Preston’s search

*All names have been changed

Search goal: Find Preston’s biological father

Preston is a Canadian adoptee whose birthparents were both born in Germany. Initially, I was not sure if I would be able to be of much help to Preston, but his daughter Sarah messaged me the name of his top Ancestry match, and I decided to see what I could find.

Since Preston’s parents were both from Germany, he didn’t have many matches, and only one match was a close enough match to work with- about at the first cousin once removed level.

Preston also knew his birthmother’s name, but did not know her whereabouts. He also did not know which side of the family this match was from. He did have plenty of non identifying information, which proved to be very useful later on.

Luckily, this match had a unique German name and it was easy to find him, though I’ll refer to him as Theo here. Theo was an older man who seemed to have immigrated to New York from Germany with his parents. So I started looking for obituaries of his parents, and thanks to the unique last name, I found them easily enough.

Theo’s dad’s obituary stated he had a sister that lived in Canada, very close to the town where Preston was born in, which was exciting to read. I found the sister’s gravestone on FindAGrave, and shortly after, found her immigration records from when her family moved from Germany. She had immigrated to Canada with her three children- two daughters and an adult son Edmund. It also listed their birthdates and occupations.

Thanks to the non identifying information that Theo had, we knew that Edmund was his biological father. All the information lined up and Theo was a perfect match for being his first cousin once removed.

Tracking down Edmund and his sisters proved to be more of a challenge. However, thanks to Collingwood library sending obituaries of Edmund’s parents and brother-in-law, we know that Preston has either two first cousins or two half siblings. Preston’s daughter has reached out to one and hopefully will hear back soon!

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