*All names have been changed.
Search goal: Find Chelsea’s biological father
Secondary search goal: Find Tessa’s paternal grandfather
Chelsea reached out to me last week for help identifying her biological father. She was not adopted, but did not know who her biological father was. I was happy to help her out, so I hopped on her Ancestry matches as a collaborator and took a look. Since she knew her maternal side, it was easy to split her matches into maternal and paternal sides. She also had lots of paternal matches with great trees, which made this a quick search.
She had three distinct paternal groups, two of which I was quickly able to find the common last names for. Soon after, I found a marriage between them, and found that there were five brothers- the Watson brothers, who were in the right age range and were living in the town that Chelsea lived in. Chelsea also was a match to the Watson brothers’ great niece at the first cousin once removed level.
The third paternal group, I could not find the common last name for the life of me. There were not as many matches in this group, and the top match was a man, Frederick, who had been adopted. Frederick had since passed away since doing his Ancestry test, but his daughter Tessa was also a match to Chelsea, and Tessa had communicated with Chelsea, trying to figure out each other’s search, with not much success. Tessa had found her dad’s biological mother, but their connection to Chelsea was through her dad’s biological father.
After a few days of research and still trying to find the third paternal group’s last name, I suddenly realized that the Watson brothers’ last name was the birth last name of Tessa’s dad Frederick! He was also born in the same town they were from, so I knew there had to be a connection somehow, despite there seemingly not being a genetic Watson connection.
A few days later, Chelsea had been chatting with a sister of the Watson brothers, who got in touch with me and said that her paternal grandfather had been adopted, which explained the absence of the Watson last name in the shared matches’ trees.
She also revealed that her grandfather, as a recently widowed man, had had a son with a married woman- who was Frederick’s biological mother! It was then that I realized Tessa’s search had been solved- her paternal grandfather was Chelsea’s presumed paternal great-grandfather.
Chelsea’s presumed aunt has ordered a DNA test for herself and the brother who is thought to be Chelsea’s biological father, so hopefully in a few months she will know exactly which Watson brother is her biological father.
Updated May 10, 2022: Chelsea’s biological father was indeed the brother she expected it to be, and they have been in a positive reunion for a few months now.