Angela’s search

*All names have been changed.

Search goal: Find Angela’s biological parents

Angela is a Canadian adoptee that reached out for help tracing her biological family tree. She was born in Montreal, and her her AncestryDNA test revealed that she was actually of half Irish and half Puerto Rican descent- no French to be found. It also showed that her DNA communities were showing New Brunswick as a prominent area.

Generally, I don’t mention background or adoption information unless it is pertinent to the research path, but I do mention if we have identifying or non identifying information to use along with DNA results. In Angela’s search, she had no information at all, as she had been found abandoned as an infant in a public place.

Her matches split into three main groups: One from her Puerto Rican side, and the other two from her Irish side. I started working on one of the Irish groups, the Brady family that had more matches and trees to work with.

Pretty quickly I found the common ancestors of the Brady family. I knew this couple was going to be Angela’s great grandparents based on their ages and the DNA matches, so I started looking at their children and their spouses. They had had three sons and a daughter, all who had married and lived out their lives in New Brunswick. Two of the sons had descendants who had tested, so they were ruled out. Angela’s other match group, the Donovan family, didn’t seem to be from two Brady spouses’ of the remaining two.

Then after a little digging, I found that the Brady daughter had a son named Calvin before she was married, with an unknown man. Calvin had moved to Montreal a few years before Angela was born and lived there the rest of his life, though he never married or had other children. Based on Calvin’s age, the location, the DNA matches and the mystery Irish group that would theoretically be Calvin’s paternal side, we figured Calvin was Angela’s biological father.

With that side mostly complete, I started to look at the Puerto Rican matches. Angela had mentioned she had a close match that she thought might be an uncle, but she was unable to find additional information about him and he had not replied to her messages.

I took a look at this top match, David, who was in the close family range. When I compared Angela and David’s ethnicities, I noticed that David was half Greek, which meant he could not be an uncle, as Angela would have to be Greek too.

David had a small tree, so I checked it out and it listed a deceased father from Jamaica, a living mother, and deceased maternal grandparents that were from Puerto Rico. Based on the ages of the people in his tree, I figured David was about the same age or slightly younger than Angela. He had a unique hyphenated last name, so I searched him on Ancestry and found that he was living in a nearby US state and was in fact less than two years younger than Angela. This led to finding details about his living mother, who we now know is Angela’s biological mother.

Angela was surprised but pleased to learn so quickly of her biological background, and is contemplating reaching out in the future to her relatives.

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