Monday, November 16, 2020

Unlocking Hidden Family Secrets

person doing genetic genealogy research
For adoptees, acknowledging the part of their personal story that is a mystery and knowing truth lies hidden in the background is what keeps many of them going. It's having hope there will someday be an answer.

You may question the wisdom of rattling bones long buried. But I have always been a believer that truth, no matter how difficult the circumstances, should be brought into the light, examined and accepted. From personal experience, I have found those who hide the truth, usually have something to hide themselves.

Working with adoptees and other NPEs requires a good amount of digging into uncomfortable family secrets and the persistence necessary to peel back decades of inaccuracies. There can be unforeseen and sometimes unhappy consequences when contacting possible birth families. And there may also be joyful and accepting connections made between an NPE and her/his DNA match. You just never know who will be receptive to an inquiry or how they will react to an unknown sibling, cousin or close family member. Researching an NPE can take a few days, months or in some cases, over a year to reach a conclusion.

I created this blog to tell the true stories of NPEs I have investigated as a search angel. All names and some locations noted in future posts have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved. Sometimes the past that unraveled through genetic research was stranger than fiction, the stuff movies are based on! How hard many of these ancestors must have worked to keep the truth buried, not realizing it only takes a simple spit test by a descendant to unlock hidden family secrets.

The NPE stories I share are all accurate and as close to truth as can be established using genetic techniques and genealogical standards. I retell their narrative and the details involved in researching each case from the perspective of a genealogist.

I hope my experiences as a family historian turned genetic sleuth will educate and inform others about the challenges faced by adoptees. It is also my goal to inspire genealogists to pursue similar paths in helping NPEs find closure. And if you are an adoptee in search of information, don't give up hope. Keep sending messages to your DNA matches and one day you'll bump into someone like me who can't say no to a good genealogy mystery.

Unlocking Hidden Family Secrets


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