Dean’s search

*All names have been changed

Search goal: Find Dean’s biological mother

Dean is an American adoptee who reached out through one of my family members, in search of his biological mother. He had recently matched with a paternal half brother and a first cousin, which helped confirm his biological father’s identity. Unfortunately, he was deceased, so Dean needed help to figure out the identity of his biological mother.

Dean had a few details about his adoption and knew his birthmother was English and had lived in Ontario before moving to California where Dean was born.

I took a look at Dean’s matches, and it was very easy to separate the maternal matches thanks to his half brother and cousin testing. There were not many matches (typical for people with recent English ancestry), and the matches that were there were mostly from England, or their parents were. Dean had a few distinct match groups, but because the groups were rather small, it was initially challenging to find the common last names.

Eventually, I figured out that his top two maternal matches were second cousins to each other. So I started looking at siblings of their grandparents, thinking that Dean could also be their second cousin (the cM was in the right range). I found that only one of the siblings, Peter, had come to Canada from England, and lived in Ontario with his family. Intrigued, I found Peter’s obituary, which referenced him having family in Ontario- and also having one daughter, Sarah, who was living in California. I was quite confident that Sarah was Dean’s birthmother.

To help confirm my theory, I looked at Peter’s wife Emma’s family lines, and found that Dean had a group of matches that shared the distinct last name that was Emma’s mother’s maiden name. This boosted my theory more.

Lastly, I tried and tried to find Sarah, but could not find her. I managed to find her nephew and contacted him. He and his family were surprised, but was able to confirm the timeline of Sarah moving to California around the time Dean was born. Unfortunately, he said that Sarah had passed away just two months ago. Despite this sad news, Dean is happy to know his maternal lineage now and glad to have some new family connections.

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