*All names have been changed
Search goal: Find Sheryl’s biological parents
Sheryl is an adoptee who reached out for help a while ago looking for her biological parents. She had her biological mother’s name and age, and had taken a DNA test hoping to find her or any siblings she may have.
Sheryl’s AncestryDNA test revealed many matches and it became clear both of her biological parents had East Coast heritage, however, the parent 1 and parent 2 matches were distinct which was good. I noticed Sheryl’s second highest match was a young woman named Jane, who was about my age and had the same last name that Sheryl did at birth. I reasoned this was most likely a match from Sheryl’s maternal side. However, Jane’s tree was private, and Google wasn’t turning up any helpful information.
Sheryl’s top and third highest matches were a set of siblings, and one, Millie, had recommended Sheryl to the search group we had met through. Through a little Facebook searching, I found that Millie was Facebook friends with Jane. So with Sheryl’s permission I messaged Millie to find out how she was related to Jane.
To my surprise, Millie did not know how she was related to Jane, though they had a theory and had been working on it. Millie was able to share who Jane’s father and paternal grandparents were, which was the info I needed. I had been piecing together their other shared matches and was pretty confident I had found the set of siblings Sheryl’s biological mother was descended from.
Since Jane was a match in the half first cousin/first cousin once removed range, I took a look at her dad’s half siblings and found that he had a sister who had a middle name that was the same as Sheryl’s biological mother’s name. As well, she fit the age we were looking for. Unfortunately, she had passed away, but after finding a picture of her as well as her daughter, it was immediately clear we had found the right family!
Sheryl reached out to her presumed half sister, who was very happy to hear from her and had been searching for her as well. Her sister revealed that they were actually full siblings, which I verified by looking at Sheryl’s paternal matches. Positive reunions always warm my heart!