*All names have been changed
Search goal: Find Ralph’s biological father
Ralph is an adoptee that recently had found his biological mother. He was searching for his biological father, but he was finding it hard to see which matches were from his paternal side. He also had a name for his biological father, but was unsure if it was a real name.
I took a look at Ralph’s matches and saw he had a lot of matches, including some decently close ones. He told me that his mother’s maternal half siblings had tested, so I used their well filled out trees to take a look at what was going on.
When I sorted Ralph’s matches, I found that they did split into four main groups and one smaller group (the smaller group was Ralph’s maternal grandfather’s side). However, I saw that he was sharing two match groups with Cassie, his half aunt. One group would have been expected, but not two, since Cassie and Ralph’s biological mother only shared one parent.
Then I took a closer look. The match group they shared that wasn’t coming from Ralph’s biological mother was coming from Cassie’s father- the Nichols family, which meant Ralph was also related to Cassie through their respective biological fathers’ lines.
After figuring that out, I started to build the trees out. Two of the match groups, Plummer and Steele, were distinctly paternal, and the Nichols matches were from Cassie’s paternal side. I continued building out the trees and found that one of Cassie’s paternal Nichols great uncles had married a lady from the Plummer match group.
I then took a look at the Nichols/Plummer children, who were the right age to be a grandparent of Ralph. And sure enough, I had found what I was looking for- one of the daughters had married a man with the last name Steele, therefore connecting the paternal groups all together. The Nichols/Steele couple had had 2 sons and a daughter, and one son had the same semi unique name that Ralph had from his paperwork. So we were confident that this son was Ralph’s biological father. Additionally, the centimorgans shared by Ralph’s DNA matches also aligned with these findings. I confirmed via newspapers that he was also in the right age range to be Ralph’s biological father.
Ralph is glad to know more about his paternal side and hopes to learn more soon.