Randall’s search

*All names have been changed

Search goal: Find Randall’s biological parents

Randall is an Ontarian adoptee who had been searching for his biological family for years. He had his live birth registration, which included a name “Margaret”, age, and address for his birthmom. Randall’s daughter Kayla (who I communicated with for this search) had found the name in a directory of the town Randall had been born in, along with Margaret’s husband James, but had not found either of them.

Randall had just received his AncestryDNA results back so Kayla reached out for help to sort the matches out and see if any of the matches could lead to Margaret.

Randall had 2 close matches, and more matches that were more distant. Kayla had done a bit of her own research and figured out that the top two matches were uncle and niece to each other, but she did not know which side of their family her dad was from.

I started sorting the groups and found that there were 6 groups. Four were shared by the top two matches, and the other two were smaller Hungarian groups. As there were more matches from the other side, I started building research trees to figure out how Randall and his top match were related.

After a few days I had figured out that Randall’s top match, also named James, was related to Randall through his father’s side. James’ father had no brothers, which meant my theory that James and Randall were paternal half brothers was likely true. I asked Kayla to upload Randall’s DNA to Gedmatch to see if that would help confirm that the closer matches were from Randall’s paternal side also.

A day later when Gedmatch had processed, there was exactly one match that shared X DNA with Randall, and the match was from one of his Hungarian groups, confirming that that was Randall’s maternal side. This also helped solidify my theory that James and Randall were paternal half brothers. Unfortunately, their biological father had passed away, so we could not ask him about the birthmother’s identity.

I started building a research tree for the maternal matches though there were not nearly as many of them. Eventually I found a couple that connected the two Hungarian groups. The couple had had four children: two sons and two daughters. One of the daughters was older than “Margaret’s” given age, and was already married and having children when Randall was born. But the other daughter caught my eye. She also had a three syllable M name- “Minerva” and was much closer in age to what “Margaret” had put on the registration. I wondered if Minerva was the lady we were looking for.

Minerva did not ever marry or have children so finding living family proved a challenge, and two of her siblings had also passed away. However, I did connect with a brother in law of Minerva’s nephew, who was adopted himself and willing to help out. He said he would chat with his BIL, but that BIL was currently out of the country and he did not want to disturb his vacation.

Meanwhile, Kayla and I discussed what to do. I was growing increasingly confident that Minerva was who we were looking for. She didn’t want to wait three weeks for the nephew to be back from his vacation, and I suggested she could start calling the M Franksons she had found in the phone book earlier in the week, if she was comfortable doing that.

An hour later, Kayla messaged me saying that the first M Frankson she had called was Minerva, and that she was indeed Randall’s birthmother. She was amazed we had found her, as she confirmed she had given a fake name on the birth statement. Minerva, Randall, Kayla and family are looking forward to learning more about each other and meeting one day in person!

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