*All names have been changed.
Search goal: Find Nicole’s biological parents
Nicole is an adoptee that reached out for help with finding her biological father. She had actually met her biological mother decades ago, but had lost contact with her, and only knew her middle name. Nicole had tested on Ancestry hoping to find some paternal family.
Nicole’s matches split into four main groups, all from the city she was born in. However, I figured if we were going to find her paternal side, we would have to find her maternal side first. Nicole told me that her biological mother had sent her some letters with family information in them, so she sent me some pictures and I took a look. She also told me that her birthmother’s maiden name started with an M.
From the information, I was able to see that Nicole’s biological mother’s dad was Irish, her mom was part French, and her maternal grandmother had died as a young adult. She also had seven brothers, two of which had died in the same year when the biological mother was a certain age. I made a little tree with the information given, and then started to look at Nicole’s matches.
The majority of Nicole’s matches were from a French group with the last name Rosseau, and the common ancestors I suspected were going to be great grandparents of Nicole. However, the couple had lived to old age, so I figured this was possibly one of the paternal groups.
The next match in the list that wasn’t from the French group was a lady named Laura. Laura’s grandfather was the connection, so I traced his tree, and found that he had actually had a first wife, who was French, and had died in her early 30s. Intrigued, I looked into their children, and saw that they had a daughter, who had married someone with an M last name- I’ll call it McDonald. This couple had 8 children- 7 sons, two of which had died in the same year, and one daughter, so I knew this was Nicole’s maternal side. I discovered that her biological mother actually had a public Ancestry tree, and with her name, she was easily found on Facebook.
With the maternal side sorted, I now knew for sure that the Rosseau group was one of Nicole’s paternal groups, along with another smaller French group connected by the last name Beaulieu. I went back to the Rosseau common ancestors and started to research their children. They had 16, so this was no easy feat! One of these 16 was going to be a grandparent of Nicole. Four Rosseau siblings I ruled out due to their descendants testing. Another two siblings were too young to have children that would be the estimated age of Nicole’s biological father. Nicole knew he was going to be the same age as her biological mother, and thanks to the tree we now knew what year her biological mother was born in. Another two I figured likely had died in infancy as all I could find were baptism records and they were not mentioned in their parents’ obituaries. But there were still 8 siblings to sort through!
Nicole realized that she had a family friend that was related to the Rosseaus, so she got in touch with him, and we prepared to send him a list of the siblings that we needed more information on. However, as I was looking over the few spouses of the Rosseaus I had found, I noticed that one of them, Lena, had a grandmother that was from the Beaulieu family- and some of her grandmother’s sibling’s descendants were matches to Nicole.
I then took a look at Lena’s paternal side, and then indeed I started to see lots of matches, further down but still decent matches, that were from Lena’s paternal side. I had earlier found baptismal records of Lena’s 3 children, and knew that she had one son that was born in the same year as Nicole’s biological mother. The DNA matches had fallen into place and I knew that Lena’s only son was Nicole’s biological father.
Nicole is excited to have identified her biological father within less than 2 days of this search beginning, and plans to reach out to him or his close relatives soon.