Search goal: Find Lenora’s biological father.
*All names have been changed.
Lenora reached out for help finding her biological father. Her biological mother had passed away without revealing the details about who Lenora’s biological father might be. Lenora had many matches on Ancestry, and some had even reached out to her, including someone who thought that they were her half brother. However Lenora did not want to jump to any conclusions and was looking for someone well versed in DNA and Ancestry to take a look and confirm her possible half brother’s findings.
The reason Lenora thought this is because Ancestry lists matches based on how closely they are related to the test taker, and gives it a generic umbrella label. However, the only relationship that Ancestry can 100% guarantee is a parent/child relationship. This is because with other relationships, the cm is basically on a scale, and there will be an average number, and then a “low end” and a “high end”. When I refer to perfect match, it means the match is at the average number. Some of these averages will be the same- for example, half siblings on average share the same cm as a full aunt and full niece would.
So Walter’s shared cm with Lenora was quite high, and the higher it is, the limited options there will be for the relationship. Walter’s cm possibilities were only half sibling, grandparent/grandchild, or uncle/nephew, but some of these could be ruled out easily due to age. However, the label that Ancestry puts over these relationship is Close Family-First Cousin, which annoys me because the first cousin relationship is not even possible at the amount of cms that half siblings, uncles/nephews and grandparents/grandchildren share. This label should be removed!
I took a look at her matches and was surprised to see that they were in fact mostly paternal. I started to map out a tree based on Lenora’s potential half sibling Walter. Walter’s sister had also tested, as did her daughter, and many other relatives from Walter’s dad’s sides of the family. The numbers and matches were all lining up, and thanks to Walter’s investigating, I knew he was correct.
I did explore the theory that one of Walter’s brother’s could have been Lenora’s biological father, but with this theory, the other matches from Walter’s dad’s sides did not fit with the cms. As well, Lenora did not have any DNA or matches from Walter’s mom’s side.
Her biological father has since passed away, but Lenora has already been in contact with many of her paternal half siblings (there’s a baker’s dozen of them!) and has known of the family for many years. Thank you to Walter for helping make this a quick solve!