*All names have been changed
Search goal: Find Christina’s biological parents
Christina is an adoptee that reached out for help finding her biological parents. She knew her birthmother had also been adopted, and Christina had done an AncestryDNA test in hopes of finding her biological families.
I took a look at Christina’s matches and could see she had a ton of matches- most of them were from her birthmother’s side. Knowing her birthmother was adopted also, I thought we might have more luck by searching for her birthfather first.
Christina’s matches split into 3 groups- one group was her birthmother’s side, who was from an Indigenous community, and the other two were from her birthfather’s side. The two paternal matches were distinct: one had recent English history, and one with a rich history in one of the Maritimes provinces.
Christina’s top paternal match John matched both groups, and based on his age and cM shared with her, I figured John was probably a first cousin of her birthfather.
John didn’t have a tree, but he had a unique name, and with the help of Newspapers I found his father’s obituary, which helped me figure out that the relation was through John’s mother’s side. I saw that she had immigrated from England with her parents and many siblings to the province where all of Christina’s other group of paternal matches were from.
I started looking at the spouses of John’s mother’s siblings to see if there were any that had married someone from the other Maritime group. I had also been building a floating research branch, but the matches were more distant, which made it more challenging.
While researching, I found that one of John’s uncles had moved from the Maritimes across the country to where Christina had been born. He also had two sons, so I looked at the uncle’s wife to see if she fit the floating research branch, and indeed she was a grandchild of the common ancestral couple.
We figured that Christina’s birthfather may remember her birthmother’s name, so Christina prepared to contact John’s cousins. However, she then told me the few details she knew about her birthmother: approximate year of birth, her adoptive last name, and that her birthmother’s adoptive father was a doctor.
I searched the last name on Google + the phrase “Winnipeg obituaries”, and right away came up with a result in the Winnipeg Free Press for a man, Mark, with the distinct last name and who was a doctor. Mark’s obituary shared his life’s work and that he had close associations with the area Christina’s birthmother was born in, and he had lived there in the two years following her birth. Mark was the right age to be Christina’s grandparent, so I scanned his obituary and found that he had one daughter. Thanks to their unique last name, I quickly found her on Facebook, and it was right away remarkable to see the resemblance between her and Christina.
Christina reached out to her, and it was confirmed to be her birthmother. They are meeting very soon in person!