Nick’s search

*All names have been changed

*Search goal: Find Nick’s biological parents.

A side note, this is so far the search that has taken the longest time to solve- it took 18 months to identify Nick’s birthmother.

Nick is an adoptee whose sister-in-law Sandra had reached out to me for help with Nick’s search. Nick had unfortunately passed away a few years ago after doing an AncestryDNA test, and Sandra was helping Nick’s children in continuing the search. Complicating Nick’s search was the fact that his birthmother had also been adopted, and the Ontario government could not give her adoption information to Nick’s children.

Nick’s matches split into four groups, each likely representing one of his grandparent’s lines. Two of the groups had a rich ancestral history in Ontario, and the other two groups had some Ontario history but had immigrated from England around the turn of the 20th century. I figured this would be how Nick’s matches would split- one side maternal, the other paternal.

Despite having four distinct groups, none of Nick’s matches were above 500cM, and no matches were in more than one group, which made building a research tree challenging. Eventually I did connect the two Ontarian groups, and arrived at a couple that I thought were the paternal grandparents of Nick. They had had two sons and two daughters, one of each whom were still living, and I figured one of the sons was likely Nick’s birth father, as their family details did not match with the info about Nick’s birthmother’s side. However, Sandra and I were unable to get replies from anyone in the family, so although we still don’t know which brother it is, we do now know for sure it’s between one of them.

Sandra had some information about Nick’s birthmom, including her year of birth, her adoptive last name, and a little bit of information about her adoptive family like the amount of siblings she had, her adoptive father’s profession, and the fact that her adoptive parents had divorced before Nick was born. We found the man who was likely Nick’s birthmother’s adoptive father, but newspapers for the county he lived in were not available online, so it was challenging finding any information on him. There seemed to be very little information on the family on the internet, and messages to more distant family members were unfruitful.

A lot of time passed, and Nick did not get any new matches that were viable to help with the search. Then finally, this past week, 18 months after I first started helping with this search, I noticed Nick had a new top match with a lady named Sarah, and she was a very close relative- either an aunt, a half sister, or a niece. She also matched the two Ontario/England groups, which we figured was Nick’s maternal side!

Unfortunately, like most close matches, Sarah did not have a tree or any information on her profile. Hoping she was also in Ontario, I searched her name on Facebook and came across two people in Ontario with the same name. One of them had some resemblance to Nick.

Sandra sent a message to Sarah on Ancestry, and I messaged both Sarahs on Facebook, as well as the daughter of the Sarah that looked like Nick, in hopes that one of them would be able to confirm if they were the one that took the DNA test.

A few days went by, and there was no response on either platform. I started to look deeper through the Facebook profile of the Sarah that looked like Nick, and saw that her mother had died two years ago. I googled Sarah’s name hoping I might be able to find an obituary. After some digging and searching using other names, I located one, and found that Sarah’s mother was born in the same year that Nick’s birthmother had been born in. To our excitement, it also named two people that had the same last name Nick’s birthmother had.

After a little bit of additional research, we knew that Sarah’s birthmother was indeed Nick’s birthmother, and they were maternal half siblings. Miraculously the next day, the daughter of the right Sarah messaged back, confirmed that she had given her mom a DNA test for Christmas, and helped her mom get in touch with Sandra and I. Sarah confirmed the details we had and shared that she knew her mom had placed a son for adoption. After a very long time, Nick’s family finally had answers.

Patience paid off and I am thankful for Sandra for not giving up, and Sarah for testing and helping solve the search.

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