that took a few months to solve and was only really solved by someone deciding to do a test and showing up in Samuel’s Ancestry match list. It’s been solved since March, but some completed searches I have not published yet here.

Samuel is one of the people outside of Canada that I ended up helping. He was raised not knowing who his father was and his mother either did not know for sure or did not want to tell him. He had two groups of paternal matches, but unfortunately many did not have trees, and the closest one was only a little more than 200cm.

When we started our search, Samuel was sure he had already found who his birthfather was through his own research. I could tell right away that this man was not his birthfather because the ThruLines on Ancestry were all skewed and it was saying that relatives were way more distant when they were actually closer than fifth cousin once removed. Anyways. Samuel was not the first person I’ve helped who has an idea of who it is, or a name, and is convinced it is this person. It is really challenging sometimes to explain why I know that it isn’t that person. And in Samuel’s case, I couldn’t explain yet who his birthfather really was. I think the man that Samuel thought it was is in his family tree somewhere, but is not a close relative by any means.

A few months went by with no further progress. Then suddenly a woman named Marci showed up in his match list at a very high 980cm. She matched both of the paternal groups, and at 980cm there’s only a few possible relationships that it’s going to be, so I knew Marci was going to be the key to solving this.

Luckily, she seemed keen on making a family tree and filled out her tree in the coming days once her results were back. She also had a last name unique enough to find her easily on Facebook, and was confirmed easily with obituaries and friends lists. It was also easy to tell that the relation was going to be through Marci’s mom’s side since Marci’s dad had very different heritage.

At this point I was pretty sure Marci was going to be a half niece or a first cousin of Samuel. Marci’s mom had four brothers and three sisters, so I started to figure out their ages to see what made sense. The oldest brother would have been a teenager still when Samuel was born, and Samuel’s mother was nearly in her 40s when she had him, so I quickly ruled out the first cousin possibility.

It became clear that Marci’s mom’s dad Leonard was Samuel’s birthfather. He was only a year younger than Samuel’s mom, lived very close by, and all the DNA matches suddenly fell into place. Samuel actually then recalled that his mother may have mentioned Leonard’s first name before. It also unfortunately meant that Leonard was cheating on his wife at the time, as Samuel has at least one half sibling that is younger than him.

It may have taken some time, but I am glad Samuel has knowledge of who his birthfather really is- and now he’s got 8 more half siblings!

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