Kennedy’s search

Search goal: Find Kennedy’s mother Marie’s biological parents

*All names have been changed.

Kennedy reached out to me way back in February in search of her mother Marie’s biological parents. Marie had passed, but Kennedy was curious about her origins. She had Marie’s birth certificate and adoption papers, which provided us with the name [Ella Jackson] of Marie’s birthmother, where she had been born, and the year she had been born. Kennedy had done DNA tests on Ancestry as well as 23&Me, which was excellent and turned out to be the key we needed to conclude the search. I figured since we had some info on Marie’s birthmom, it might be a fast search. However, it took 5 months and was quite the process!

As always I took a look at the Ancestry matches first. Kennedy had done a great job of splitting up her matches and I could see that there were two groups of maternal matches which represented each of Marie’s birth parents.

Kennedy had a match named Joan, who had a tree that helped see who the common family last name of one of the groups was. Now at this point, we thought that Ella was legitimately Marie’s birthmom’s name, so I figured this group with Joan was Marie’s paternal side. There were four male siblings- one was Joan’s father, two had died long before Marie was born, and then there was one last one named Daniel. I figured Daniel was most likely the birth father of Marie. Daniel was living close by the area where Marie was born. at the right time He had had one child with a woman in Ontario before Marie was born, and then four more children with his wife Barbara after Marie was born.

After figuring out Daniel was Marie’s birth father, we focused our attention to the other group, the presumed maternal side of Marie. There were less matches but I was still able to make a mirror tree. After some major researching, narrowing it down, and pouring over the trees, I was finding no trace of Ella Jackson. It seemed like she didn’t exist at all. I was a bit puzzled. However, it looked like Kennedy was related to Daniel’s second wife Barbara. Kennedy had distinct matches from both of Barbara’s sides of the family. Barbara was the same age as Ella, but had been born in a different province. Ella’s birth location listed on Marie’s birth certificate was close to where Barbara’s family was from. I wondered if Ella and Barbara were in fact the same person.

Kennedy also let me know that she had a match on 23&Me that was even closer than Joan was. It was a girl named Sadie who was around my own age, who matched Kennedy in a way that is usually a first cousin once removed relationship. It suggested that one of Sadie’s parents is a full cousin of Kennedy, which furthered my suspicions that Barbara might be Kennedy’s birth mom, and Barbara was actually Ella Jackson’s real name. After a bit of research, we found out that Sadie was a great grandchild of Daniel and Barbara.

Kennedy started communicating with Sadie’s mom, who was the granddaughter of Daniel and Barbara. I even made a video for them to explain why we thought Marie was a child of Daniel and Barbara. Luckily they were receptive, and Sadie’s mom agreed to have her dad take a DNA test to confirm our theories. Interestingly, Daniel and Barbara had married less than three weeks after Marie had been born, and were together until Daniel passed away.

The wait began, and then a few weeks later Kennedy messaged me to tell me that the test had come back, and Sadie’s grandfather showed as a full uncle match to her. Our theory was correct, and Kennedy’s search was now over. She now has lots of cousins and some uncles who have all been very kind during the search.

2 thoughts on “Kennedy’s search

  1. Great post. Sounds like a very interesting and sometimes frustrating process to solve this one. The effort of making a video to explain the possible result was very kind and hopefully cleared things up for them at the time. Glad to hear she had a happy ending and everyone was very nice.


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