*All names have been changed.
Search goal: Find Alaina’s maternal grandparents
Alaina reached out for help recently with finding her maternal grandparents. Alaina had taken an AncestryDNA test and knew the first initial of her mom’s birth last name “N”, but that was all the information she had.
Alaina had done a great job of grouping her matches. She had identified her paternal grandfather’s line, and had four match groups that she wasn’t sure about. Since Alaina had done her DNA test more recently, she did not have the Parent 1 and Parent 2 match splitting feature yet.
I took a look at her groups and started to find the common last name within each. That helped determine that two of the four match groups were actually from her paternal grandmother’s line.
I started to look at the match group that was French and connected by the last name Caron. I found the common ancestors by placing Alaina’s matches into a research tree, and then started working down to the generation that would be Alaina’s mom’s grandparents. I worked on finding all the last names of the Caron spouses, thinking that Alaina would have a smaller match group that would be from one of the spouses, and indeed she did. The first Caron daughter I happened to click on, their spouse was from a smaller match group that Alaina had many matches to, though they were more distant.
This brought us to a set of siblings that included two sisters and three brothers. However, their last name did not start with the letter N, so we reasoned that this was possibly Alaina’s maternal grandfather’s side, and one of the three brothers were Alaina’s mom’s biological father.
The other match group had even less matches than the Caron group, but I noticed that Alaina’s top match had an aunt that had married someone with an N last name, and had lived where Alaina’s mom was born. So I took a look further and found that this aunt had married a man that again, Alaina had some more distant matches to his side. This couple had four daughters and two sons, and so we researched some more to find their ages and determined that two of the sisters were likely too old to be Alaina’s grandmother. I reasoned it was between two of the younger sisters who would be Alaina’s maternal grandmother.
Alaina decided to reach out to the daughter of one of the sisters, who was able to share some information and had knowledge of Alaina’s mother’s adoption. She confirmed which sister it was, and it was indeed one of the two sisters we had narrowed it down to.
Alaina is glad to know more of her maternal history and hopes to learn more soon.