Rachel’s search

*All names have been changed.

Search goal: Find Rachel’s paternal grandparents

Rachel is the adult daughter of an adoptee named Tim, and Rachel was curious about her paternal ancestry. For this search, I communicated with Rachel’s mother Amy who had some non identifying information about Rachel’s paternal grandparents. The information included information about the grandparents’ siblings, approximate ages, and that Rachel’s grandmother had been born in Nova Scotia, but living in British Columbia at the time of Tim’s adoption.

Rachel had taken an AncestryDNA test, along with Amy’s sister, which helped to see which matches were maternal and which were paternal. There weren’t many paternal matches, and they were distant, but I managed to sort them into six groups.

Three groups (the most distant ones) were Nova Scotia based. The fourth group had recent Scottish heritage, the fifth had recent English heritage, and the last one was a group of distant Jewish matches. Looking at Rachel’s paternal ethnicity, I could see she was about 12% Jewish, and the other two regions were an even split of Scottish and English.

I started with the group with the closest matches, which was the English group. The closest matches were two ladies who shared the same father. A quick look at their ethnicities confirmed the relation was through their father Bruce, who had passed away. After tracing his tree, I saw that Bruce’s mother was only briefly married to Bruce’s father before divorcing him and marrying a Jewish man!

My interest was piqued and I found that Bruce had 3 half siblings from his mother’s second marriage. Their ages and genders matched the information known about Tim’s biological father. So we figured one of the brothers was likely Rachel’s paternal grandfather. One even shared the same name that Tim had been born with. Amy found his obituary, which confirmed his age which matched the non-identifying information. So we now knew who Rachel’s paternal grandfather was.

I turned my attention to the other four groups, which we now knew was Rachel’s paternal grandmother’s side. The Nova Scotian matches were very distant and there was the usual endogamy which made it harder. So I decided to look at the Scottish group.

The couple I was interested in had come from Scotland to Alberta and had 3 children. One of these children had descendants who had tested, and another child had no children, and the last child, Charlotte had in fact moved to British Columbia.

Charlotte had had 3 children and 6 grandchildren. From the obituary of her son in law, I could tell that 3 of the grandchildren were from one child Bess, and 3 were from another, Frank.

Frank had one daughter and two sons, which matched the information about Tim’s biological mother. After some deep research, I found that Frank had married a lady who was from Nova Scotia, and they had in fact been living there the year their daughter was born. I knew we had narrowed it down and had identified Rachel’s paternal grandmother. I also used court records to confirm the ages of Frank’s sons which also matched.

Despite having the names, we were still unable to locate or find contact information for Tim’s biological mother and uncles. Eventually, Amy got in touch with one of their first cousins, who passed on contact information to them and put her in touch with one of Tim’s uncles. Rachel hopes to learn more about her paternal biological family soon.

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