Richard’s search

*All names have been changed

Search goal: Find Richard’s biological parents

Richard is an adoptee from BC who needed some help finding his biological family. He had done an AncestryDNA test and had a few bits of non identifying information. However, because he had so little information, he was not sure which matches were from which side.

On Ancestry, Richard had lots of matches and some were decently close. His matches split into 5 groups, with 3 having lots of ties to New York, Vermont and Indiana, 1 group had an common ancestral couple from England, and the last group seemed to be the only group with Canadian roots.

I started searching for the common last names of each group and was a little frustrated when I could only find 1 of the USA groups and the other two groups. However, thinking that the Canadian group could be from Richard’s birthmom’s side, I started working on that group in further detail and had narrowed it down a bit to a two siblings who had married another set of two siblings. I knew Richard had to be descended from one of these couples- based on their ages, one set was probably his great grandparents.

Around this time, Richard’s wife Lara shared more info they had on Richard’s birthmom, including her approximate birth year, the fact her mother had died from a kidney disease when Richard’s birthmom was young, and that she only had one brother.

I looked back at the branch of the tree and saw one of the couples had a daughter Delores who had died in a year that Richard’s birthmom would have been a preteen in. I quickly found her death certificate and an obituary- she had died of kidney disease, and she had left behind one son and one daughter. I knew that the daughter had to be Richard’s birthmom.

I traced Delores’ father’s line and quickly found that the group from England was indeed Richard’s maternal grandfather’s side of the family.

Meanwhile, I had been sending this information to Lara, and it turned out that she and Richard lived not far from the house listed in Delores’ obituary from 59 years ago. So they decided to drive to it and knock to see if the owners knew anything about Richard’s birth family.

Well, it turned out that they were greeted by Delores’ granddaughter, who now owned the house! Richard met his first cousin right then and there. She couldn’t believe that she had a new cousin, and called her parents over who arrived shortly after. Richard met his uncle, who then called Richard’s birthmom, who was happy to hear from him and was amazed that he had found her without having even so much as a name to go on.

It was an amazingly fast and happy reunion, and they plan to meet again very soon. As for Richard’s birthfather’s side, since I had pieced together his maternal side, things came together quite quickly and I was able to identify his birthfather, who had unfortunately passed away 20 years ago.

I am amazed at how quick this came together and very happy for Richard and his newfound family.

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